I've got something a little different today, something that comes under the "Creative Adventure" part of my blog.
I had an epiphany this morning! I've been feeling bogged down by how
much I have to do lately and I feel like I'm letting it keep me from what I really want to do, which is to spend more time writing. I'm chair (and secretary) of my kid's school's parent committee, I run a novel writing club at the school, am helping to organize several fundraising events to
support the grade 7 leaving ceremony, and am the Kamloops representative for the Word on the Lake Readers and Writers Festival. I have to get the kids to soccer and baseball,
cook healthy, enticing dinners (and lunches and breakfasts, and snacks
for in the car after school). Oh yeah, in the midst of all this, I am trying to edit 2 novels. You get the picture.
received an email from a friend who is also doing a lot of work at the school and is frustrated by the lack of volunteers to help. I am too, and I feel for her. It is hard to be the one
always doing things, to spend my morning organizing clothing orders,
typing minutes, emailing people... I've been getting overwhelmed and am
feeling in need of protection some days. I have, very clearly, said no
to a few things lately, things I didn't want to do, and it felt good.
reply and tried to say a few words of encouragement and comfort without
sounding trite. What I found myself saying has completely shifted my
perspective. Yes, I am doing all of this work, yes it is a lot, yes it
would be easier if there were more hands on deck, BUT boy are these
other parents missing out!!!
I am getting the
opportunity, yes, the absolute pleasure, to get to know all of these kids better,
to see and appreciate their creative genius. I, somewhat reluctantly,
took on helping the grade 7s prepare a short presentation to be
performed on stage at our local theatre as part of a pre-show for a bigger event in 2 1/2 weeks. We have nothing, just a
group of about 15 kids who are eager to strut their stuff. And boy, do
they have stuff to strut, but how to put this together into something
coherent and approx 5-6 minutes long, something doable for them to learn in their busy lives in the short time
Well, brainstorming, the kids, on their own,
came up with holding performance together with a story. They would take
a picture book a narrator would read a section and a
small group would perform their interpretation, then another paragraph would be read and
another interpretation would be presented. This way they could work in small groups on 30
second to 1 minute pieces, but still present a unified piece. Each kid could
shine on stage and do what they love. There was a commitment to
represent the 4 arts (my kids go to a learning through the arts school) - dance, drama, music and visual arts - in this
process. The first 3 are obvious, but the art? We don't have the time or resources to do sets. Well, they would do
visual arts by body painting (faces and arms), they will be their own
canvasses! How great is that?
I realize I need to look at what I'm getting more often than what I'm giving - to slow down and take the time to appreciate this. That and brainstorming with kids when I'm feeling stuck would probably be good too.