I love it when a book that has been sitting on my shelf for awhile, unread, seems suddenly to announce that its time has now come. “Read ME. Read ME”, it announces. And so I do. Sometimes it’s a dead end road, but at other times, like last night, the message is right on.
It was icy here last night when I went to get in the car after open studio. I tested the slickness of the sidewalk with the toe of my shoe. Yup. Treacherous! So I decided to stay over in the dorm (nice perk of having a dorm!).
A conversation with a friend earlier in the week had made me think of a book that I had stashed on a shelf a few years ago. I hadn’t taken the time to search it out as it was one of those weeks. But, suddenly, here was the time. Since I hadn’t packed a suitcase I just brushed my teeth with the extra supplies that I keep at the Center and crawled into bed with my clothes on. Comfy. Feeling slightly defiant like a 12-year old refusing to get ready for bed.
The book, Leap! What Will We Do with the Rest of Our Lives?, by Sara Davidson (2007), is a Reflection from the Boomer Generation. Seems that there is a minefield of change, adjustment and surrender that confronts all of us who are at the stage of transitioning into … or embracing … the third era of our lives. We choose to call it different things depending on our mindset. But I like to think of it as third act, a third act in an age when fourth acts are becoming possible, when wisdom suggests that there are still surprises and possibilities, and when experience tells us that there is still much to learn,
The book is full of the stories that Sara gleaned from her numerous interviews with people, rich, famous and unknown, who are considered to be Baby Boomers – born 1946 to 1964. Are you in that group? Or close? You might find this book to be very affirming.
But now I ask, what does this have to do with creativity and making art? How does it relate to polymer clay?
To me it does, for a lot of what we do in our classes at Maureen’s is teach techniques and skills for telling our stories, in whatever way makes sense to us. Reading books like this gives me perspective on my own life and helps me be more clear about my own path. Hopefully that all translates into more freedom to be present. To be here. To do my own work. To listen with compassion. To forgive myself when I’m less than I intend to be. To be thankful for the journey.
And now on with the making of art!