Writers, artists, teachers, kids, parents, cooks, musicians, EVERYBODY…this column is for you. We are all creative, whether you think you are or not!
While I love the hustle and bustle of the holidays, by January and February I’m ready to start anew with quiet reflection and much hope for the new year. Becoming introspective in this simpler season, this Clementine Meditation helps to tap into the creative core. It helps me to become more aware and grateful for things we easily take for granted. Eating mindfully is an added benefit, especially for those of us who make diet resolutions in the New Year.
Time: 15 minutes
Materials: Clementine, paper, pen/pencil (and a towel to wipe off the juice!)
Hold a clementine in your hands.
Think about where it came from. Consider its tree, the orange blossom fragrance drifting through the air.
The rain and sunshine that helps each blossom grow.
Petals drifting to the ground.
Tiny fruit springing forth from tree branches, maturing day by day.
Someone, not too long ago, reached up and picked the clementine you hold in your hands.
Peel it…slowly…notice the fragrance and the slight spray as you pull off the rind.
Does the fragrance bring memories?
Does it paint a picture in your mind’s eye?
Be fully aware of your thoughts as you peel the clementine.
What does it feel like? Think about its texture.
Now pull off a section and take a mindful bite, fully aware of the taste, the juice, the texture.
As you continue eating, start to write or draw whatever you are inspired to create.
(These steps were inspired by Thich Nhat Hanh’s Tangerine Meditation essay in his book, Peace is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life, Bantam Books, NY: 1991 — a book I highly recommend!)
We practiced this meditation during a writing and art creativity workshop. It was rewarding to hear and see the variety of work it inspired. We can bring this same mindfulness to other items: all kinds of foods, pieces of clothing, pieces of art… It really just requires some time and contemplation.
In the midst of writing this column, the following quotation came across my desk:
The art of being happy lies in the power of extracting happiness from common things.
– Henry Ward Beecher
Think about that as you create this month.
Not-To-Miss Creative Events: February is Folk Art month! For me, folk art has a magical presence…works that elicit emotion by using common things. If you like folk art as much as I do, you’re in luck!
February 1 – March 15: Folk Art February Exhibit, NC Arts Incubator
223 N. Chatham Ave., Siler City – 919-663-1335
Various media will be represented by a variety of NC folk artists (including me!)
No charge – open most weekdays
February 24 – 25: Fearrington’s 16th Annual Folk Art Show
2000 Fearrington Village Center, Pittsboro – 919-542-2121
$5 fee at the door
Collectors’ Preview Night: February 23, 7pm-9pm ($35 fee-registration required)
The Fearrington Barn will be filled to the rafters with folk art.
Hope to see you at both of these events!
Share your ideas, questions, or comments by contacting me at Barbara@WildesArt.com. Is there a creative event happening? Let me know — I’d love to hear from you!
Barbara Hengstenberg is an educator, artist, writer and founder of www.WildesArt.com, an online community of creatives. Barbara lives in Pittsboro, and sells her Zen folkart and offers tips on creativity through her website. She is on the Board of the NC Arts Incubator and teaches at Central Carolina Community College. You can reach Barbara at Barbara@WildesArt.com.