5.16.2007

creativity and prayer

You Are 71% Creative

You are beyond creative. You are a true artist - even if it's not in the conventional sense of the word. You love creating for its own sake, and you find yourself quite inspired at times.

I think of myself more as crafty than artsy, although I suppose creative would be an accurate description. I love making greeting cards for friends. Scrapbooking is another love. So too is cross stitch - although I can't follow patterns. I took a book making class once and did that for a while. For me it's more about the process of creating than what I create. It puts me in a good space, calms me down, and gets me in touch with the energy of life.

Which is why it's surprising that I'm surprised at a recent discovery of mine ... art as prayer. One of our last sessions at our intercommunity novitiate program included a session on "Process Painting." Basically, she gave us a big piece of paper and some crayon pastels and let us go. Her one rule was that we stick with the painting for the whole afternoon. There was more to it, but that was the gist of it.

My painting/drawing would not classify as great art, but it is full of feeling and expresses where my relationship was with God on that day. I was taken aback by how much it helped me to enter into a (non-verbal) conversation with the big guy. For such a heady person, this was great!

Since then I've been integrating a modified form of this practice into my morning prayer. I usually spend a bit of time each morning in silent meditation. I now have a drawing book and a Big Box of Crayolas (complete with the sharpener in the back!) next to my space in the chapel. After I sit, I open the book and the box of crayons and see what happens. Again, it is by no means great art. But it is a wonderful way for me to get out of my head and my need to verbalize everything and move into something else. It's not really something I can explain with words, but I could probably draw it! I suppose it's an art journal, rather than a journal of words.

New discoveries in the spiritual life are such a gift and a blessing!

5 comments:

Kelly_SSJ/A said...

creativity is good! I know I find my poetry helpful in processing. But, I ocasionally delve into drawing in the form of ennegrams for prayer. Its actually pretty interesting to find the themes that come. Do you know any good books on Ennegrams?? If so..if you could pass the names along...it would be appreciated!

Barbara said...

I did some "inner Child" during my retreat last year and journaled the progress through drawings. I am a verbal person, too, so getting beyond words was liberating. A bit of what I meant early with playing/praying.

xsquared said...

I'm also crafty, but not really arty - but I'm also not so great with words. I love the idea of drawing or painting as part of prayer. I'm definitely going to give that a try the next time I'm stuck for words.

Jim G said...

Sounds like you might like Praying in Color, a new book by Sybil MacBeth. She's also a good speaker, so if you ever get a chance to attend one of her workshops, I recommend it.

Poetry said...

Zettabyte




A wild rambling rose of a woman,
with a smoky smile and jaunty hips.
Tan as a summer's day.



Brisk, bracing, brusque.
Like a March wind.


Cool air pours off a sheer blue glacier.

Ice lipped steel bergs
Way down under...



Pieces of the sky
scattered over the glassy waters of a lake.


Mirror world lake reflected.
A reflex action.
A world dopplegangered.
One twin clear and sure.
The other rippled by winds of fate and chance.