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Thursday, October 26

psychedelic trip


pastels, canon digital rebel xt

As I was preparing a space to create today, I had Natalie Merchant (The Gulf of Araby) playing loud in my loft. I found myself swept away by her music. I danced in circles with my arms open wide. Round and round with a pastel resting between my fingers. It felt like a ceremony anointing me before diving into my pastels. You know that feeling. Your belly is burning, your heart is swelling and you feel as if you could fly.

It brought me back to a time when I had my first true release of creative abandon. I was in design school and the semester was about to end. Our final project for our drawing class was a self portrait. It was due the following day and I hadn't even started. Well, in truth I had started again and again and they all ended up crumpled up in the waste basket. There was a party down by the beach with other design students. It was well deserved. We had been working our arse's off and were in great need of letting loose. At one point, we sat in a circle, drinking and divulging wild stories of our times living in other cities, single and dating. All of their projects were done, so I felt a sense of anxiousness, unable to completely relax into the moment. While telling some of my stories, I had a clear vision of a drawing. I hopped up from the circle. I had to leave in that instant to go home and begin creating. They all understood and sent me off with their glasses raised.

When I arrived home, my husband and his best friend that was visiting were sitting on our couch reminiscing about their times in Canada together (they're both Canadian). I rushed up to our loft with a quick hello. I tore out a huge piece of pastel paper, turned on the music so loud that no one could hear me speak. I sketched an abstract self portrait of my time in Berkeley and San Francisco. The voice behind this was that my soul feels so rooted there...despite where I am now. One half of my body was a Redwood tree and the other half was my arm melting into the Golden Gate Bridge, which dipped into an enormous coffee mug that was wedged between a rocky cliff. It sounds outrageous but it turned out brilliant. I was dancing and drawing, dancing and drawing and my husband and his friend were absorbing my creative energies. It was wild. A complete psychedelic trip. Colors and shapes were dancing in my head. Such a natural high.

The following day, when I brought it to class and showed my teacher, she hugged me with tears in her eyes. She was a true blue bohemian and she felt the vibe. She got it. She ended up using it as an example for her future classes. Explaining to her students that self portraits could also represent pieces of your "self".

Abandon like this doesn't happen for me every day. But when it happens, it takes my breath away. I felt a glimpse of this today and I am craving more.

Do you know this feeling I speak of?

19 Comments:

Blogger Megan said...

That's the best. It's what keeps me creating, even if it rarely happens...I think "maybe THIS will be the time I'll get that high." Like pavlov's dog.

October 26, 2006 at 1:01:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous bekka said...

how lovely that your teacher felt your work's spirit and will use it for future classes!

October 26, 2006 at 1:07:00 PM PDT  
Blogger LiteraryGirl said...

I wanna see it! Post a pic!

October 26, 2006 at 2:21:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OH GOD, YES. there's this book that i read, over and over growing up called "emily of new moon" (emily's a writer in it too, and my middle name's emily so i really resonated with the character) and emily called that inspiration "the flash": where divine, earthy creativity picks you up in its swell and launches you, farther away and closer to your goal than you ever imagined possible. you feel exhilarated, slightly confused, (like: did i just do this?) and like a whole new dimension has been added to who you are...that's what keeps me going back to the page, over and over and over....

thank you for reminding me of this, boho. you're the best!

October 26, 2006 at 3:48:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Goddess of Leonie said...

that is awesome...

way way awesome...

and i hear ya...

when we just let ourselves go

and

be

wildly

creative

and lucid

and dreaming

while awake...

October 26, 2006 at 3:53:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Kristine said...

yes, I do
It's a feeling I always welcome, although it only happens enough for it to remain something distinct rather than an ordinary routine feeling...

October 26, 2006 at 4:06:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Colorsonmymind said...

Ohhh yes darling I know that feeling-it has only come here and there in my adult life so far...I would love to be able to summon it.

I love the image of you swirling and dancing.

Hoorah!

XOXOXO

October 26, 2006 at 4:36:00 PM PDT  
Blogger (Ni)mo.Ni said...

Something like that's happened to me too!! Except for my Art and Creative Writing classes..

So cool, I wish I could experience it all the time!

October 26, 2006 at 6:28:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous ceanandjen said...

As I am not a super goddess creator like you, I do not know it terms of creating; however, I have indeed had those moments where my heart is all aflutter and the energy is pulsing through me, and I feel as though I could fly. Those moments are few and far between, and they are to be treasured.

I am tickled pink that you had such an inspired and creative day. Your happiness is infectious my dear friend.

Love to you....xoxoxo

October 26, 2006 at 6:57:00 PM PDT  
Blogger rubyslippers said...

You made me think of one of my favorite Rumi poems called "Each Note." I won't write the whole thing here, but in part it says,

"...God picks up the reed-flute world and blows. Each note is a need coming through one of us, a passion, a longing pain.

Remember the lips where the wind-breath originated, and let your note be clear.

Don't try to end it.
Be your note.
I'll show you how it's enough.

Go up on the roof at night in this city of the soul.

Let eveyone climb on their roofs and sing their notes!

Sing loud!"

Today you were singing your loudest. Thanks for sharing!

October 26, 2006 at 7:20:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Georgia said...

Okay... this is going to sound totally retarded... but what you wrote reminded of the TV show Heroes... This guy is an artist and he can paint the future, and when he does he is in another realm... just painting... nothing but his vision of the art... anyhow.

I have had these moments, but they are so rare these days. I love your post. I can see you dancing as you create, beautiful!

xoxox
Georgia

October 26, 2006 at 7:56:00 PM PDT  
Blogger b/sistersshoes said...

I remember that picture, what did you ever do with it?

My little pastel princess...I can't wait to see your creations :)

love a licious you

XOXOOX dar

October 26, 2006 at 8:02:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Deb R said...

I want to see the drawing! Do you still have it?

October 26, 2006 at 8:37:00 PM PDT  
Blogger brittany said...

yes, it's what keeps me going back. Sometimes it's like the creation didn't actually come from me.

I need to start painting again.

October 27, 2006 at 5:33:00 AM PDT  
Blogger la vie en rose said...

it doesn't happen for me very often either but when it does...sweet!

here's to hoping some of it happens for both of us next week...heehee...

October 27, 2006 at 9:31:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous LB said...

That's a really cool story. I wanna see this drawing. It sounds amazing and magical.

October 27, 2006 at 3:33:00 PM PDT  
Blogger bb said...

Yes I feel like this everytime I write a poem that pushes at a boundary in my memory.

The waking lucid dream - the reason why I write - no other high like it (and I've tried a few, in my youth of course ;-))

October 28, 2006 at 7:59:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Romina Bacci said...

yeah! yeah! yeah!
this is the funniest part!!!!!

i loved reading this post, i totally imagine you :)

October 29, 2006 at 7:37:00 AM PST  
Blogger Stef said...

beautiful story...where did you go to art school?

xo

October 30, 2006 at 8:44:00 PM PST  

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