Lisa M Kirk
Artist and Facilitator

Love Letters to Creative Souls

Happy New Year!

Reflecting back on this past year, I realize it has been a very full year indeed, both creatively and emotionally. It seems many people have been moving through things at great depth, as we are all being carried down a swift moving river, sometimes not feeling like we have much control over where we are going or how we are going to get there. Every once in awhile, we manage to find a slow moving pool, and paddle there for awhile catching our breath, before the next current sweeps us off again into the rich, full, and, at times, overwhelming current of life.

This brings to mind something I learned while teaching my last session and working with the book, I will not Die an Unlived Life, by Dawna Markova. In one chapter she says,

“When a “way closes” and one stage of our lives is complete, we are at a intersection, a threshold. Because we are all such creative beings in essence….we approach the unknown, stories first….then (we) either spin it into gold or dung by the stories we choose to attach to it…..”rut stories”….numb us and confirm that we always are who we always have been….”River Stores”… (are)energizing, carrying us toward the possibility of purpose.”

This idea of a “Rut Story” or a “River Story” has stuck with me as I can find myself caught in my own web of Rut Stories and it never feels very good. They are sticky stories and tend to glue any tiny negative thing to them and even attract more if given the tiniest bit of opening, expanding the story into a deeper Rut. It takes a lot of effort to drag out of that rut once you fall into it.

The River Story, feels so very different. It is open to possibilities, airy and it has a flow to it. It can be deep too, but in a different sort of a way, a mysterious way. Often things are unclear, but they are not. We may not really know or be able to describe it, but we know it deep in our bones; it is an old story, yet new. Yes, there may always be the dichotomies.

We feel like we are on the right path, in our flow, when we are in our River Stories. Doors open. And, then, there is the struggle, the challenges, how we will face these rapids and undercurrents that will be there to ask us, to remind of us Who We Really Are. “Which story will you cling to, the River Story or the Rut Story?”

A bird comes to mind. A bird can take flight and fly great distances when needed, and it KNOWS the way. No one needs to give it a map. It is ancient history mapped into the bird’s system; the bird follows its instincts to take it where it needs to go. There are no questions, no other ways. It stops on a tree every once in awhile and looks about, gets PERSPECTIVE. It nests at the appropriate time, sitting on its eggs, protecting them, guarding them, from others. Then when hatched, she feeds the wee ones, nurtures them, until it is time to kick them out of the nest. Until they need to find their own homes. It is a story that is connected to the Great Creator, the Universe, The Muse. There is so much we can learn from Nature and from the Old River Stories.

And, of course, these River Stories have challenges that must be overcome, dilemmas and dragons to be faced. The birds, have enemies too. There are always those. It is how we face them, from what place inside ourselves that we navigate those challenges. It is in the River Stories we connect to our Authentic Self, we Remember who we are, who we came here to be. And we just know. We don’t need a map, it is all there inside of us, just like in the bird.

So, how does this connect to Creativity, you ask? Well, in the creative process, we can easily get stuck in our River Stories or our Rut Stories about our art and our own process. This was clear to me this Fall as I prepared for two shows. Reflecting back, it has been a learning lesson where the River and Rut stories were weaving through; where I was connecting to my Authentic Self, and then not. How about you? Do recognize your own River and Rut stories? Are you able to stay connected to your River Stories? What tools do you use to do so?

In this next session, we will focus on remembering our Authentic Self. Finding and deeply connecting to that place within ourselves in the painting process, all the while being guided by our Muse. The Muse is always there, available to us, when we choose to listen. We all know The Way, sometimes we just forget. Come and support each other through this process. I am looking very much forward to meeting you in this place!

Kind Regards,