As part of coping with the effects of the pandemic and resulting lockdown, I’ve been continuing with my participation in Cosmic Smashbooking, invented by Catt Z and an Intentional Creativity process inspired by Shiloh Sophia. This particular project, the making of a Blessing Book, using the Cosmic Smashbooking process, resulted from an idea by one of the instructors, Mary Ann Matthys. It’s helped me cope, sometimes dig deep in a whimsical way, and focus on the many positive aspects of my life.
It’s also given me an outlet for my urge to ‘cut and paste’, a hangover from childhood, and, to use just a fraction of the must-keep clippings and images, lovely packaging, and ephemera that seem to multiply of their own accord in the tubs in the studio. That’s what I get for being a ‘visual’ person!
In this instance, I’m using a repurposed journal. Thoughts are written on the pages, and then covered with layers of paint, drawing, collage – whatever calls to show up on the page, at the time. It’s a process that gags the internal critic and welcomes imperfection, which is like a sweet ocean breeze coming into the studio. It’s also a process that continually surprises me, at what does show up on the page. Though, the Blessing Book, having a specific purpose, is lighter in content than some of my other Smashbooks.
Some blessings inspire poems. I haven’t written poetry for quite some time, but am enjoying the the challenge, and the opportunity to incorporate words.
Some pages are inspired by everyday meetings with the critters, that make a day special, like the visit to the kitchen by a frog, the first of the season, and my first, ever, sighting of a scarlet robin. Both inspired me to look up the ‘messages’ their sightings had for me. And, were both surprisingly apt for the tone of this time in my life.
One of the prompts was our Inner Landscape, which resulted in a collaged extended spread of all the things I hold dear inside of me and visit, at least mentally, on a regular basis.
At a suggestion by the facilitator, that we have a ‘paper doll’ as a Compassionate Observer, I got carried away this week when I’d injured my foot and needed to have it elevated, cocooned in frozen beans. Although Cosmic Smashbooking, by its nature does not need to be detailed or ‘pretty’ (it depends on what issue one is working on at the time – some pages can turn out primitive or even ugly, but still contain a message from-and-to the person’s heart and soul – part of the meditative aspect for me is in the details). I lose myself. Too busy creating to bother listening to the Inner Critic, I just go with the flow. Thus, the little dancing girl… She put a smile on my dial when I needed it most, even though she’s a pensive sort of gal.
At a time when I am re-evaluating my creative life, and what brings a dose of delight into my days, making a Blessing Book has proven to be a blessing in itself.