Exploration: Making Art / Working Naked


An Excerpt from Wild Women, Wild Voices
by Judy Reeves.

How do you express your natural wildness? How do you create? Do you make art or write or spend creative time as part of your daily life? What is your creative process? What rewards and gifts do you receive? And what is their price? That is, do you have to give up something to receive these gifts?

Imagine that you are writing an essay or an article for a publication or for submitting to an anthology on the theme of creativity. How would you write about your creative process? Write two pages — more if the piece wants to go on.

Nurturing Your Artist/Creator
When we are at one with our creativity, and by that I mean with our responsiveness to the world, we are at our most authentic. It is pointless to say, “I am not creative.” If you are alive, you are creative. Consider it a gift you’ve been given by a generous and loving creator. Consider it a fact of your being, the same as the color of your eyes or the shape of your feet. But unlike your eye color or the structure of your feet, your creative beingness is active, alive, a vital force that can change the world. In your authentic wildness, you are a creative force!

I’ve told the story for years of how my grandmother said that when we’re born, God puts a thumb right in the center of our foreheads, imprinting us with our special gift, and says, “You’ll be an actress” or “You’ll be a dancer” or “You. You’ll be a writer.” I’m not sure if my grandmother really said this or if I made it up, but I know I believe the fact of it — that we’re all given special gifts that we bring into the world. I also believe that we have a responsibility to use these gifts, and that if each of us honors the responsibility and uses the gift, the whole of humankind will be lifted to a higher plane.

It’s not always easy to live up to this responsibility. The world echoes with the sigh of “not enough time.” But if we are to live an authentic life, if we are to keep our wildish nature healthy, if we are to experience all our joy, we must take care to protect our creative time and nurture our creative souls.

One year, instead of making New Year’s resolutions, I created a list of intentions and sent them out to whatever benevolent presence might be listening. These spoke to my desire to honor the gift of creativity that I’d been given and to keep it alive in my daily life:

•    To honor my creative urges and listen to my deepest longings.
•    To be open to wild imaginings and receptive to the charm of the ordinary.
•    To keep a place prepared for the muse and to be present so she will know where to find me.
•    To find courage to write what wants to be written and patience to give whatever time is needed to write it.
•    To acknowledge that what I create is a way of giving back to the Universe.

From the book Wild Women, Wild Voices. © Copyright 2015 by Judy Reeves. Printed with permission from New World Library. www.NewWorldLibrary.com.