Monday, December 8, 2014

Day Eight of Reverb14 - Connections...

Today is Day Eight of Reverb14, hosted by the thoughtful Kat McNally who blogs at I Saw You Dancing. Check out the Reverb14 page HERE to join along and journal to the amazing prompts as we journal our way out of 2014...

Today's prompt comes to us by way of blogger Jen Allen, who writes:

The hectic pace of our lives can make it difficult to remain connected to the things and the people that matter the most to us. We get wrapped up in our work or our busyness and connection falls by the wayside. 

How have you created and/or sustained connections in your life this year?

Oh, my friend, as you well know this has been a challenging year for me. Since moving to a new shared home with my dear boyfriend, I have been beset with challenges of trying to squeeze my old 2-bedroom artist home into a small one-room studio space, along with trying to figure out a housekeeping schedule for 2 people sharing a 2-bathroom space with a larger living room and dining room than my old humble abode had.

And don't get me started on the unpacked clutter that is still littering said living and dining rooms =\

One other challenge, that I actually anticipated, was the possibility of diminished connections to creative friends. This year, two creative friends moved out of state and, despite my best efforts, contact has been greatly diminished. And I see another creative friend less than before as my move means a longer drive for each of us, which has been hard for me to keep up as my meager income does not allow for a large gas budget for my driving very far...and sadly, in the sprawl of Los Angeles, I find most people are less and less likely to drive very far ourside of their local region to keep up connections, leaving me to hold the bag of driving around to maintain friendships.

No wonder I dream of moving to Portland, Oregon - if my connection to my 'local' friends will be maintained by email, Facebook or the phone, then why not move to a place where my soul will be fed daily with creative inspiration, gorgeous nature and a great public transportation system?!?!

This idea has been percolating on the back burner of my brain for a few years now and it is beginning to rise to a boil, but this year, I DID make a few connections, thanks in part to August Moon, and with Facebook, which I've had a bit of a love/hate relationship with for the past few years...

During August Moon, I expressed my need for a community of creative kindred spirits in this way:

My intention is to continue with my creativity AND to search the company of other creative souls, because I know that those who serve their creative impulses are people of kindness, generosity and humor, things I need in my life right now since I'm having trouble remembering how to treat MYSELF with kindness, generosity and laughter

And while reading at the participating bloggers of August Moon, I discovered this lovely new blogger who was looking for something similar, with the addition of a desire for creative work accountability, something I had also expressed a need for. So, I reached out and she responded in kind...

Interestingly, at about the same time, a brave artist in the Facebook group for the Inspirational Card Deck Swap put out a call for anyone who might be interested in a year long mail art tribe. This tribe would be providing positive support and inspiration to put the 'caller' into a positive head space as she was working to make some positive changes in her life. We would form a private Facebook group and have monthly mail art exchanges with the leader, but could extend ourselves to anyone else who joined the group.

When I learned that this group would entail MAIL ART, I was definitely on board!

Finally, I connected with another fabulous blogger through August Moon as many of us wrote about what we had in our closets. This fabulous gal expressed a wish to have a dearly beloved and cherished garment re-made so she could continue to wear it as the original was showing signs of wearing OUT and she didn't want that to happen.

It so happens that I have the ability to recreate existing garments, using my skills in pattern drafting, and I know how important a garment that we love and feel great in can be in a fabulous gal's life, so I extended an introduction of myself to help her with this wish.

After all, there is nothing I love more than to use my creative skills to bring some joy and happiness to someone! And she responded with energetic enthusiasm!

These new connections have begun to form the community of creative souls I really need at this time in my life. Every time I interact with them, it leaves me feeling jauntily uplifted and filled with a sense of creative purpose.

Before this, I had a love/hate relationship to Facebook as many of my 'friendships' in that social media channel were not feeding me in a way I really needed, and the art groups I had been part of had gotten so big that I felt lost in a sea of clamoring self-promoting artists, all jostling for space and time to be seen and heard, with little-to-no real connections happening. As a result, I removed myself from those groups earlier this year with the intention of making space for better connections to come through. 

After these experiences, I did not expect that I could form such wonderful connections using the internet (let alone Facebook!) to do so, but since my community of fellow bloggers began to dwindle as their lives began to change, I lost hope that I could create such a supportive community again through the internet.

Thankfully, the magic of August Moon stepped in to prove me wrong!

I really have to thank Kat McNally over and over for hosting these wonderful annual journaling events and for responding in kind when I left my encouraging comment for a fledgling blogger who had much to share and has become so elegantly eloquent as I continue to watch her writing evolve and she guides these annual writing events with a sure hand =)

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As 2014 comes to a close and 2015 looms on the horizon, I think I may have found my Word for the Year...HOWEVER, I will continue to ponder before making a final decision, but you can bet that I will share my final choice before the year out when I bring back my year-end Kwanzaa reflections, so be sure to stay tuned my friend!

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

do you follow Susannah Conway? She is hosting a free five-day email course about finding your word for the year. I think I know what mine is going to be, but I could use a little clarity around it.

I too am thankful for the connection and space that Kat creates for us all with her invitations. While my connections haven't been as deep as yours sound like they are, I treasure the perspectives that I've found.

Thank you for sharing!