I dreaded going to the creativity workshop. It was cold, and it was Saturday. I wanted to stay in bed, but I SAID I would go. So, I went. I officially signed up, which meant that I officially had to go unless I was vomiting. That’s where I draw the line. If I am vomiting, all bets are off.
When I walked into the room where the workshop was being held at a local church, there was a woman playing the cello. Another woman was at a table collecting the money for the workshop. I paid and looked around. I was the only one there other than the two instructors. Fabulous.
So, I found a seat in the second row, at the end so that I wouldn’t be boxed in should other people arrive. In addition to being a hermit, I’m also very claustrophobic. Since there was no one there and I really didn’t feel like talking anyway, I pulled out my notebook and started free writing. Here is what I wrote:
This music makes me want to write neater, sort of. It’s also kind of loud and annoying. It’s a lone cello, never stopping, live. I think the player is one of the workshop instructors. Ugh. Am I the only quiet writer in the room? My autism score is showing. I took an autism test online once. I scored a 24; normal is 16. This shocks you, right? I sit here, with my head bowed, writing, not being social. I’m most comfortable when I’m alone. I am not alone right now. When does this thing end? Noon? Ok. I will try to last that long.
While I was writing that, another woman walked in. She had a notebook too. Ah! Another writer. Yes. I was so relieved that I was not the only person there other than the instructors. The other woman ended up being the only other person.
The instructor who was at the table ended up being a teacher and a writer, too. I began to feel more comfortable. The cello player was the co-instructor and she dabbled in writing, too. OK. Cool. So, we would do some writing for sure.
The workshop began with a slide show, including this quote:
“When the spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art.” Leonardo Da Vinci
The rest of the slide show included other quotes, and information on books on creativity and being an artist, and a video on a National Geographic photographer, named Dewitt Jones. I couldn’t hear the video as the audio system was limited to the speakers on the instructor’s MacBook and I am as deaf as an 80 year-old, but the pictures were amazing. If you have a chance, do a Google image search for Dewitt Jones.
After a short break, we did an activity. The non-cello playing instructor placed containers on the table and had us, the other instructor, myself and the other woman, pick a container but not look inside. I picked a basket with a lid and returned to my seat. We had to close our eyes and take the object inside of the container out. We could then touch it and try to figure out what it was. I figured out that my object was a clay vase instantly because, well, I’m not mentally challenged. I wasn’t really thrilled with my vase because I’m not big on cut flowers. Flowers are ok, planted outside where they belong, but having cut flowers dying in my house has never appealed to me. So, when given the opportunity to pick another object, I chose a tiny Japanese teapot.
We were instructed to look at the object and “let a poem write itself.” So, basically we were supposed to let this object, in my case a tiny teapot, become a Muse of sorts and “tell” us what to write. It sounds nuts to non-writers, but actually, this is how most of my writing is done. It’s almost like a narrator feeds me the stuff. Yes, I hear voices in my head. Well, actually just that one, narrator voice. Ok. Now, I’ve scared you. : )
So, I looked at the teapot and at first, nothing came to mind. Then, I thought about writing about Japan, but, let’s face it, I know nothing about Japan. Then, like magic, I got a picture in my head of what the perfect poem about this teapot. So, I wrote:
Teddy Bear is the honored guest
and he arrives unnoticed in his best bow tie.
Suzies’s heals click in an irregular rhythm
while she pours for Gus the giraffe and two random Barbies.
Her teapot sits in the middle of the table, reminding her of home,
a different home.
She walks to her bedroom to get Gracie Goose and Alvin Gator,
to fill the empty chairs.
After we finished our poems, it was time to go. I couldn’t believe how quickly the morning had passed. It wasn’t as painful as I thought it would be, but I still felt sad for “Suzie” because she only had stuffed animals for playmates. Then, I thought, maybe she likes to be alone, too.