Rediscovering Delight

So what, exactly, does slowing down look like?

I saw this from my back door one morning last week. I decided to investigate that tiny orange speck in the field of tall grasses.

Though I don’t care for snails, either on my plate or in my garden, this warmed my heart. It was the perfect illustration of a resting place. And having slowed down enough to really see the flower, with camera in hand, I was rewarded with delight.

Slowing down also means washing and drying my dishes after each meal… taking time to savor the quiet moments and the ensuing tidiness.

Which brings me to this week’s affirmation:” I will make incredible messes”

This reminds me of being five years old and slippery sliding my hands across paper with wild colors. It was messy and almost forbidden play… permission to get paint on my hands and clothes. Delightful.

A few years back, I decided to replay that pleasure and amp it up a bit. On a sunny midsummer day, my friend and art buddy, Charlene and I put on our bathing suits and poured cans of finger paint onto 4 x 8 sheets of cardboard. Then we dove in… feet and fingers first making intentional marks… then falling down, laughing out loud, making beautiful messes with our knees and elbows. We were making art outside. The only disappointment of the day was not enough paint to spend the whole afternoon flailing in colorful madness.

I enjoy making messes writing too. Some of my freshest writing results from doing “free-writes” ala Natalie Goldberg‘s “Writing Down the Bones”. When I succeed in totally getting out of the way of whatever words want to jump onto those blue lines, I am surprised and delighted by the seeming nonsense. There are little gems hidden in those pages…interesting metaphors…forgotten memories…and mistakes aplenty. These messes prime the pump of creativity. The trick, then, is to edit for clarity and keep the magic.

When I first began considering making incredible messes, I thought the idea was foreign to me. But when I slowed down enough to remember what delights me, I found that making messes comes naturally!

I wonder what kind of messes Kelly is making

7 Thoughts

  1. Oh I remember that incredible mess, let’s do it again!!
    I will make incredible messes and it will be an awesome and delightful rediscovery, now let’s see, where can we get gallons of finger paint….

    1. Yes! I looked all over for the pictures I took of the pictures we made… I wanted to post them too… but no luck yet. Must simply be time to do it again. I highly recommend it!!

  2. This scene is playing over and over in my adult head and I can’t stop smiling. An awesome idea lingering as a cherished memory. Clinging to our “abandon” as we age seems rare, but important. Thanks for your perspective.

    1. Honestly, it was sooooo much fun. We wanted to make a whole lot more noise than we did… made up for it in giggles…I think abandoning myself to dancing is almost as good!

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