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  • Denise Frakes

Throwing mud!

Updated: Feb 26, 2023

This morning, early this morning, around 2am, I get inspired to collage. I go back to sleep. But in the morning, I had to create. Collaging is a lot like writing for me, I don't know what will show up. I listen. I look for what jumps out, tear it off, & put it in a pile. When I'm done there will be a theme. Unplanned, unknown, under my radar there is a theme churning.

When I think of an artist, I think of a woman at a potter's wheel, doesn’t' matter where. She is absorbed, listening, feeling the mud. A storm might be blowing in outside, in her head it is all mud and the universe. She listens to the sea.

I don't think of myself as that kind of artists. And yet today as I was tearing words and colors and thoughts and feelings and pictures out of old magazines, I was her. I was that artist throwing mud. I was an artist. I made art. This is a humbling experience. Who knows what will show up. I never know. It's a practice of listening, quick choices, trust. Or maybe an artistic Muse joined me and I was merely the scissors and glue.

Elizabeth Gilbert in her book Big Magic talks about this Muse. How inspiration didn't used to be something that we thought came from us but something outside us. We just listened and gave it wings. It wasn't ours. We are a vessel.

You are an artist. Art shifts from day to day, moment to moment. Art is a form of creation. When we stop creating, we dry up. Creating, listening, and acting on what we hear keeps our spirits lubricated - exercised- flowing. Get lost in this space. Writing is art, can be throwing mud, if I let it. Mud is hands on, dig in, loose yourself. It's big and messy. It's dirt and worms. It's dirty dishes, books in a pile. It's pausing long enough to play.

Listen to the Muse, get messy, let go. Give your inner critic a time out.

Try this...take an hour. One little hour out of your life and go throw mud. What does that mean to you? When do you get so lost, & so absorbed a jet engine wouldn't get your attention? Do you know? Play.

Paddle on my friend,


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