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Cultivating Your Creative Life by Alena Hennessy

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- 11 -
Planting
Seeds
Yesterday my brother and I took a long walk in an old Florida park.
I had not planned to spend an afternoon outside. I was visiting over
the holidays with my family and we were simply headed out to
get some art supplies, stop by the bank, and come back home. At
first I hesitated when he suggested the walk, thinking, “There’s not
enough time.” But after the errands were done, I felt myself let go
of something and agreed.
We drove under a thick canopy of trees and quietly got out of
the car. Not many words were exchanged as we headed toward
the rotting boardwalk. As I wandered, I slowly felt my internal state
unwinding, my senses heightening and expanding, my world grow-
ing bigger with each step.
[ Spending time out in nature can refuel the S enSeS
and creative reS erveS. ]
c hapter 1
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“I thank you God for this most amazing day, for the
leaping greenly spirits of trees, and for the blue dream
of sky and for everything which is natural,
which is infinite, which is yes.”
E.E . CUmmINGS
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(Text)
“I thank you God for this most amazing day, for the
leaping greenly spirits of trees, and for the blue dream
of sky and for everything which is natural,
which is infinite, which is yes.”
E.E . CUMMINGS
planting SeedS - 13 -
I began to notice the many surrounding sounds and the magical swampland that awaited us. I heard
the gentle cry of the osprey and felt the comfort of the creaking wood beneath my feet. I looked up
and saw light was filtering and flickering through old cypress trees, their silver moss hanging down
in delicate gentleness.
The water underneath the boardwalk stretched out to the horizon, the ripples of dancing white
light and the vast blue hue reflected in the water. I was struck by the thick algae that formed in
earthen masses. It held worlds of life in it, as numerous birds hunted and fed on tiny fish and crawl-
ers. I felt my mind and heart expanding into my environment with each passing minute.
We then decided to climb a two-story wooden tower that looked out over this large body of
deep blue. I only saw life: living, breathing, and in constant motion. Looking out from the tower, I
remembered the Buddhist term annica.
Annica means impermanence, or life being in a state of constant change and motion. I saw this.
The river danced and moved, carrying things with it. I felt stillness, and yet everything around me
was moving. It dawned on me that feeling still when everything is changing around you is vital to
understanding life. The cycle of birth and death continues and does not stop for anyone.
As artists we tend to play with motion. We love things that are kinesthetic. A repeated stroke with a
pen or paintbrush seems like a natural desire that wants to be expressed.
[ r epeated markS or StrokeS from a bruS h can
give an art piece a SenS e of movement. ]
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