Monday, April 14, 2014

Reclaimed Brilliance, Part 1

“Reclaimed Brilliance” was the prompt we were given in a Story Sessions Write In recently. It caused me to think about parts of my life when I felt creative and parts where the creativity had been pushed back. I began writing but did not finish during that write in. The words just kept coming. I worked on it little by little over the course of a few days and finally finished after writing seven full journal pages.

“Reclaimed” is a word that can be very comforting. I think of it as taking back something I lost or just forgot about, something that may have been pushed way down deep. I love the word “brilliance” because it sounds like such a happy word to me. Brilliance can be described by words like magnificent, splendid and grand. It can also mean unusual mental ability. When I think of brilliance what comes to mind is light shining, bursting into color and sending rays in all directions.

“Reclaimed Brilliance” for me led to thinking about reclaiming creativity in different areas of my life especially in the area of writing. 

It’s interesting how some of these prompts will take us on journeys that seem to have little to do with the prompt, but I think if you will bear with me you might see why it led me in this direction.

When I was young I had quite an imagination. My mother told me I had an imaginary monkey who was always getting in my way. My imagination was fueled by the many books I read. My father would take us to the library every week and I think I read all the kids biographies and many other books. When I was ten I wrote a song. One year my friend and I started writing a fantasy story. We would take turns taking the spiral notebook home from school and add to it each day. I don’t think we ever finished it. Another time I entered a contest writing a book review. I didn’t win but got an honorable mention and a consolation prize. 

me in third grade
I was very curious, constantly asking questions of my elders including my aunts. My parents usually answered me, but more often than not my aunts told me I was too inquisitive. I took my time when I was washing dishes or some other chore. Many times my grandmother would tell me that I was so slow, but I enjoyed being slow. My grandfather, who used to take me to school sometimes, also thought I was slow. He would say, "Grandma's slow but she's old, got a wooden leg." He may have been mostly teasing, but it wasn't really helping me. Mostly I was slow because I enjoyed what I was doing. I loved to wander around my backyard when the wind was blowing strongly before a storm and stay out until the last minute. I guess that was a little of the wildness in me coming out.

I began playing the piano when I was young. I don’t believe that area of creativity was ever really buried. Even though I don’t do it as much now, it is very much a part of me and how I express myself, so I’m not including that in what I am reclaiming.The piano playing was actually something that helped carry me along.

Later in life, after I married and had my first four children, we began homeschooling. Now there was some creativity in that area because we didn’t have a lot of money. Also when my girls were young we were creative about birthday parties and such for the same reason. Since homeschooling was a new venture, I began keeping journals in order to record the memories we would be making.

our girls when we began homeschooling

There were some glimmers of reclaiming during those years.

As time passed my journal writing became more sporadic. Sometimes months would go by when nothing was written. It seems like most of my creative writing got buried. I did not even think of myself as a writer. Of course I was busy raising children so that might explain why there was not time for much extra.

In recent years I let myself get really busy with duties at home, duties helping other family members, and generally staying too busy to pay much attention to myself and my creativity. I know I did a lot of complaining and didn’t really keep my mind on being thankful. I wouldn’t always notice the good, but would often complain about the bad, or what I saw as bad.

But change was coming and more sparks of creativity were making themselves known.

(Part 2 is HERE)

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