Pictured above is one of my sketchbooks / visual journals, featuring what I call an alphabet rubber stamp meditation.
That is, the careful stamping out of a beloved poem or quote into a sketchbook.
It’s a passage by Jungian analyst Clarissa Pinkola Estés:
“The creative force flows over the terrain of our psyches looking for the natural hollows,
the arroyos, the channels that exist in us.
We become its tributaries, its basins; we are its pools, ponds, streams, and sanctuaries.
The wild creative force flows into whatever beds we have,
those we are born with as well as those we dig with our own hands.
We don’t have to fill them, we only have to build them.”
– Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Women Who Run with the Wolves
When Women Who Run with the Wolves first came out in the mid-90’s, I read it over and over and gave a copy to all of the women close to me. My original (first edition, hard cover!) copy is so marked up, filled with marginalia, underlines and highlights. Fun to look at it and see what was so important to me all those years ago.
I read this quote aloud at workshops to help illustrate the idea of making containers for creative practice.
Crafting a small, portable sketchbook / visual journal for the sole purpose of paying fierce attention to what we love most in this world and in our lives, is the best way I know to make a vessel, a container for the creative force that wants to flow to us and through us.
Even after reading this passage for some 15 years now, I still get choked up when I get to the part,
“The wild creative force flows into whatever beds we have, those we are born with as well as those we dig with our own hands.”
Unless we have tools, a safe environment and set of practices to support our creative visions, creating can feel like working with a blindfold on, or trying to dig something out of solid ground with bare hands.
The visual journal / creative sketchbook / art journal is where we experience freedom of expressing our wild creative force.
It’s where we Dream on Paper the new ideas within that are ready to take form next.
How about you?
If you dared, even a little, where would your own wild creative force take you?