For Day two of the Creativity Boot Camp in which I’m participating, we were asked to do a journal entry on our thoughts on whether we consider ourselves an artist. And if not, what does constitute referring to someone as an artist. I think about this often as I ponder what makes someone a “writer”. Are we writers since we write blogs? Or do you need to be a published writer to refer to yourself as a writer? I do NOT consider myself a writer or an artist. I write. I love to write. But I would have a very hard time telling someone that what I do makes me a writer. I’m pushing myself through the journal entry to think deeper about this and am finding it very interesting as I broaden my thoughts to ART in general. I’d be interested in your thoughts on this!
Along with the journal entry, the prompt for the second day of the Creativity Boot Camp is Picnic.
Can become so dull. So expected. So drab and life draining. Same meals at the same times in the same room in the same chairs. Quiet introspection after a long day often comes easier than conversation when there is too much routine. There’s no spontaneity when every day life simply hums along as usual.
But throw in a twist. Something so simple as a change of scenery. A change of venue. And life can flip on its side. Bring a breath of fresh air. A new perspective. A welcomed respite from the mundane.
An outside picnic to take you away from the sterile kitchen feast on place mats and correctly ordered utensils. Enjoying the sticky sweetness of watermelon dripping down your wrist and licking it clean instead of reaching for the properly folded napkin. Giggling over a determined ant marching its way toward its goal of a crumb that you watch in amazement as it is hoisted onto the miniscule bug’s shoulders. Sitting indian style on a polka dotted mat, shoes tossed aside into the grass and watching a father and daughter toss a frisbee instead of rushing through a meal knowing a favorite TV show is awaiting you in the next room. Reminiscing about past dates in parks, by rivers, on mountains, AWAY from the norm, from the expected heart beat of life. Feeling not only satisfied from a portable meal but from getting out, even if only 20 feet away from that table, in that kitchen where you sit each day, always knowing what to expect.
An indoor picnic. One room away from that kitchen table. In front of a fire dancing with flames. On a fuzzy blanket normally folded neatly on the couch. A tray stacked with nibbles not normally served for a meal. Wine glasses placed on the floor without coasters. Legs intertwined with one another on the floor instead of separate and hidden under a table. Cheeks warmed from the hot glow from the hearth. Eyes connect. Smiles are found. It’s a week night. Normally a night filled with rushed answers to common questions. But the blanket, throw pillows and break from the ordinary is rejuvinating. Refreshing. Necessary.
Picnics don’t require fancy baskets. Picnics don’t need to be in perfectly manicured parks. You don’t need organized entertainment or coolers full of beverages.
Picnics are simply a break. A break from the norm. To bring new life to something (not just a meal) you do each day. Daily email reading and blog writing outside in the front yard. The morning cup (pot) of coffee bringing you to life outside on the front stoop or stone wall by the road. Reading the goodnight stories in the warm summer air under the stars. Serving snacks in the sandbox. Washing the dishes with an iPod pumping dance music in your ears.
The joy of a picnic is in its simplicity. And in how you feel as you shake off and fold up your blanket and return to life as you know it.