An Artist Date

Part of my twelve week artist recovery program (The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron) is to use the tool, An Artist Date. Very basically, I am encouraged to take my inner artist person out on a date — just the two of us. (Jessi is very concerned about this. Little wonder as I have begun talking to my artist, turning my head to the right and speaking down towards my elbow. I told her that maybe I was talking to my dear friend, Little Wife!)

Anyhow, my artist and I stopped at the Morton Arboretum for awhile the other evening and were happily engaged in admiring not just the trees, the flora and fauna, but also the summer art exhibit “nature unframed”. So many artists, so many pieces — the sun was going down so we could not stop to enjoy every one, but this was my favorite.

My artist wanted to quickly walk away from this, but I begged her to walk closer with me. So glad she listened! This piece, created by Thomas Matsuda from Massachusetts, is made from charred and carved trees and stumps. He challenges us to think about fire and its effects — is it destruction or is it the path to purification?

Sitting near it evoked so many memories within my heart. My dad was a forester in Minnesota, and part of my growing up was getting educated about the dangers of forest fires. Smokey Bear was always there, sometimes visible, sometimes not. I remember as a shy five-year old going to my dad’s office, walking down into the lower level with the rest of the family and watching a very scary movie about a very big forest fire, probably out west somewhere, but in my precious egg shell mind, it could be right outside of town. My family and I could easily be in danger at any time. When Smokey said, “Only YOU can prevent forest fires”, I took that very personally.

But anyway, enough with my digress. Bottom line: my artist and I had a great date. We nurtured each other’s creativity. We had a good talk about the art we viewed. We enjoyed each other’s company. And that’s a really important part of having dual personalities!

Enjoy your gift of today! Be creative!

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