The Magic of Convergence
CONVERGENCE (or, How a Word-of-the-Day, a Thwart, and a Handy File of Ideas Conspired to Write this Month’s Limb)
More often than not, ideas for topics to cover in Out on a Limb magically pop into my head about two weeks prior to publication. That happened in June of this year. I was so pleased. I even started to compose sentences in my imagination long before I sat down at the computer. But when it was time to type those imagined words into this document, a nagging question in my head demanded an answer. Did I write about this topic before? Darn. I did. So, if you want to re-visit my September 2011 offering on the importance of tracking for the role it plays in conveying “you matter,” just click here! I feel so strongly about tracking as a necessary ingredient for joy that I wish there were a required high school or college course that taught people how to be a caring tracker, and also how to seek and receive tracking from others.
The temptation was to write further on the same topic (as evidenced in the previous paragraph) but I did not really have that much new to say. Thwarted! In my allotted time, I needed to come up with an alternative topic. So I went searching in one of my stashes of ideas for future Limb topics. My cousin Nancy had forwarded an article about Melissa Glorieux, whose absolutely remarkable nature mandalas are made of foraged, seasonal material. I browsed through twelve photographs of Glorieux’s work, and my joy meter started to rise. Next, I found Glorieux (whose French name translates to glorious!) on Facebook, and even more photographs. I was soothed by the simplicity and beauty of her mandalas. Poof! That frustrated, thwarted feeling (bordering on panic) had vanished.
I reflected further on Glorieux’s art, and was reminded of a recent Word-of-the-Day from the Dictionary.com website: beatinest. This 19th century word is an adjective that can be found in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and is used to describe something remarkable or extraordinary. In Finn-like dialogue, I might say, “ain’t those mandalas by Glorieux the beatinest?” That got me wondering what photographs of mine were my beatinest? The photograph above is not a mandala but it has a similar effect on me when I land upon it in my photo browser. It soothes me. Its simplicity evokes an all-is-okay-in-the-world sentiment that is helpful during these times.
In the final step of this convergence of seemingly unrelated bits and pieces, Glorieux’s art made me want to experiment with re-organizing a bunch of items that sit in a revered spot in my dining room. You can see my experimentation below. Lo and behold, I not only had a Limb written, but I also got to try and step into Glorieux’s shoes for a bit, too.
And the message of this meandering story? Don’t give up when you are thwarted. Expose yourself to the creative work of someone else, and it just might inspire you. That’s an equation for joy, and it certainly beats having a pity party over being thwarted. Convergence can be magical.
Comments on the blog post are welcome — see the bottom of this page.
Prompts for Joy
Click here to see an underwater mandala that will b-l-o-w y-o-u a-w-a-y. (Cheers, Claudette Bergman!)
Click here if you want to hear a song that will make you want to dance and snap your fingers. Promise. (Thanks, Roberta Gelt.)
Top: Centering Scrap on Doran Beach, Bodega Bay, CA.
Middle: Two non-circular mandalas by Martha Clark Scala.