Hallelujah for CREATIVITY and the celebration of diversity! As one of the final blog entries in my creative writing class at the GT Language Institute for Spring Session One, my class chose eight topics for photos to be taken by everyone over the weekend. The goal was to loosely capture the same “Scenes from a Day” in their individual lives in order to tell a story about themselves. We hoped this project would help us glimpse how different and unique each one is—being that the 15 students hail from Saudi Arabia, Colombia, Korea, China, Libya, Taiwan, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Venezuela, and Spain.
We agreed to post our photos--one of the bedroom, a view from our window, shoes we wear every day, the fridge, an activity from the day, an object in the hand, our computer desktop, and writing or drawing on paper--on the same day at the same time in class, so that everyone would have the freedom to create independently. My desire was for my students to experience the quality of their own creative voices and imagery while at the same time collaborating with their classmates to make “one” class project—something like individual singers contributing to a chorus.
I asked them if they wanted me to participate and they said yes. Below are my photos and captions for “Scenes from a Day (February 26-28). First, however, I invite you to sample some of my students' imaginative responses: Blueberry Cellophane, Pitch Your Guts, Butterflying to Infinity, The Footprint of Water, and Happy Stapler.
1. BEDROOM: COMPOSING AND REPOSING—WHEREVER!
Creativity dwells in my home, in my husband, and in my heart. We both write, make art, and teach. Our bedroom has two creativity stations. Here you witness my Chiboogamoo happily composing underneath a painting we brought back from the top end of Australia.
2. VIEW FROM YOUR WINDOW: UNHARNESSED IMAGINATION
SEES BEYOND BARRIERS
My imagination seeks companionship through my art and by SOUL BLOGGING. I greet ALL GUESTS—real and imagined—with “HELLO” and “GOOD.” In my physical world, my Chiboogamoo and I live in a condo in Decatur and can walk to the library and numerous pubs and shops in 10 to 15 minutes.
3. SHOES YOU ALWAYS WEAR: DEPENDABLE WORTHY STEEDS
I am a PILGRIM. I am on a SPIRITUAL ART JOURNEY. I depend on my sturdy shoes to take me to places of DISCOVERY away from the sole preoccupation of self to the UNIVERSALITY we all share!
4. FRIDGE: SAY YES
I say YES to nurturing the BODY and the SOUL! YES! Feed me lovingly one and all. I believe in the joy of mutuality and reciprocity. I believe in a steady diet of YESes and CREATIVITY.
5. AN ACTIVITYFROM YOUR DAY: CONNECTING WITH THE WORLD
At moments, TIME stops. Suns set. We breathe our individual happy breaths, but then we are compelled to connect with OTHERS…and the WORLD. The New York Times serves me indigestible facts--citizens are being killed in Libya by their own government. (See my blog entry about interaction with Libyan students.) It is warm for February. The early evening air whispers softly of approaching spring.
6. AN OBJECT IN YOUR HAND: THE WORLD
I’ve got the whole world in my hands! I feel so fortunate to commune with the people of the world here at the Language Institute at Georgia Tech! You broaden my experience of the self; you deepen me. You make me a better person, artist, and teacher. (Listen to Veronica Frosgren sing the song, “I’ve Got the Whole World in My Hands” in Dublin.)
7. YOUR DESKTOP COMPUTER SCREEN: CELEBRATION OF COLOR
Green excites and ignites me. My green “Celebration of Summer” mermaid greets me every day on my “virtual” desktop. I absolutely adore COLOR. As an artist, my “real” desktop is an explosive song of COLOR and IMAGE. I am a primitive sophisticate!
8. WRITE OR DRAW SOMETHING ON A WHITE SHEET OF PAPER: YES
YES! YES, I say to myself. Not good. Not bad. Just is. Say YES! Lean into YES and see where it takes you! Say YES! (To see more on this topic of YES, check out Alice Teeter’s poem with the same name in a past blog entry of mine.)
Hallelujah for the JOURNEY! That concludes COFFEE WITH HALLELUJAH for today. SOUL BLOG with me and tell me about your JOURNEY today!