Thursday, June 4, 2009

Stress and the birth of Ideas

About two weeks ago my very old Plymouth Voyageur Minivan died.

I was busy glazing away in the studio while my husband was out running errands. When he came back, he very slowly walked over to where I was working and cautiously asked: "'s it going?"

"Fiiiiinnnnnnnnne......" I replied. I knew something was up. He never greets me like that.

"I have some bad news...." My first thought was something happened to all the pottery I have in tubs in the van that I cart back and forth to my weekly Art in the Park. "The transmission went on the van."

I honestly didn't know whether to laugh, cry or throw up. We knew it was coming. The poor van was 13 years old and had been with us from coast to coast.

Now these types of events never seem to time themselves so that it is convenient for US. And the last thing I needed was to spend what little I had saved up on another vehicle. (sigh). If you've ever gone through this sort of thing, then you understand just how much stress is involved. Need a new vehicle right away, have no other means of transportation and live out in the country. We stressed about what we could afford, we stressed about trying to find something we actually WANTED, we stressed about borrowing a car to get groceries, we stressed about the plans that now needed to be put on hold. Stress, stress, stress....STRESS!!!!

And in the midst of it all, the ideas began to flow. I haven't carried a sketch book with me everywhere I go, for a while now. I think I need to bring one along from now on. I couldn't believe it. Here I was, supposed to be looking for a new car, and all I could see were colours, blossoms, flowers, patterns, glazes and shapes. It was like the floodgates had opened and ideas were pouring out of me faster than I could get them all on paper. And these ideas were evolving, from one to the next.

I guess it was a bright spot on a temporarily gloomy horizon. Needless to say, we found the PERFECT vehicle. A truck like this one, in a lovely burgundy. And with it sitting comfortably in my driveway, the ideas are starting to slow down. Now I can take some time to digest them, work through them, and figure out what the hell just happened.


  1. Isn't life (and creativity) the funniest thing?!

  2. I know exactly what you mean. Ironic, isn't it? I think that it's what the sufi poet Rumi talked about as "being cracked open." These nasty little stressful jolts crack our shell, and creative energy pours in. Or grace, another term for it that works.

  3. I can't wait to see what comes out of it!