Saturday, May 5, 2012

Art Exercise with Calendars

At our retreat to plan the Create in Me retreat, we tried the art exercise/meditation that our leader had planned to have us do the first night of the Create in Me retreat.  I wrote this post about the process.  To sum up, we arrived to our tables after breakfast to find 3 markers at our seats; everyone had different colors. Our leader brought in a blank calendar page, October, for each of us. We were told to fill in our calendars however we'd like. We could use the markers of our neighbors, but we couldn't talk. We would have 10 minutes.  For the more recent Create in Me retreat, we had the materials under our seats.

The one below is mine:

We had just finished Easter, but clearly my brain has moved on to the next liturgical holiday, Pentecost, the holiday that celebrates the arrival of the Holy Spirit in tongues of flame.

Other people, however, had calmer images of grapes:

I was interested to see how people approached this exercise.  Some filled in each square individually:

Some creations were more tightly controlled than others:

I can see the patterns in the piece above, but less so in the selections below.

And some people refused to be boxed in by calendar squares:

In the end, we took our calendar pages and hung them up around one of our main meeting areas:  fascinating to see the different approaches.

What does it all mean?  We talked about the activities that fill our calendars and our attempts to tame our schedules. We all wrestle with the same issues: too much that we'd like to do and too little time to do it all.

But the exercise reminded us that we each get precisely the same amount of time, no matter how we want to divide or decorate our little boxes. When we take a hard look at how we spend our time, we'd probably be amazed at how much time we're not utilizing well. How much television are we watching? How much Internet wandering? Are we exercising enough or not enough? Can we make a pot of soup that can nourish us for several days or do we feel the need to whip up something fresh each day?

And then there's the issue of laundry and housework. My house is dustier than I would like, but at the end of the year, I'd rather have more writing done than a dust-free house.

I came home with the resolution to do this exercise once a month.  I need to find some calendar pages so that I'm ready for the summer months.

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