Over the years I’ve been given gifts of creativity by so many impressive people in my life. Truly. I get a bit overwhelmed with gratitude for the gifts people share with me. And over the last few years, not feeling whole at times, these gifts have carried me through some darker times when I wasn’t my best creative self and needed time to pause. But because of others’ love for me, they have freely given me beautiful gifts of creativity.
How amazing it is to be a creator and to then have people create for you! It feels like a million bucks. It really does. I’ve learned so much from others’ gifts of creativity.
Surrounded By Gifts of Creativity
I have a few specific moments in the last couple of years that stick out as profound creative connections. Times when gifts of creativity from others held me together, wrapping me up in their warmth and care, providing me with much needed love and belonging.
First is family.
My immediate family, Jordan my husband, as well as my children, whose support has been an integral part of my personal growth this year. It’s allowed me freedom to explore my creative journey and gives me so much strength.
Also my extended family – mothers, sisters, cousins, and close friends who feel like family. They have all lifted me up and brought me closer to my true self through their creative spirits. How fun is this photo of my sisters and cousins, who when we get together for a weekend retreat, make magic. All kinds of learning comes from one another, crafting, dancing, and lots and lots of laughter.
When I turned 40 last year, my sweet sister Sue put together a love quilt for me. She commissioned everyone close to me to make a square and patched them all together. It’s one of my most prized possessions and I cherish it deeply. Here I am pictured below with puffy tear-stained eyes as I was presented this loving gift.
I love to look at each square and think about how that specific person created that specific square for me. Each person took the time to hold space for me, create for me, and love me. It’s so empowering and I’m so grateful for this quilt, a true creative gift.
Second is my lady band, La Fawnduh.
To think how I’ve been in a band for a little over 2 years is crazy. I never would have thought in my lifetime that I would 1. Be in a band, and 2. Have the opportunity to perform on stage several times. What?? There are 7 of us in this lady band we call La Fawnduh, and it has been a highlight of my life and a huge gift of creativity. I play guitar, but before the band’s beginning, I’d never played before. So my journey is an example of how you can if you must. I have to thank my band’s drummer, Alison, who made our formation of a band fairly easy, exciting, and more creative than I ever realized it would be. As we practice together a few times a month, we get the opportunity to perform and showcase our collective creativity playing cover songs. We have so much fun and love to entertain. Our goal from the beginning was to keep it pretty light, taking into account our busy lives, and that our creativity and friendship come first. So we only perform for our local community and friends every once in a while, but we mostly have fun being together, jamming, and growing in our music. To quote Randi Zuckerberg, “We are as good as what you pay for, and we play for free.”
I wrote this poem in gratitude and love for my bandmates…
Forged from the depths of our drummer’s call to action, we goddesses formed into what is now known as La Fawnduh, the band. LaFawnduh, representing a woman who’s energy force is bold and desired, her call beckoning the masses to join and revel in wonder and merriment of her power and grace. In musical form, La Fawnduh is a union of 7 who embody this feminine force — A pair of bright light singers and shakers giving our sound words, actions, and fire at the front of the stage. Two ruby red guitars, playing as one as they dance back and forth to compliment and complete each other. The big bad black bass, with it’s deep hum and rhythm of vibrations giving our sound true life. Black and white keys playing in synchronicity and harmony as they compliment the full cacophony of sound. Lastly, but never least, the assortment of drums and cymbals bringing us all in alignment, carrying the beat of our music to fullness. We are La Fawnduh, the band.
Third is this online creative community.
Sometimes I can’t believe blogging has taken me to the places I’ve been, lessons I’ve learned, and people I’ve met who’ve influenced who I am today. I’m so lucky to be part of this creative community, an amazing force that both inspires and challenges me.
I must share a quick shout out to my writing and editing team for Make and Takes, current and past writers. Many who I’ve never met in person, but is a kindred spirit. They are the best creative people around. I’m so grateful for these women who’ve carried me and the blog to make it whole. Their creative words, images, and DIY projects are a gift to me and the Make and Takes community. Thank you.
These gifts of creativity I’ve shared above are life giving and brought me to a new level of love, friendship, and spirituality. To paraphrase Brené Brown’s definition of spirituality it is, “connection rooted in love and belonging.” How profound it is to have this type of connection with another person, let alone a whole community. Thank you to all of you for the creative connection your gifts give me each and every day!
What a beautiful and vulnerable tale marie. Thank u for always sharing with such simplicity and authenticity. I am constantly inspired to be more of myself from you.
Thank you, Vali! And I to you and your amazing gifts, especially surrounding storytelling! Love you!
Marie. I LOVED reading every word of this! And what was in the space between. I am so thankful to be your sister! Always and forever! -Nan
Thank you, Nan! Love being family bookends with you!