Finding Our Wings

 Today marks the two year anniversary of Insecure Writer's Support Group! 
You can go here for more information!

 A big thank you to our founder Alex Cavanaugh!  C'mon Captain you need to blow out the candles on the cake!

Alex has a  big announcement:  "And because the IWSG means so much to me, I want to secure its future as a safe place for writers. A place where writers at any stage can find hope, support, and answers. "

              Coming next month – the Insecure Writer’s Support Group website!

  Thank you Alex for being our light!  He has secured an awesome team of admins to help run it - Joy Campbell, Michelle Wallace, Joylene Nowell Butler Susan Gourley/Kelley, L. Diane Wolfe, and Lynda Young.

"The black moment is the moment when the real message of transformation is going to come. At the darkest moment comes the light.” - Joseph Campbell

I am insecure today-I live in doubt.  I know it is a part of the process of being creative, but I must continue on the path I have chosen.  On my path, I hear screech owls, a ton of crickets chirping, and is that a wolf I hear howling, or maybe my hound has seen another rabbit on his deck.  

I was reminded this past week of a butterflies' journey.  I volunteer at my local Senior Center, once a month.  I teach art. This past week we made Origami butterflies.  Some were happy with their creation and others squabbled their art was not good enough.  I assured them they were all beautiful.  Many shook their heads disagreeing with me.   I hijacked their Christmas tree in the corner of the game room and decorated it, with all the fragile, folded wings the group had created.   When they saw the collective effect of their art-they agreed the butterflies were beautiful and everyone smiled.

 I haven't felt at ease teaching at this center.  At first no one would look at me, they didn't want to speak.  Then they dared each other to participate, but now I see their smiles, as we are getting use to each other.  It felt like they let their guard down and a shift in mood transformed us all. 

When I looked at the tree, I thought of butterflies being words.  When we start writing we are unsure, we question our words.  We feel lost sometimes on our path and worried no one will understand us, see our vision, our intention.  Yet, we can only grow when we extend and share.  Words give us wings to glide, float and soar. 

I discovered as I wrote this post that the word Origami is from the Heian era in Japan. Then there is talk about this art form being discovered after paper was formed.   It originally refers to a form of writing! (huh?! )  "One of the oldest and most direct references to paper folding appeared in a 1680 Japanese poem by Ihara Saikaku, in which the author writes about paper butterflies that appear in a dream." *****    I tried to find the translated poem, but no such luck.

The Japanese view paper is a landscape used to create. We as writers know this-it is a journey word by word.  If we use our GPS=Gifts, Passion and Spirit, we have a chance to find the right destination for our words.  We just have to continue on until we transform~  And as Joseph Campbell said, "At the darkest moment comes the light."  

“Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us, or we find it not.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson


Putting them on the tree was a wonderful idea!
Sometimes by themselves, the words don't seem right. But when we string them all together it makes something amazing.
Now, where's that cake?
M Pax said…
What a rewarding thing to do.

I love what you say about paper. It's an amazing material, isn't it?
Wanda said…
I can relate to that feeling of needing to get attendees at the senior center to trust you as one of your own. Sounds like you're making great progress. I love the idea of paper being a landscape in which we create.
Mary said…
So glad you are teaching once a month at the senior center. I think butterflies was a great idea, and how wonderful to think of putting all of their creations on a Christmas tree.. I am sure they are pleased with their work even if they say otherwise.
Shelly said…
Butterflies equals new beginnings-rebirth.

Hugs and chocolate,
Sherry Blue Sky said…
What a glorious post this is, kiddo. I so love you for bringing smiles to those lonely elders........LOVE that you put their butterflies on the tree. I have worked in those places and can assure you that "arts and crafts for the elderly" is usually geared WAY down, to the point where the activities are juvenile and insulting. I love that you are broadening the is a gift you are giving, more than you can begin to imagine. You are kind. Your smile lights their day. Trust me, I know these things. I am proud of you for hanging in. This journey will bring you back gifts.
Renee said…
I enjoyed reading about the origins or Origami and so glad that the elderly are able to perform this art. I like the way you showed them that together their projects were even more beautiful. Keep up your good works toward others.
Love that definition of GPS, and I love origami, so this was a really cool post to read. Thanks for sharing!
Arlee Bird said…
I think you are doing an amazing job. At everything. Can you bottle up some of that energy? Oh, and send me a dose of your creativity too!

A Faraway View
Poet Laundry said…
I'm looking forward to checking out that writer's website! Love that butterfly project! I'm glad things are starting to shift in the class too :-D
Suzanne Furness said…
"Words give us wings to glide and soar," I love that, so beautiful. I am sure the seniors are enjoying the time you spend with them. Lovely post, Ella.
L. Diane Wolfe said…
How sweet! You found a way to connect with those people.
E.J. Wesley said…
LOVE that first quote, Ella! Very much captures the pivotal moment in my own writing journey. I was really thinking about giving up. I'd tried everything and I wasn't getting better.

It took that moment of darkness to finally allow myself to write without major insecurities, because I felt it was my last, best shot at becoming the writer I wanted to be. It worked. :)

I started trusting my instincts more, and quit worrying so much about what others were going to think.

The Hound must've been sleeping when Mr. Rabbit snuck so close to the house! Or we'll just say he was sleeping to make him feel better. :D
Vicki Sheehan said…
i love that you volunteer, even though you were a bit are brave. i love your butterfly project and that you hung them all together on the tree. sometimes we need to stick together to feel secure : )
Ella said…
Hi Vicki-I was brave-lol! Thank you-I am busy making garlands. I think all artists are butterflies :D
And we should flock together, often!
Thank you~

EJ-I am so happy you didn't submit to the dark and found your way!
We have to remember it is our voice and we are Unique! I am happy for you EJ! Yes, in the hound's defense he was sleeping! He had a long walk the night before and slept in that morning. He does go a bit crazy when he goes out the door. He howls and sniffs all four corners of the deck~ It is crazy to see! Thank you EJ for sharing! :D

L.Diane-Patience is what did it. I do have to admit, the last time I drove there I didn't want to go in. I told myself it will change and I must smile and shake it off. I am glad I did! :D

Suzanne-Thank you! I am glad I kept at it~ :D

Hi Jenn-Thank you! Yes, it takes time. I am nervous to go downtown and try. Big studio and I will have to stand up before a crowd. I must be brave again, lol ;D
Ella said…
Lee-You are cute! It comes in waves-I think Omega 3 and coffee helps. YOU are sweet~ I need some tips on juggling-okay, its a deal ;D
Thank you!

Tyrean-Thank you for stopping by :D
It is fun to think of paper as a landscape~

Renee-Thank you! You know it has been a challenge. I struggle with the time window and what they can and can't do. We are learning together :D

Sherry-Thank you! I know it will do my heart good. Smiles do make a difference~ I showed them some green type jewelry we can make for the holidays-they were really excited! It will be fun to be part of the magic :D

Shelly-I wish I could give you a chocolate butterfly ;D Hugs!

Mary-Thank you! They seem pleased and had fun teasing me about getting in trouble for hijacking the tree. ;D

Wanda-Yes, I was told it would go this way. I am friendly and hoped it wouldn't linger. It seems the butterflies performed their magic ;D Thank you!

MPax-Thank you! Yes, it truly is~
I'm going to go hug a tree now-lol

Alex-Well said Captain! Yes, we did need a cake and some Hot Tamales ;D Thank you~

Elise Fallson said…
Origami cranes are the only ones I know how to do by memory. Most of the time I find myself folding paper napkins at restaurants for the kids. They like to see how small I can make them. One day I'd like to make a huge chandelier out of paper cranes...who knows, maybe one day I will. And you know what? Cranes are like butterflies, and like you said, butterflies are like words... Loved this post. Thanks for sharing. (:
Yolanda Renee said…
So awesome that you volunteer, and teach art! So inspiring - I'm very impressed! You are amazing!
Ella said…
Hi Elise-Thank you! Oh, I do hope you do this~ I have a friend who made a wreath out of them. I will try to find the link and send it to you :D This makes me smile~Thank you for sharing!

Yolanda-Thank you! So are you ;D I miss Alaska-it is nice to know someone who is there who has a beautiful heart and mind!