Angst! Tense muscles! That sense of unrelenting pressure, of being in over my head!
That’s where I found myself about halfway through this 31-Days-31-Collages-and-Posts commitment. Heel of hand to forehead, and “What was I thinking?” predominating my mind. I wrote about the problem in a comment I left elsewhere:
I am getting distractions and hindrances to posting daily, especially with the qualification I’ve given myself not to flash-publish without giving a post at least a little sit time, then proofing for erroneous messages. Also, I’m slated to go away on a silent retreat this coming weekend, where I’ll be out of internet for three days...! I’d thought I could get posts prepared ahead and scheduled to publish automatically while I’m away, but lately I’ve gotten doubtful about even getting the day’s post up and out! All this is making me tense, and that’s choking up the writing pipes!...
So what did I do?
Well, first I “happened” to get email notification of Kel Rolf’s post called “Permission.” I read it. I found lots of good sense in it. And I decided, as she, to give myself permission to do less than perfectly, miss a few days if I must, and catch them up later if I so decided.
Then I stepped aside to my prayer chair, and let down my nerves with God. And then…
I followed my heart, which led me into my creativity room, to my art table, and I started messing around with…
I just wanted to handle the papers, work with the patterns, use a process called “cutting and folding back,” and not create anything “significant.”
As I got immersed in this process, the angst fell away, my head cleared—and I even found myself with an illustration (or two—see below) for a coming blog post (this one)!
From there I went and wrote one of my most difficult pieces, touching on domestic abuse (scary subject).
I’ve gotten posts up and published daily, too—haven’t missed a one! (Yet. But if I do, I’ll give myself grace and not let it throw me out of the marathon. I’ll scramble to my feet and re-enter the race, quite possibly refreshed again!)
So, can collage be therapeutic, especially for stress? I have found it so. And you may, too. Give it a try! (Junk mail scraps, a glue stick, and some index cards or other pieces of paper to stick them to: That’s all you need. Lots cheaper than a therapist, and in such cases as above, just as good.)
The process used in the collages above:
It’s as simple as it sounds.
- Take a piece of paper, preferably with different colors or patterns on back and front. Some scrapbooking papers are ideal for this. (Or, paste two different papers together, back to back. Let dry, then proceed.)
- Fold it in half (or, as in the circles example above, just cut it starting from one straight edge as if it were the fold line), and flip back the cut pieces. (The second example uses a combination of the two methods.)
- Paste the resulting arrangement on a background paper. Here I used black. The circle design ended up working well because I happened to cut circles to flip, and the underneath paper (page) contained several circles. Straight lines were more appropriate for the second example, with its straight lines and rectangles.
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