The wonders of life reach new heights of awareness for those who become adept at seeing with their imaginations.
Years ago, while vacationing on Manitoulin Island in Ontario, Canada, I happened upon a rock shaped like the state of Ohio. The shoreline was a massive pile of rocks, so why I focused on this particular rock is a mystery. The important thing is that it happened and I lugged that old rock back to camp. From that point on I wondered if we might find a Massachusetts, Michigan, or Alaska in the heap. We kept our eyes glued to the ground and managed to find another Ohio rock.
Years later, while visiting my friend Karen, we started talking about her hobby as a painter. Unlike the traditional canvas artists, Karen paints on odds and ends. Apparently there are lots of people who salvage things from the house or pick up junk at a flea market to be used as their canvases. I told her about the Ohio rocks. She was as fascinated about the idea of painting a rock as I was about her hobby. A project was born.
To me, someone with terrible small motor skills, almost no training and even less artistic talent, painting tiny pictures on rocks would be an unmitigated disaster. Yet, I figured it would be fairly straightforward for an artist. I found out later how much more goes into a project like this. First, there is the research and the creative inspiration. What should go on an Ohio rock? What would be an attractive design concept? Next came the messy part. The old rocks had to be thoroughly scrubbed and primed or the paint would not stick. Getting tiny amounts of paint to go where they are supposed to on a rough uneven surface proved to be a major challenge. Several of the tiny objects had to be “erased” and repainted.
“Creativity is allowing oneself to make mistakes; art is knowing which ones to keep.” — Scott Adams
Once the mineral masterpieces were completed, they needed to be protected with sealant. This was no time problems. Alas, there were problems –- some of the paint ran. Karen’s recounting of that set-back was a reminder that being an artist also means being patient and solving problems.
When Karen called to tell me the project was finished, I recalled the following Jim Rohn story:
“A man took a rock pile and turned it into a fabulous garden. Somebody came and saw it and said, ‘You know, you and the good Lord have a fabulous garden here.” The gardener said, “I understand your point. But you should have seen it a few years ago when God had it all by Himself.” — Jim Rohn, Talking about our role in the miracle process.
Karen graciously shared credit with me, the rock finder. But she was actually the one who shared in God’s miracle process.
“It is through creating, not possessing, that life is revealed.” — Vida D. Scudder
“We must accept that this creative pulse within us is God’s creative pulse itself.” — Joseph Chilton Pearce
Two dusty old rocks plus her imagination, skill, patience, hard work and some special know-how created some very nice artwork that I will be proud to show off for years to come. But the deeper satisfaction belongs to Karen.
“Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort.” — Franklin D. Roosevelt
“My future starts when I wake up every morning . . . Every day I find something creative to do with my life.” — Miles Davis, musician
© Copyright July 2008, Clancy Cross. All rights reserved.
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