Janel T.

My third grade teacher put a classical music selection on the phonograph (yes, really, a phonograph!) and instructed us to draw what we felt.  I was lost when she took my ruler away. There were no marks that I could make on my own that would be ok for anyone to see.

I grew up believing that creativity and art belonged to and resided in other people.

Life has a way of forcing us to tap into new ways of coping and new ways of seeing the world. Art and writing became two of those in the really hard years. I was more centered, happier, a better person, a better parent and better at my job when I made time for creativity to flow. I learned, at times, how sacred those moments could be.

I have written bad poetry, infested art journals with low-brow family drama, strung beads, twisted metal, folded paper, turned wood, dyed fabric, made "stuff" on my sewing machine--a dilettante in search of a medium, a closet artist in search of a voice.

So it is that now, in my later adult years, I find myself empty when I ignore the creative part of myself. But acknowledging it and even giving it leftover time is not enough anymore. I need structure, community, feedback, and dare I say the word, discipline. I want support, I want to hold myself accountable for offering the work of my hands and the work of my heart to the people in front of me. I approach this class with a fear, hope, longing and excitement.