Thursday, June 26, 2014

Labyrinths and Creative Process

A labyrinth is a path to the center but it is not a straight path, it winds and doubles back, curving round the center and leading the walker toward and away from the center in the process of walking.
This sort of movement provides a wonderful metaphor for the creative process. Creating doesn't proceed neatly from point A to point B.  It winds, circles back and can seem to take forever - a maker may move close to completion only to discover another option and take things apart again to try a new form.

At times it can feel like you are in a maze but a labyrinth will always lead to the center - you can't get lost. The challenge is to persist and keep going even when it feels like you are just going in circles.
Often with anything we want to make, the greatest challenge is getting started.  When the path winds or it becomes unclear that we are making progress, staying the course becomes the new challenge.  What is important is just to keep moving, because even when it seems you are just doubling back the same way you came you are still always moving toward the center.

Learning to trust that there is a path and taking time to enjoy the process offers the opportunity for surprises and unexpected discovery along the way.  This is where a guide can help. Having the knowledge that the path is supposed to wind and double back and seem confusing can help in persisting through challenges or discouragement.
This is the role of the teacher: to support the process even when it looks messy or repetitive.  Knowledge of development helps here too - so often we grow in fits and starts, moving forward then doubling back as we integrate new skills and understanding.  When we are taught to enjoy the winding walk and not worry so much about our final destination, we often find that getting to the center is that much more satisfying.  We end with a product that is a true reflection and even a celebration of all the steps we took along the way.  
Visit our website to see our new dates for Labyrinth Workshops or Visit Kathryn's Etsy site for handmade labyrinth art.