As the solstice approaches, I cling to my morning rituals. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, the ritual actually begins the night before. I pack my gym bag, get my coffee cup ready, line up my work bag, pack my lunch, and set my alarm. When it goes off at 4:30 am, I get up nearly instantaneously, partially because of the previous night’s ritual of preparation, partially because I know how frustrated I will feel later in the day if I don’t get up in time to make it to the 5:30 am spin class. Sometimes I remind myself of Twyla Tharp’s words from her book The Creative Habit :
“I begin each day of my life with a ritual; I wake up at 5:30 A.M., put on my workout clothes, my leg warmers, my sweatshirts, and my hat. I walk outside my Manhattan home, hail a taxi, and tell the driver to take me to the Pumping Iron gym at 91st street and First Avenue, where I workout for two hours. The ritual is not the stretching and weight training I put my body through each morning at the gym; the ritual is the cab. The moment I tell the driver where to go I have completed the ritual.
It’s a simple act, but doing it the same way each morning habitualizes it — makes it repeatable, easy to do. It reduces the chance that I would skip it or do it differently. It is one more item in my arsenal of routines, and one less thing to think about.”
Anyone in my family who reads this would be shocked at my alacrity in getting out of bed on these days. But as I get older, these arsenal of routines, normalizing my days, opens up space and possibility in my brain, allowing the light of creativity to enter.
Use a figure as the focal point of your collage. Collage something that weaves in and out of the brain/skull area. Add mixed media if you like.
Everyday through December 25th, I’ll be making a 5×5 inch collage, writing a short entry on this blog and sharing a prompt for those who might want to participate along with me. You can follow my progress by subscribing to this blog through the sidebar on the blog homepage, or by following me on Instagram.