Every time I read one of Cynthia Bydlinski's summaries of the art therapy program, I get this silly smile on my face. It's the same thing every time, there's so much to be said for her and Joyce's methodology. I can imagine applying some of the same principles to one of my corporate planning meetings in my "previous" life.
A song, a little reflection on some aspect of the world around us and then dealing with whatever the task at hand might have been in the most creative way possible. Okay, so it sounds a little crazy, but one thing for sure, I've missed Cynthia's summaries and it's good to have her and Joyce back!
The birds were chirping, the bees were buzzing and the sun was shining as Joyce and I returned yesterday to our artists’ circle at Senior Friendship Center after a two week holiday away.
Our focus for our first gathering after our late summer’s break away was on sunshine and the glow of light that surrounds us and is within us.
But, first, a song! Our group, with newest member, Anita, joyfully sang and sang “This Little Light of Mine.” A gospel song which has also become known, over the years, as a folk song, was familiar to most around our table. Vivian remembered singing this song in church and Patricia had memories of this song from school days.
With our creative juices flowing, we then shared gentle movements based on suggestions—from a row of tomato plants blooming and growing upwards towards the evening sun to a dolphin swimming and jumping into the sparkling sunshine. Our movements reflected something or someone thriving in the light.
Then it was an opportunity to share with one another observations of the light shifting, the turn into a new season and memories and thoughts of end of summer days—where were we, what did we see and do and who were we with when the light began to change and the temperatures to cool.
Out intention was to stay connected to nature and to focus our attention on the light above us and the creative light that shines within us. Inspired by the sunshine surrounding us, we tapped into our creativity and our own inner glow finding patterns, shapes, images and designs that are meaningful for each of us.
Joyce and I encouraged our artists to create a collage of their special place in the sunshine using cut-out magazine images. As a foundation, each sheet of paper had an image of the sun shining down to help place thoughts on the light. Everyone was invited to create a landscape that would remind them of sun-filled days, near or far.
Below is “My Garden” with Vivian’s reflections of her and her husband standing side by side together
Until next week, enjoy the ever-changing light!
About Cynthia Bydlinski
Cynthia Bydlinski is a volunteer and helps as a creative arts leader. To find out how you can get more involved as a volunteer at the Friendship Centers, please contact Caroline Allen in Volunteer Development at the Friendship Centers in Sarasota. Getting involved as a volunteer is just a phone call away, 941.556.3249.