The mixed tape. Was a very real thing in my youth. Is now more of a metaphor.
In my own heART and in collaboration over at the Creative Grief Studio, taking a creative approach to grief -- and all of life really -- is the foundation of my BEing. I move through the world, I enter relationships, I create heARTworks by taking a creative approach.
In my youth, the mixed tape was a most creative approach to communication. Being able to share music was one piece of it. But if you were a fan of, say, Laurie Anderson, then it was also about the mixing and matching of music, the intersperse of spoken word and poetry, the art work of the cover insert, the way you wrote on the label of the tape.
It has probably been a good decade since we had an actual, working cassette tape player. But that doesn't stop me from having a shoebox tucked away in a cedar chest, filled with mixed tapes from family, friends, loves. I cannot part with them. In my most wistful moments, I desperately want to listen to them. I want to see if the local community radio station will allow me to try and transfer their contents from cassette to cd or dvd. In the more neutral moments, I just know they are there. And that's good enough.
Often my pondering focuses on the meandering of the interwebs. I wonder at the making of a mixed tape type line-up of things from the interwebs. Not stealing music or media, but like a clickable line-up of media someone would listen/see/read through on various topics or to learn about the grief another has experienced or to share our love and appreciation with each other.
Actually, I suppose those who use YouTube "Add to" feature to make lists of media, well, that is kind of making a mixed tape. Or maybe those who use Pinterest to make a space on particular topic or to express an experience, that, too, is kind of making a mixed tape. Heck, even our list of bookmarks we each curate in our browsers. Maybe even the history of our browsers sort of curates the construction of a mixed tape. Our "Saved" items on Facebook. The "bookshelf" on our kindle readers.
In a way.
These things are kind of like the list of media you'd handwrite into the art of the mixed tape cover insert.
So the creative prompt idea is about using the mix tape idea to tell the story of your grief experience. Maybe you tell it just through a playlist of songs? Or maybe it is a YouTube "Add to" list? I'm sharing the image in this post as a way of working the idea visually. And then I'm sharing the list of clickables and whatnot below as a way of giving a mixed tape that sort of goes thru my experiences these last 17 years since our first son's death. And using these as just samples, consider what your mixed tape of your grief experience might be like. What does it look like? What are the item that make up your mixed tape? How would you like to present it?
A BirthDeath: a mixed tape of grief experience
- What words does a poet share immediately after the birthdeath of her son? The words of Mrs. Duck.
- How does a writer handle the on-going-ness of being a parent to both living and dead children over time? She explores what A Different Kind Of Parenting means.
- When language, over time, becomes an annoyance because it does not adequately say all that bereaved parents need it to say, what do they do? Create their own Dictionary Of Loss.
- As a bereaved mother finds herself living life as a heARTist having to reconnect to the world at large in some way, how does she take the tentative first steps? She uses her powers of word to be an advocate.
- And when people start asking the heARTist how they, too, can find language and create expression of their own experiences, how does she reach out to them? She catalogues a blog full of creative prompts.
- When people start sharing with this heARTist that they cannot possible be creative for a myriad of myriad of myriad of reasons -- and the heARTist herself begins to question if she can sustain creativity -- what can she do to help? Offer as Permissive a space as possible.
- And as time passes, as this mother becomes a grandmother and realizes that all relationships evolve, both those with living loves and those with dead loves, how does she share her heARTfull self with those who have died? She writes letters of love over the years.
- And finally, when others begin asking her how they, too, can get their grief & creativity skills on and become advocates themselves, what does she do? She tosses her hat in the ring with an amazing team of people to offer a Studio of exploration.
That, my Loves, in a nutshell, is the mixed tape of my experiences. What is on your tape?
Reiki to all eyeballs who come across this...
Signed by this radicalized grandma,