Intro : If you are following the posts here, this intro is a repeat to give context, but the prompts at the bottom are new round today.
Some of you may know that sporadically my brain cooks up creative grief prompts in a rush of a series. At those moments, it is usually a spontaneous thing for me to pop up on my Twitter account and announce a little "Grief + Creativity Chat" that unfolds for the next 1/2 hr. to 45 minutes. I love it when people pop up there in response with answers or other questions of their own or to share ideas at their own pace. A few of you have told me that you'd like to dwell on one or two of the prompts more in-depth to really ponder. So that gave me the idea of harvesting all that we do on the Chats and work them up as blog posts here.
This is just one of a series that will unfold over time to share the prompts in a format here where you can self-pace with them. Please note that these chats as whole are copyright to what I'm collecting together for a grief + creativity book, so you are not free to just swipe and re-share whole list on your own blog or in your own workshop. These are for personal use only, not re-sale or other re-packaging. Feel free to respond in your own blog post and even come back here to share the link to that with me. Personal use, not copyright free, okay? Please honor that. And if you find you do want to use something here for more than personal use, just email me to ask about how. Thanks!
Please note that these prompts are meant to be taken one at a time. You can quickly move through them all OR you can take one that really feels juicy to you to work it over in a journal entry. I encourage you also to go beyond just the initial written response. Think about what the response would be in collage or painting or photography. Think about how you would respond in movement. If you are into writing music, what comes from the prompt musically? Do you see? There are lots of ways to go - if you want to go there.
Feel free to use the comments here to share. I love hearing back from people on how they are using the prompts.
5 Shifts In Perspective About Grief
- Grief doesn't just happen to us individually but rather within a broken system. How r u creative w that broken system? For me, it required I really examine and then reject the politics and inherent social injustice done by things like the DSM. What got you fired up once you realized your grief experience was unfolding in a broken system?
- If grief is a relational thing then how is your creativity happening in relationship also? So much of what I encountered in my early grief experiences told me that grief was individual process, that I had think positive, let go, stay calm, or change because I didn't want to attract negative energy. The bigger truth was that I was having my experience inside a culture that valued capitalism over everything. So my "getting better" and "getting back to normal" was not actually about my individual health care, but rather about becoming a productive, working, money-making, tax-paying citizen again as soon as possible. It was relational. I could not have my grief experience *outside* the relationships I had w family, friends, work, culture, etc. So my creativity had to be relational, too. How has that unfolded for you?
- What's the most unusual creative source you found that spoke to your grief experience? Mine was Star Trek Voyager.
- Is it a new idea to you to consider grief + creativity as a pairing? Does it open anything up for you that felt stuck before you considered applying creativity to grief experience?
- Closure is bullshit. Closure comes out of a culture of wanting things to be better so that we can be productive again. But grief and love are not products, they are process. Welcome to the *process*!! How does this idea inform or shift your grief experience?