Courting Creativity in February
Chronicling my deepening relationship with creativity
Welcome to February, a month often devoted to themes of love and relationships.
If you have been part of this newsletter community for a while, you might remember that in February of 2021 I did a daily newsletter series, Light, Color, Seasons, Cycles, filled with invitations to creative practices related to these four themes. The series is archived here on my website if you are curious to learn more about it or check out some of the practices.
In February of 2022, I taught a four week course for the Light House Community on Courting Creativity. This series helped me to expand and organize my thoughts and topics for my book and to begin to form the book’s structure around 4 topics: Courtship, Circumambulation, Conversation and Capability. You can find out more about the Light House Community and its offerings on their website. This online community of contemplative women is a great source of connection for me.
This year, as I sit down to write this first newsletter for February, I find myself missing the focus of these four-week projects contained within this short month. At the same time, working on writing my book, my commitment is broader and extends to personal quiet time, to exploration, messy first drafts, and trusting the process.
This February finds me in process in a larger context. My kickstarter campaign will finish up the end of this week. I welcome the meditative and slow work of sewing to complete the octopuses for the color wheel and for shipping to supporters in the coming months. This campaign bridges January and February and the project will continue into March, April, and May with completing and shipping orders. This project also joins a much longer story in my creative practice, as color wheels have been a theme in my work and a valuable means of contemplation for me for ten years now. You can see more of my color wheels here on my website.
In my writing life, I am meeting with a new small group, continuing to work with a creative coach, and trying out a new monthly gathering with 3 other writers. I’ve committed to focus on the first section of my book, on courtship, for the month of February.
I’m also grateful to continue this practice of correspondence which is a form of writing I value. On that note, if you would like to respond and let me know where you find yourself and your creativity in the month of February, I would love to learn more about your practice.
Chronicling my Courtship with Creativity:
Last week, I spent time imagining my creative spirit as an animal or mythical being. It might not surprise you that my first thought was the form of an octopus.
My octopus creative spirit has 9 thinking parts - one in her brain and 8 in her arms. She takes in a great deal of sense and touch sensation and she is able to do many things at once with all those brains and arms. At the same time sometimes it can be too many things. I have to ask her to slow down so I can keep up.
Generally a solitary creature, she is able to adapt her shape to flow into and hide in small spaces; she can change her color and texture to blend in when she feels uncertain. When feeling safe, she loves to expand and flow and stretch, curious about her environment and those around her. She is otherworldly and alien, yet playful and somehow familiar too.
She is a cephalopod, a head-footed one, thinking on the move, walking in the world, movement inspires dynamic ideas and inspiration. As a sea creature, she is able to access the depths to bring back knowledge and inspiration.
As I travel with my octopus, we seek out water frequently. She needs it to survive and leads me to places of beauty and tranquility.
With 8 arms, my octopus needs room to move around, although she can flow into small spaces for hiding, in moving about she prefers expansive spaces and clear pathways. She needs uncluttered spaces so she doesn’t accidentally knock things over as she moves along.
Octopus Color Wheel Update
Progress continues on octopus assembly for the color wheel. I’ve been stuffing and sewing eyes on to octopuses of both sizes.
The tiny octopus have been especially playful lately. Below you can see some of their playful adventures.
They explored playing with colorful lights and shadows for Groundhog Day.
They have been enjoying finding small toys around the house including building blocks, an origami paper crane, a paper airplane, and a miniature game of Mousetrap.
Their biggest project was a collaborative effort to build a Lego octopus.
I wrote in my last newsletter about how my writing group first inspired me to think more expansively about my relationship with my crocheted octopuses, about how they honored that playful side of me and encouraged me to share more. I am grateful for these octopuses as playmates this week and for the ways they invite a pause for playful exploration.
My kickstarter campaign closes this Saturday at 8 am. When I chose a campaign length of 32 days, it happened that it ends on Chad’s birthday. It will be a great birthday gift for him for so many octopuses to find new homes. He’s been very patient living with all of them but sometimes it gets a bit overwhelming!
Thank you so much for your response and support. Thank you to all of you who have signed up to be backers and to everyone reading and following along with the story. Thank you for the wonderful links to octopus photos, facts and videos. I am grateful.
We have doubled our goal for funding the project; this allows me to pay myself for the time spent sewing and crocheting as well as covering the costs of printing, photography, and supplies.
There are still a few octopuses in need of homes, visit the link below to back the project and bring a playful octopus into your home.
Thank you for reading and being part of creative community through this newsletter.
With 4 grateful hearts (did you know an octopus has 3 hearts?),
Kathryn and Octopus
Love your newsletters Kathryn and sounds like a lot of creative projects in the making for you! I am in a Writer's group that meets monthly as well, and been doing some 7 day creative writing challenges as well that inspire me to write and blog a bit!