Can you be sacred and silly

at the same time?
Yeah. I reckon so. It’s called Divine Play. Or ‘Lila’ (which means Divine Play in Sanskrit). Or Creativity.

small paper boat sculpture

Ancestor Boat
Sally Swain
© original art

I travelled to

a Creativity and Meditation retreat called ‘Impossible Joy’.

I jumped inner and outer hurdles to get there. It was well well well worth it. My creative well well well was replenished.

You haven’t yet heard about this life-changing experience because my stories from the retreat don’t squish easily into bloggy form. They are deeply spiritual, Big Stories. Would you cope with a slightly more serious (and longer) blog post?

Please let me know.

Meanwhile, here’s a (not too serious) snippet.

We made Ancestor Boats.

A retreat leader offered up twenty years’ worth of greetings cards and fancy papers for us to play with. Generous abundance.

Select, cut, paste, glue.

small paper boat sculpture

beginnings of Ancestor Boat

Darkness. Lightness.

small paper boat sculpture

beginnings of Ancestor Boat

Richness. Complexity.

small paper boat sculpture

another stage of Ancestor Boat

Paper, thread,

gold, red

small paper boat sculpture

and another stage of Ancestor Boat

A Klimt Kiss-nest for inside the boat.

Klimt Kiss nest paper sculpture

kissing nest
for Ancestor Boat

Possibly finished, possibly not.

Ancestor Boat Sally Swain © original art

Ancestor Boat
Sally Swain
© original art

Three weeks later, sister Jen and ten year old niece Ruby come to visit.

The dining room table transforms into the Creative Flurry Studio.

We immerse ourselves in paper, paint, colour, story, art journals, water brushes, metallic pens and…movies.

What do you use as a prop when you have ten minutes to make a stop-motion animated movie?

You grab what’s at hand, even if it’s an Ancestor Boat.


Gumby, Pokey and the Ancestor Boat

Gumby, Pokey and the Ancestor Boat


I love it.

I love that Gumby and Pokey got to star in their own dining room table movie.

I love that my Ancestor Boat can be sacred without being solemn.

It’s a wondrous case of Divine Play, or Sacred Silliness.

Ruby and Jennie’s very short film

Go on. Click the link. Watch it. It’s a whole 24 seconds long.

And it’s my first time ever sharing a video on my blog, technical wizard that I am.

How about you?

Indulged in any Sacred Silliness lately?


5 thoughts on “Can you be sacred and silly

  1. Heartiest congratulations to the Creative Flurry Studio for their absolutely colourful, gorgeous and rivetiing incy movie that inspired
    Aunty Sally to float her
    Ancestral boat

    thank you

    Liked by 1 person

  2. this is great, thanks for sharing, I cold handle longer and more serious blogs. I’d love a bit more detail on the ancestor boats, it would be a great idea to add to my toolbox 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Claire, for responding. I feel just that bit more heartened to post something maybe longer and more serious. And give me a moment (or a day or two) and I can give you a tad more info re ancestor boats.


    • Hi Claire again
      Ancestor Boats
      Oddly, I don’t recall much about the contemplative process that led to the making of the boats. I think it was fairly swift on this occasion.
      The practical side of the hands-on process: we were given 3 pre-cut pieces of simple cardboard. We glued and painted onto these. We stitched the pieces together. If the pieces were thickly built up, there was the option of a leather hole punch for stitching.
      I hope this answers your question.
      Construction is not my forte.
      My approach to building just about anything has been dubbed ‘Sticky Tape and String’.
      What do I think? You can’t go too wrong with sticky tape and string. Unless it’s a house you’re building.


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