Confession: I fear earnestness.
I don’t mean seriousness. I can be as serious as anyone.
How to define earnestness? I don’t know. I think I mean
solemn, sombre, taking yourself too reverently.
My workshop offering at the Divine Feminine event is called Creative Wellspring – Creating Wellness in Spring.
Secret mini-fears whisper and niggle.
What if the Divine Feminine gathering is earnest? Do I have to pretend to be earnest too, so as to fit in? These are ancient social fears. I’m not sure why I’m even telling you.
Then the fears of my own inadequacy surge forth. What if I’m just a flibbertigibbert who is unwise, and undivine, hopping from one flimsy foot to another, amongst all the proper grown-up facilitators who know stuff?
(I’ve only been running groups for twenty-three years. I’m only nearly sixty).
What if they don’t like my workshop? What if they don’t want to participate? What if I don’t provide enough materials? What if my sore throat gets worse and I can’t sustain the energy? What if I’m rubbish?
I’ve spent weeks, nay, months preparing.
The materials alone present logistical complexity. I wish to provide glorious abundance for thirty participants, yet this abundance must be carry-able within two small daypacks on a bus.
Creative Wellspringers are to create individual pieces, which will be assembled to form a temporary group installation. I sit at my dining room table, cutting shapes for the art-making. They are water drops of the wellspring.
(Uh oh. Earnestness alert.)
(IT’S ME. I’M THE ONE BEING EARNEST.)
I draw freehand circles on good quality paper and divide them into yin and yang. Droplet, yin, yang, paisley shapes.
My partner walks in and asks, ‘How are you planning to use those commas?’
Solemnity slides away. I release earnest preciousness to the winds of funny paper forms. Yin, yang, paisley, spring droplets, commas, apostrophes. Blimey. I’ve been preparing hundreds of apostrophes.
So, what happens at the start of the workshop? Women enter the room, plonk themselves down and immediately turn the sacred paisley pieces into bulls’ horns, earrings, moustaches, bunny ears, fallopian tubes, and…wait for it…dangling pasty-type decorations for dancing (clothed) breasts. Much mime and mirth ensues. Earnestness? Forget it.
I invite silence during the art-making phase, but you can hear the hearts beating, the hands dancing. Talk about frenzy.
Sequins stick, glitter glues and feathers fly.
At one point I hear a large sound bursting forth. What is it? A Divine Hoot? A belly laugh. An expression of deep glee as one woman realises she’s glued herself to her piece of wellspring.
Afterwards, it’s as if a marauding mob of sparkle-shedding critters have been rolling around on the hotel banquet black tablecloths. Pity the poor cleaners. Purple feathers and sticky sequin scraps are everywhere. It’s fallout from the resounding joy of gutsy sacred play. No earnestness here. My work is done.
PS Playshop participants gave permission to publicly share their artwork images