Sunday, May 14, 2017

The Whole Box of Crayons

One day, Powell’s, a large independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, posted this on its Instagram account:

“Life is like using the whole box of crayons.” Ru Paul 

Weaving Multiple Colors of Yarn 

The Indianapolis Art Center in Broad Ripple offers a series of two-hour classes they make open to the public. Recently I was part of a weaving class. Driving to the center, I imagined choosing yellow, teal, orange and soft pink to make the small weaving advertised as the class project. When I arrived and saw the array of colors of yarn spread over four tables, including my current favorites, I was elated. I could hardly wait for the teacher to instruct us and let us choose our yarn.

The instructor began by saying we were not weaving a wall hanging like the one described in the course catalogue. Instead, our focus for the afternoon was a “small interpretive piece.”

“Choose a picture,” she said, gesturing to an assortment of magazines strewn in the center of the long table around which we gathered. “This will form the basis for your interpretive weaving.”

After we found a picture, we chose yarn to match colors in the picture, and then wrapped the yarn around a 5 x 7 piece of heavy cardboard – not what I was expecting. In my mind, wrapping yarn around cardboard had no connection to weaving.

Turning the pages of several magazines, I was determined to find a picture with my favorite bright pastels. However, along the way, I was distracted by a picture of a flock of sheep and decided to use that picture instead. At the yarn table, I selected several shades of white and cream, as well as tan, pink, and black, all of which I saw in the magazine picture. With these colors I was surely exploring hues in the box of crayons previously ignored.

I slowly wrapped the cream yarn around the cardboard, anchoring each row with a knot on the back. Threading a needle with the pink textured yarn, I began weaving the needle in and out. I came to a weaving class, and I was determined to weave my creation.

When I took a break from weaving, I wrapped another cardboard square with yellow, teal, green, and blue. Somehow these colors didn’t feel right to my soul. I felt like I was forcing the colors when my heart was connected to the creams, pink, tan, and black to match the sheep.

A Surprise Using New Colors

On the drive home, I reflected on my experience and realized I came to the class focused on certain colors much like a child might tend to draw with only his or her favorite selection of five or six crayons.

Fortunately, I yielded to the leading of my heart and opened myself to a group of colors that were not my usual preference, but fit the photo perfectly.

Opening to new experiences in color reminds me to break out of other ruts in my life where I follow the same pathways or routines over and over. I realized how open I was to new ideas and perceptions when I ventured into colors that are unfamiliar. It’s the same way in life—if I venture into new locations or interact with new people or entertain new thoughts, I’ll be open to change. Even in my thought processes, changing from loss to gain and good will energize, strengthen, and empower me – just like I experienced when exploring new colors.

For your Reflection:

  1. Purchase a small box of crayons. Get a sheet of paper and empty the box.
  2. To what colors are you attracted? What are your favorite colors? Draw a few shapes or designs using those colors.
  3. Eventually use all of the colors in the box. What feelings arise or insights come as you explore the crayons you tend to use less infrequently or not at all?
  4. What parallels in your life can you make by using all of the colors in the box? 
Prayer: God, you are the master of color, creating every shade we see in nature. Even we humans have different types and colors of hair, skin, eyes. All were made by your pleasure within your presence and creative choice. Give us courage to explore “all crayons in the box” so we can free ourselves of habits and ruts that impair fresh possibilities. Then we can arrive at new places of healing and creative potential, all for use in your kingdom and for your glory. Amen.

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