I never knew about word art therapy until recently. I guess it's not really
a thing, I like to think I invented it. But when I mention it to other writers,
we smile and nod, knowingly.
My kids used to say, "Mom, can you draw me a cat?" (or a snowman. or house. I was exceptionally good at snowmen.)
And in my feeble way, I would scratch out a cartoon version of the real thing. And they thought it was amazing! Beautiful! How did I get to be such a great artist?
Well, I knew the truth. It wasn't any of those things, but to a five year old soul it was perfect.
Not too long ago, I discovered that for me, words were a better way to draw pictures. For most of my life, the pen had been a tool used for utility. It wrote reports, it calculated numbers. It sketched ideas for house plans. It jotted notes to my loved ones.
But then I discovered that if I sat long enough to catch the swirling thoughts that raced through my head and weighed on my heart, I could transfer them to the page and it made sense. I was surprised that those fragmented pieces that had floated randomly could be collected together and it sketched something. Amazing. Beautiful. Complete. I could tweak, trim, embellish here or there, but whenever I decided it was finished, it was.
That is no small thing in a life of endless washing, drying, folding, cooking, shopping, shuttling, packing, unpacking, budgeting, and, well, the list keeps going. None of those things stay finished.
But the written word wasn't, and then it was, and then it stayed. Finished.
And I knew I had touched on some hidden venue of creativity that my Creator had deposited in me long ago. I just hadn't noticed it was there.
Words are my therapy. I know it to be true, because as I type, tears slip out of the corners of my eyes and run down my face. And even days later, when I reread the carefully chosen words, the mist in my eyes tells me that the message is still true.
They may not paint the same picture for you. I don't believe they have to. Call it modern impressionistic. That's the beautiful thing about art. You don't know why you love it, but something about it rings true for you, and stirs your insides and you smile. And you think, yeah. I have always thought that. I just hadn't seen it written out.