Art, Snow, and Relief

My family and I live in Texas. We appear to have weathered last week’s storm better than many. A boil notice is in effect, but we’ll take that any day of the week over a caved-in ceiling due to burst water pipes, three days without power in single-digit temps, no water at all, or the very frightening reality that the entire state of Texas was within minutes of losing power due to the near-collapse of the entire grid.

A friend who’s still without water texted the other day, “I was about to say I feel like I’m living in a disaster area, then I remembered that I am.”

Our city officials asked everyone to conserve power, so that meant digging up as many non-screen activities as we could with our family. Puzzles, books, board games, solitaire, crafting projects – all things that I adore when I’m not actively worried about societal collapse, and even when I am worried about that, they’re pretty great.

We had a leftover project from a fall subscription to Let’s Make Art, which ships kid-friendly craft projects. They’re pretty good, turns out. They give clear instructions but leave enough room for kids to make choices of their own on how to change things up, and the supplies are pretty good quality – not just grocery-store watercolors, but decent paints and brushes, that kind of thing.

I did some of the drawing projects along with my kid.

My drawings. (My kid’s drawings aren’t posted, but trust me, they’re awesome.)

In no way do I suggest that these doodles constitute great art. I love art and galleries and museums and I know just enough about art to know that I would need a lot of study and practice to do something really great.

But the beautiful thing is how nice it is to have a creative endeavor that has no extrinsic goal. I’m not trying to sell my work. I do it to see how it turns out.

Given the ups and downs of pushing at a writing career, it’s lovely to explore an idea in this way – a castle! A dragon! A little breath of fire! What might it look like? Let’s see! And, when you have no responsibility other than to keep your family in one place and the lights off, it’s also a spot of grace to share a moment of simple creativity with loved ones.

I’d love to hear about how other people have spent the uneasy times of waiting in their lives, and what you’ve done to fill the empty minutes.

Published by Elizabeth

I alphabetize my private library.

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