One of the things that naturally happens when I use the medium of collage is I end up creating little spaces to invite declarations. I am always finding words, whether in junk mail marketing or a magazine or pages of an old book, and much like black out poetry, I am being selective about which ones I want and being creative with what they could mean when applied to the context of my story.
There is something profound and achievable when I isolate these prompts into a designated small space. It's like I give myself a window of opportunity, defining the boundaries so that only one thing need be my concern, and so I can get to the bottom of something. In this box, like it's my own room, I can discover some necessary and helpful action point that will help me move forward in an empowering way.
Today, I would answer this prompt with the word LOVE. Largely because I am reading and re-reading Og Mandino's book The Greatest Secret In the World and the phrase "I will greet this day with love in my heart" is a current mantra. Yesterday it was love that helped me resolve an argument between a neighbor boy and my son. It was love that made it easy when it felt impossible. It was an honest phone call to his mom saying, "Look I think my son really hurt your sons feelings, and he's coming home upset, and I just wanted to give you a heads up and let you know what happened. My son told him he didn't want to play three times, and it really hurt your son." It was the love in my voice and the loving intention that she received and later when I explained to her son that sometimes my kids won't want to play, but it isn't because they don't like you, he melted and said, "Ah, that's okay. I know." The evening ended with all the neighbor kids playing until the sun went down.
In the May issue of the Secret Message Society Zine I featured my favorite Sabrina Ward Harrison book The True and the Questions and StarGardener's Right Brain Planner. Both of these women offer spaces for declaring. And what I have found is that these spaces can be returned to and different declarations arrived at on different days. We are rarely in the same place twice and if we are the meaning always expands.
We don't have to feel like a victim in our living. We don't have to assume our only option is to be reactionary. We can take some control back, one collaged squared at a time and declare something is so because we say it is so. (You can read in the comments here about Secret Message Society Member Cynthia saying it is so.)
If your entire zine was a compilation of collaged declarative spaces, imagine all the momentum you could gain, all the traction towards making change occur in your life. To put something down on paper and extend to yourself an invitation to say this is or this is no more. And then to move on because it has been decided. What would finally get to come out of you because there is space for it do so? Your opinion on your life counts. In fact, it's really the only one that matters.
If you would like to join us in creating art as a way to make the life we want, I'd love for you to become a member of the Secret Message Society. Details here.