So at the end of this month of searching for meaning and purpose, I find myself in Spruce Pine, NC at the end of a mission to visit two very important people. I first stopped in Richmond, VA to see my cousin Dena and her family in and then wandered further up into the mountains to track down this month’s chapter writer Emily Wheat.
I could spend a whole month highlighting all the wonderful making and creating that these two have done in their lives but will simply share these few examples as highlights from these two special birds.
Emily Wheat’s amazing bird costume. “What kind of bird are YOU?”
Both Dena and Emily have played a large role guiding me and helping me to understand what my purpose is and how to articulate it.
For my last creation of the month, I decided to make something for Emily. I call it the “hunt for meaning”. This is not an object but more of a journey or scavenger hunt in which Emily will be led to random places around the state of North Carolina to find hidden objects and messages. I won’t say too much about it here as I would like to leave the adventure a surprise to her. But I think it was while finishing this last act of making for the month when it became clear what my purpose may be. It simply comes down to two things.
As noted in the very first post of this chapter, my meaning is found in the process of making (or the doing) itself coupled with a specific intention behind the making.
Although, I have spent my life enjoying materials and treasuring artworks and objects large and small, I now find I am drawn not to making these treasures but to developing places, spaces, opportunities, and connections for others to create, care and share their own experiences and talents. That created living shared space or place is the making I want to do or the purpose that I want to pursue.
After making and sending treasures this month, everything from a written letter out of Necco wafers to a headdress out of popcorn to a sea monster scuba mask puppet, I have returned to some conclusions that I think I have been enacting all along.
1. The meaning IS in the making. There is no meaning or purpose without the act of making or doing itself. I must continue to engage, play, glue, cut, write, color, photograph, dig, cook, reflect, and connect to continue living fully.
Miss Emily Wheat has set a great example for me and has reflected this fact back to me every day that I have known her.
2. Set your intentions. Reflect what you are. Deciding why I do something and for what purpose seems to lead me closer to where I want to be. By setting an intention I can also set an example for others to find what their intentions are. This somehow feels more important to me than the made object itself and feeds my motivation to continue to create, care, and share.
My cousin Dena has been a great inspiration and example in learning this.
As today, October 31, is a special day for tricks and treats – I am going to stop making for a moment and celebrate this beloved holiday with some wind, witches, walking in the woods , and WHEATIE of course!!
I will leave you with a short message that I left for Wheatie in “the hunt for meaning” and two songs sent to me by the Living Chapters maestro this month that were more than helpful in my own search for purpose.
“There just is no rhyme nor reason – On any day or in any season – To be searching out purpose and/or meaning – When all we need is found in gleaning” – The Hunt for meaning 10/30/13
The meaning is in the making:
Reflect what you are:
Just finding this blog today? Read more about the Living Chapters project here.