I continue to be drawn to activities that have been recovering the creativity that I once had as a child. I used to love painting watercolors of the characters in Walt Disney movies that I watched. I still have several of those paintings to remind me of my inner creative child that somehow was lost as I hurried to become an adult. Gradually more and more of my creativity was lost until I could not even remember that I was more than analytical. The return of my artistic nature began to occur through my love of writing and with my interior design work. Eventually I also explored creating with my gardens and various projects upon my land.
Recently while doing a 7 week Soul Recovery Training with Robert Moss, I found more and more pieces of myself being restored. The first day of class, my sister told me that she had found a painting of mine in her attic. I didn't even recognize it when she sent me the photo. I can still not recall the actually painting of it, though I do recognize it as my own work and know why it was left amidst her things.
Three weeks into the coursework, I faced my fears and attempted to try something new-- needle wool felting. I had purchased several wool collectibles over the years and was intrigued by how much creativity was involved in these objects. I believe I was being simultaneously drawn to the wool as well. At that time, I never thought of making something similar myself. Many years later and almost exactly 2 months after the arrival of my first kits from England, I began my first project. I have usually done well at whatever I have put my mind to, but starting something new at this point in my life and after just a few tutorials on Youtube seemed a bit daunting. It took me a while to adjust to the idea of learning to work with wool since I knew absolutely nothing about it except that I used to be allergic to wearing it on my skin.
Coinciding with my latest creative pursuit, was my need to also wear wool sweaters. Instinctively I think my body was telling me it was healthier to wear a textile that had been woven into clothing for millenia instead of the chemically treated synthetics that I had gotten used to over the years, which always filled me with static during winter months and often looked horrible after a few months of washing. So, along with my hands working with wool, my body was now being clothed with sweaters from Ireland. Gradually I also began restoring dexterity and more feeling to my hands that had experienced painful inflammation and nerve damage from an autoimmune disorder I had developed from years of stress and doing work I didn't love. Somehow it seemed the eye hand coordination of working with the wool was stimulating new neural pathways in my brain.
It turns out there's a reason why wool has been used throughout history. It has many virtues. Wool absorbs moisture from the air and decreases static electricity. It is also water repellent and healthy. Wool insulates against heat and cold as it acts as an insulator. It is precisely this ability to absorb moisture from the air that prevents the build up of static electricity, which is the result of an imbalance between negative and positive charges in an object. Wool also does not attract dust or lint from the air. Why am I surprised my body was telling me to wear it now?
Felting is the oldest form of fabric known to mankind. No wonder I had such a draw to it. It was held within my ancestral memories. Somehow I was connecting to an inner knowing of a time long ago, perhaps some memory from the past, as it felt so familiar to me right from the beginning. After my first project, a brown hare, I was hooked. I immediately continued on with other creations. With each creature that was birthed, I found a piece of myself somehow being restored. I wasn't buying something someone else had created, I was creating something from scratch that was uniquely my own even if I had followed a blueprint. I was fascinated by the way in which each creature turned out differently and began to take on a personality of its own. Each was infused with my loving intentions and thoughts as I felted. As my skills improve, I intend to create my own designs perhaps honoring all the creatures I have met along my path.
While I certainly didn't need more collectibles in my home, creating something from wool has been extremely therapeutic both mentally and physically as a means to relieve stress and enjoy the satisfaction of creating something from pieces of wool. There is something primal about connecting energetically with wool, sheep and the Earth that cannot be put into words, but my body and psyche feel the ancestral memories. It has also been a way to retrieve pieces of my soul that had long been lost since childhood. As each character came to life, I found myself being carried away from the chaos and turbulence of our present world while enabling me to focus on what is important-- remembering who I was, while dreaming a new narrative into being and embracing my creativity.
Clarissa Harison is an advocate for the natural world and has been writing since the 90s about her experiences with nature on behalf of those who have no voice. Her travels and observations healing her own land, as well as her diverse background in international studies, energy of space, the corporate world and consulting/teaching work have led her to develop an intimate understanding of the perfection existing in nature and our own individual journey of finding our way back to ourselves and ultimately restoring the well being of our planet.
2017 Copyright Awen Environments/Clarissa Harison.