Chaos and Order



But all things should be done decently and in order. (1 Corinthians 14: 40)

This is a mandala I coloured during the silent Sabbath while I was at Tatamagouche Centre the past eight 8 days. My sabbatical is focusing on spiritual deepening and guidance and I  was participating in the second residency of the Atlantic Jubilee Program

Mandalas play a part in many religion traditions, for more information, clickhere.  Colouring one is a way of keeping one part of my busy brain occupied and let another part ponder, pray, meditate.

The French have embraced colouring as a form of therapy for adults and children alike as illustrated in this article.

As a child I loved to colour, always keeping within the lines of course. As an adult I became faintly embarrassed at how much I like precision and order, from how rooms are arranged, where in a room I can sleep and how pictures are hung. I find it difficult to relax in cluttered room and when my desk and office get messy, I am much less productive and at ease.

Somehow I unconsciously absorbed the idea that creativity=chaos and so labelled myself uncreative. This was despite the many ‘creative’ things I have undertaken as an adult: belly dance, piano playing, cross-stitch, and most recently stained glass. But still a voice inside me whispered, “Yes, but all those things have patterns, you are simply following instructions.”

But as I coloured last week, as one part of my mind chose colours to complement and contrast, another part of my mind was soaring and I heard a voice inside saying, “Yes Catherine, you are colouring inside the lines, but I am the one who created order… I am the one who created the mathematical principles on which the mandala is based and music is shaped and dance is constructed, I am in the chaos AND in the order.”

Leonard Cohen’s words came to me:

“And like a blessing come from heaven

for something like a second
I was healed and my heart
was at ease.”

(Light As the Breeze)

What does creativity mean to you?


3 thoughts on “Chaos and Order

  1. Pingback: Who Me, Creative? | My Window on God's World

  2. I’ve always felt creative and complete when I am gardening – I love the serenity of a garden. I love creating a meal for a family get together – it brings happiness and harmony. I am not naturally artistic with drawing or painting but I can be creative with embroidery, knitting, making crafts etc. I used to be the Craft Lady at Junior Bible Camp many, many moons ago and I loved teaching the 8 – 10 year olds weaving, how to make God’s eyes and many other crafts that used things found in nature. I believe that we are all creative since we are made in the image of our Creator.

    • Ah yes, I have come late to gardening, although we always had a vegetable garden growing up. But I love my flower beds that we put in when we built this house. There is something both comforting and amazing about perennials coming to life once again in the spring.

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