A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.
I was recently given a book called Ish by Peter H. Reynolds.
It stirred my soul, and as I slowly flicked through coloured and hand lettered pages my throat got a lump and my eyes welled.
Ramon loved to draw.
But his work was criticized and he lost his spark, his confidence.
Nothing he drew seemed right.
Until his eyes were opened; his failed drawing of a vase looked vase-ish.
“Ramon felt light and energized.
Thinking ish-ly allowed
his ideas to flow freely.
He began to draw what he felt-
Quickly springing out.?Without worry.”
Oh the lessons our creative souls could learn from this book!
We are reminded to create with abandon.
To enjoy our craft, without feeling the need to please.
We are reminded not to place so much emphasis on getting it right, or doing it perfect.
We can think ish-ly. And our reflections of the world around us will be just that: ours.
We’ll then have the freedom from fear, from people pleasing.
Freedom from that place where we are held back by the opinions of others.
I don’t know about you, but I totally relate to Amanda’s post here about struggling with self-doubt. As a writer I second-guess my voice, words, my purpose and my craft constantly. Because I think too much about what others expect, or may criticize!
Instead of resting in the knowledge that my work is Em-ish, and simply enjoying the act of writing, the experience of creativity, without concern or anxiety.
The second last paragraph of Ish describes Ramon savoring a wonderful feeling and deciding not to capture it.
Such a valuable lesson in our culture today, where life can be overshared.
We tag ourselves in wherever we go on Facebook, update our statuses for every meal we eat, and often miss the experience of being in the moment because we are too busy trying to capture it for Instagram.
Lets learn to savour, be truly grateful, without feeling the need to share, and miss those moments.
Ish is lovely, and poignant for the creative-at-heart.
And my kids love it too.
So, make yourself a cuppa, sit back, and my eldest, Joel, will read Ish for you.