JOURNEY TO WHOLENESS THROUGH THE CREATIVE ARTS Sandy Smyth Theological Studies, Yale Divinity School; Religious Studies, Sacred Heart University; Art Education, Elmira College. At first, I ran by the creek; At last, the creek ran through me. Wholeness, I believe, is the fleeting state of being in which we experience the joy of Heaven on Earth; moments in which we are in complete harmony with God, ourselves and creation entire to experience what I call, "Paradise Within." The consistent religious experience for me is how close I feel to God and wholeness when steeping in Silence, surrounded by natural beauty, particularly in the woods and at the seashore of Connecticut (where I live with my husband, two French bulldogs and a cat). I also believe that when we are the most broken, the creative process--because it connects us to the loving Spirit deep within--can bring us into wholeness through art-making. By art-making, I mean making poems, stories, paintings, sculptures, dances, plays, music and the like. Expressing feelings through art restores harmony within. Art is a medium for communication of feelings, self discovery and healing. On the blank pages of this book, I encourage you to share your own reflections on wholeness or brokenness as you read the poems. The questions that accompany the poems are to stimulate your thinking and creativity and to inspire you to do your own art inside or outside these pages.
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