A few days after we announced our July Mosaics project, someone left us a tiny confession in the comment box. “When this idea was first posted, wrote Rosanne Osborne, “I admit I was dubious, but it’s been amazing to me how generative the experience has been.”
Generative. That got me thinking.
When artist Jim Bowen discovered the craft of mosaics for the first time, he quickly realized he had found something powerful. “I liked the messiness of it. Here you are, breaking up china and making something beautiful again, ” he says. “It’s like a broken person who becomes healed.”
At times, we might be prone to sit upon life’s wreckage, wallowing in the the detritus of our shared experiences. Bowen sees Art as our best employment opportunity. Our job is to sift through the rubble and debris and create repurposed beauty.
Bowen takes this message to elementary school classrooms. He begins each lesson in mosaics by first speaking to them about community. He says,
When all of the individuals come together as a whole to share their differences, a community is formed. It’s the same with mosaics.
After he got going, another colleague inspired him to continue building on the idea. Laurel True had traveled to Haiti in response to 2010’s devastating earthquake. While there, he invited victims to pick up the shattered pieces of their belongings and create mosaics.
Now Bowen plans to visit Zimbabwe to provide a similar experience, empowering locals to become co-artisans in the craft of healing.
Yes, Rosanne. Art is generative. We form a richer, more reflective community as we piece together our many colors with our fellow co-artisans.
Let’s Build July Mosaics!
All month long we’re arranging poems at Tweetspeak. We call it July Mosaics. We write found poems and share them on Facebook, Twitter and personal blogs, though we always link back to here. Last week we chose words from the poem “BiLingual” by L.L. Barkat.
Glynn Young was one of our first responders. He wrote,
It is mutual, of course.
I come walking
with my light news
(the San Antonio Light?)
except you see a mist
I mean to be a fog, like
all news is, all
the fog that’s print to fit.
I offer spirit but
you want flesh.
Some things, like wind,
and ghosts, are
Laurie heard something in the “news”, too. She wrote,
I like to think
capable of feeling
the wind again,
your hand translated
that kind light
brought you back,
of mist and spirit –
a bilingual whiteness
laying over the
And remember Rosanne Osborne‘s “generative” comment? Here’s one way she chose to put the pieces together.
Mist of our likeness,
ghost of our thoughts,
translate us into wind
that feels the flesh
the new spirit brings.
How Do I Build July Mosaics?
If you haven’t already, please consider subscribing to Every Day Poems.
1. On Mondays, the Every Day Poem in your inbox becomes a pile of raw material. Sort through the words and find a few gems. Rearrange as many as you want into a new found poem. You’re free to mix in your own words.
2. Tweet your poems to us. Add a #tsmosaics hashtag so we can find it and maybe share it with the world.
3. Or leave your found poem here in the comment box.
We’ll read your tweets and share some of your weekly play each week. At the end of the month, we’ll choose a winning poem and ask the playful poet to record his or her poem to be featured in one of our upcoming Weekly Top 10 Poetic Picks.
Here’s today’s Every Day Poem. Now go generate some community.
Buy a year of Every Day Poems, just $2.99— Read a poem a day, become a better poet. In July we’re exploring the theme The Cento.