In response to the question, “What makes me feel the happiest?, I decided to re-engage with two of my favorite childhood activities—coloring and Colorforms. Coloring turned out to be a bit more stressful than I had anticipated. Between choosing the ‘right’ colors and creating a finished ‘masterpiece,’ the pure joy of creating got lost. I’m working on finding it again, but in the interim, I decided to move on. So it was with great anticipation that I opened the box of Colorforms. My heart leapt as I looked at the geometric pieces in five primary colors. This was going to be so much fun! And it was, but not for the reasons I had anticipated. My first creation, titled “Home on the Range,” was a depiction of things I knew. I had fun trying to figure out how to create a bull elk, and I had a good laugh at the final depiction of Hadley. It was fun to let the story develop on its own by adding different details as I went along, like the clouds and snow on the mountains. Nothing was planned, it just evolved. Then I returned all the pieces to their pages, leaving a blank tablet for the next story.
My second creation, titled “‘Balance,” was completely different. When I sat down to play and create I was doing so to take refuge from one of those life questions that defies a simple or textbook answer. As I begin creating, with no preconceived notion or plan, the answer assembled itself in front of me. Balance. As I started to return the story pieces to their pages, puzzled by why I found Colorforms fun and coloring stressful, I realized why I had loved Colorforms as a child. Because they represent an eternal do-over. Don’t like a certain color choice, pick a different one. Don’t like the way it looks, pick up the pieces and start again. Having trouble getting something to look right, just keep trying. And there it was. Impermanence. I could play and create without expectation. If the pieces fit, great! If not, I could pick other ones, rearrange them, and try again. No harm, no foul. Now if I could only learn to do that with my life … —Robin