Truth Be Told’s Exploring Creativity Workshop introduces expressive arts as ways to relieve stress, channel emotions, and awaken creativity. “Things That Make Me Happy” was the topic for the last TBT session at Hilltop in Gatesville. The women made a list of their happy things. Then, they picked one and wrote a story about it.
We would like to share some of their happy stories, in a 3-part series. Here is Part One:
Meeting 25 Awesome New Friends—Smiling, Creative, Brave Women
By Bonnie Watkins, “Exploring Creativity” facilitator for the Hilltop class, November 2012
Today I have the joy and privilege of getting to meet a bunch of new friends. These women have beautiful smiles and beautiful names. I see all around me the evidence of their creativity—puffy white clouds painted on not one but several different colors of blue skies to brighten the walls of their dayroom. Underneath, other artists have completely covered the white cinderblock dividers in front of the toilets with every possible color and type of flower—so vibrant that I can almost smell them.
Another resourceful woman has patiently lettered one of my favorite prayers—The Serenity Prayer—on another wall. Bright, orange pumpkins and fat turkey gobblers border the bulletin boards, reminding us of Halloween and Thanksgiving, just past. I bet that soon all kinds of festive hand-crafted Christmas decorations will cover the walls of this room. These women turn nothing, mere paper and markers into art. In another corner, a little dieffenbachia seedling is sprouting roots in a pot of water next to the mother plant, next to a window with bars—their creative way of “greening” the room and growing more.
Pencils and pens drag or fly across single sheets of paper or in composition notebooks and journals. These women may all be dressed alike in white, but their creativity shines through even in how they have lettered their name tags or in the variety of subjects and the choice of images they use in their writing. Their hairstyles also reveal their individual creativity. Some wear their hair in long, loose curls, some in simple pony tails, but even they vary, some high, others low, some on top of their heads. They find countless ways to express themselves uniquely and individually.
8 Things that Make Me Happy
By Antigone Overstreet
–awakening to a new day in a sane and clear mind
–being in love and loved in return
–singing to an audience or in an intimate setting
–reading music, learning music, performing music
–being cast as a main character in a play or musical or opera
–watching people enjoy the food that I’ve prepared
–baking breads, pies, cakes, or cookies
–eating good cuisine
11 Things That Make Me Happy
By Carla B. Williams
–watching TV with no interruptions
–singing a song that really speaks to me
–spending time with God
–just laying on the bed, lost in good memories
–pepperoni, Canadian bacon and pineapple pizza with an ice-cold Pepsi
–walking on the beach feeling the sand between my toes
–riding the ferry, feeding the seagulls
–just having a great conversation with friends
–sitting in visitation with my dad, even though he doesn’t say much
–getting a letter from my family
–knowing that I’m a grandmother
To See My Daughter Smile When I Pick Her up from School
By Priscilla Rodriguez
My day starts out bad, waking up late. I have to get my daughter ready for school and myself ready for an interview. I make it just in time for McKailey to get to go to breakfast. Then my car doesn’t start. Finally, I’m five minutes late to my interview. I’m offered a glass of water and I take the offer cause my mouth is dry. As I take a drink, the glass slips from my hand. Water’s all over me. Interview’s done. They say they’ll call me.
I walk out to the parking lot and one of my tires is flat. I ran over a nail. So now I have to call someone to take the car to the auto shop and since I’m there I get a whole inspection and new tires. I’ve been in the auto shop all day. Now it’s time to pick up my daughter from school. As I walk into her classroom, her eyes light up and a big smile forms across her face. Even though my day was bad, seeing my daughter’s excitement to see me has made me forget about my bad day and now I’m happy.