2016–17 Spiritual Arts Collective — 1

Picking Up the Pieces:

what is broken can be transformed

Facilitated by Devika Short

  • October 16 & 30, 2016
  • November 13 & 27, 2016
  • Time: 1:00–3:00 p.m.

Do you think the challenges in your life have left you broken? Are you unsure how to mend this brokenness? Through meditation, music, and painting this collective aims to assist participants with transforming and strengthening from their brokenness.

Post-collective reflection

by Devika Short

Our first session was well-attended. Some of our activities included drawing our names in block letters, cutting around the letters to reveal our names on both sides of the paper and “picking up” the cut-out pieces to create visual art. During this session the book “Beautiful Oops!” by Barney Saltzberg was read twice to offer attendees a choice of listening with “eyes open” or “eyes closed”. A discussion followed and art was created. Many parallels were formed from the title of the Collective and the reading of the story. Like the mistakes in the book, what is broken can be transformed. The book story “celebrates” mistakes because they were transformed into a wide selection of creativity. This is what we sought in our sessions.

Our personal story can also “celebrate” the various times we have been broken because this allows us to be “transformed.” Word association for “broken-ness” in our discussions included strength/strong, transformation, space and cracks, Shiva, Kali, Durga, circle of regeneration, and the journey. In subsequent sessions, we shared Peter Mayer’s poem “Japanese Bowl”, (an excerpt below) which was a gentle reminder to us to fill our cracks with gold instead of hiding them.

“I’m like one of those Japanese bowls
That were made long ago
I have some cracks in me
They have been filled with gold
That’s what they used back then
When they had a bowl to mend
It did not hide the cracks
It made them shine instead…

In another session, we heard from Chris Michaels book “The Power of You: How to live your authentic, exciting, joy-filled life now!” a quote from Emerson’s essay “The Oversoul”. The quote was “From within or from behind, a light shines through us upon things, and makes us aware that we are nothing, but the light is all.” We also shared Leonard Cohen’s song “Anthem” with the lyrics “there is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in” which stirred great discussion and provided the group with inspiration to create the poem below.


Light, it comes
Are you ready? Is it what you need?
Is it what you’re waiting for?
Its brightness may seem frightening at times
But it is there for us
Light is not just what we see
It takes several shapes, forms, and intensity
Light passes through, it is reflected, it is absorbed
And it transforms us
Light may destroy, but is also regenerates
It transforms our world
And if you want a rainbow
You must break Light, bend Light
Through this fracture comes
the spectrum to our eyes
Light can be comforting
It can be nourishing
It can provide warmth
And it can uplift one’s Soul
Light finds a way
Even in the darkness it is hurling
through space, coming to greet us at
the speed of Light
It is around us
No need to seek it out
It transforms what it touches
And brightens our inner Light

First Gathering

  • October 16, 2016
  • Sunday, 1:00–3:00 p.m.


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Arts Collective Registration

Please note that each collective has a gathering workshop date that is predetermined. All participants are obligated to participate in this workshop to join the collective.