Friday, December 4, 2020

My Little Piggy

 Once upon a time there were three little piggies.

Actually, there was only one Little Piggy.  My Little Piggy.

Here he is:

Don't laugh.  This little piggy changed my life.  In the first grade of Belltown Elementary School, we had the great honor of meeting a visiting art teacher.  A real artist!  I was only five years old, but I remember she was young and pretty and full of energy and enthusiasm.  She gave all the children in my class of twenty, bits of wet clay and then taught us how to make little animals.  We left her with our little clay clumps lined up on a sheet of wax paper and then we went off for summer vacation.  I forgot all about my little clay pig until the art teacher reappeared the next September and she reunited us with our animal creations, freshly baked in a kiln. 

I remember she leaned down and whispered over my shoulder, "and what do we have here?"  I picked up my little clump of hardened clay with the blue eyes, and I told her he was a little pig.  And to my surprise, the simple fact that I had created a pig--and not a very good-looking pig at that--well, it got quite a reaction. 

The visiting teacher looked at me and then she looked at my pig once again and then she announced, "you're very creative!"

 At first I didn't understand what she meant, (after all my pig is really nothing spectacular), but later I realized it was because I was the only one in class who made a pig.  Yes, a lone pig among a classroom filled with dogs and cats and a few mice with painted on whiskers.

I will be forever grateful to this visiting artist and I will never forget her.  And I will never forget my clay pig and I've kept this pig for sixty years!

Why to I cradle this memory in my heart?  It's certainly not because this was some great looking pig.  I meant, honestly, look at it--it looks like a clump.  It looks like it's about to keel over.  And those sad eyes!   

No, I treasure this little pig because of what this visiting art teacher said to me that day--"you're creative!"  This was one of those, Wizard of Oz moments when the Good Witch Glenda tells Dorothy--look at your ruby slippers, honey you've always had the power to go home!

At just six years old, I decided then and there that I was creative.  An artist told me so!  I took that compliment and I held it to my heart and find comfort in it and I still do to this very day.

Here's my point.  You're creative.  You're creative because I said so.  

My daughter was not particularly good in school.  But you know what--I told her that she was creative.   

Here are the little piggies she made when she was a little girl:

My advice is to tell someone you know that they're creative.  This is especially a good thing to do with children.  You never know how you'll change their life.  All you have to do is plant the seed, and say it.  

"You're creative."

You don't even need to make a clay pig!

Oh, and this brings me to my creative prompt for this week.  The word "pig."  Do something amazing.  Have fun.  Be creative.  Because, you know what, you are creative, my friend!




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