Notes from the ecopsychological expressive art work-bench: Bus Stop Project
Last Fall I decided to attempt to keep a photo journal of my daily wait at the bus stop for kids arriving from local schools coming to art classes for the day.
Here’s a snippet of these moments of rest, reflection, and repose.
Just as I encourage my kids photo class to take pictures of what’s around them, I too thought I might take the challenge myself.
As I encourage others to reflect often in their work, I do so here: it is hard to mindfully be present everyday even to take one picture from a phone. We rush from place to place, schedules busy, intentions strong, but sometimes I think we might need to stop and just have a deep breath for a moment. Take in the scenery. Listen and smell and even feel the world around us before the next wave of duties comes upon us. We offer kids the chance to learn and create in this space, but to do so, they must first let go of their stressful days. This usually occurs outside- in nature.
Some projects take time- why rush? The creative process of living life deepens for me when I do this. It reconnects me to myself, others, and the world around me. The path becomes clear and the next project can be flowed with like the seasons which constantly evolve betwixt us.
I think I cannot preserve my health and spirits unless I spend four hours a day at least—and it is commonly more than that—sauntering through the woods and fields absolutely free from all worldy engagements.—"Walking", Henry David Thoreau (https://www.walden.org/thoreau/thoreau-quotations/)
If only I had four hours. This year, I’m grateful I have at least a few moments every day, that I have to wait and do nothing at the bus stop. Maybe before your next project, you might try doing nothing too. Smell the path your standing on. Hear the birds and sky above. Feel the rain and snow and sun fall about you. Take a deep belly breath of the world around you and exhale it all until the next photo frame clicks into place.
Ben Fox LCMHC is an intermodal ecopsychological expressive art therapist, art educator at ArtisTree & occasional equine enthusiast.
All photographs by Ben Fox ©ArtisTree Community Arts Center
For more information, please contact Ben Fox LCMHC at firstname.lastname@example.org