Lessons from Elephant Art
Elephant Art

Finding the inspiration to stay positive during a pandemic year of “unusuals” was draining, if not pointblank depressing. Amid the chaotic climate of 2020, patience and impatience for “normalcy” bounced out of balance. All across the globe, emotions tipped up and down as if riding a teeter-totter. Sheltering in place, isolated us from what we knew. Would our “usual” ever return?

As an author, I did my normal story-storming, read posts by favorite writers, and participated in author webinars. My brain hurt. My passion dulled. Maybe I wasn’t a writer after all. Then one dreary morning in February, I zoned out gazing at a favorite painting of mine. A gift given to me during my stint as Anna in the musical “The King and I.” The watercolorists were two artsy elephants from our local zoo. Staring at their broad brushstrokes, I had an epiphany. Their silly, joyful, random way of exploding color on canvas epitomizes for me what fuels inspiration. It pumps the heartbeat of living and growing.

Here are five lessons these gentle giants taught me. May they feed your muse as well.

Lessons from Elephant Art

ONE: Don’t think about where to start. Just get doing.

TWO: Explore on a broader canvas, beyond what’s usual.

THREE: LOVE the mess. Imagine the process is a playground.

FOUR: Forget about failure. Nothing’s ever wasted.

FIVE: Keep joy in the journey.

Ready to begin a new venture? A fresh attitude? Think like an elephant. Congratulate yourself as you climb each slippery step toward your goal. Stay strong. No wavering…hesitating. When the newness wears away, hold on. You’ll be wowed by what’s beyond your “usual.”

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Sub-zero weather and my cat ventures out. No wonder felines have nine lives. My cat’s only three and she’s on her eighth life.
Her snowprints remind me of how we all leave impressions every day by our words, our actions, our silence. Sometimes our impact is small, even unnoticed. Other times we do something bold, outside of the safe zone.

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Early this morning, I rolled out my cat-scratched, hole-poked mat once again and pressed Shuffle for my yoga tunes. With bones shouting and muscles complaining, I ebbed and flowed through my poses. As I ended in the calming tree pose with one leg bent and a foot to my knee, my arms stretched from my heart to the sky. I gazed at the tree outside my window. Oddly enough, it posed in mirror image to me. We bent and swayed together in a ridiculous dance…

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Marsha Elyn Wright
Bursts of belly-laughs. Raised eye-brows. Teary trickles. Heart tugs. Grumbly mutters and more. Good storytelling sparks emotions and memories in us. It connects cultures and generations. The best words create melodies on a page we can sing reading aloud. These story songs expand, challenge, affirm, and delight us. My hope is that my storytelling creates this magic for you.


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