I remember as a child, my Nana had a golden bowl.
Her college roommate brought it back from India and gave it to her as a gift. Whenever it was a quiet time or time for a nap, Nana would take what I called “the magical wand” and rub the outside edges of the bowl with it. The sound was this beautiful hum like the hover of a hummingbird. It lulled me to a restful peace. As she circled the wand on the outer edge of the bowl, I imagined circles floating like little rings—like the smoke the caterpillar in Alice in Wonderland exhaled into the sky, the ones floating from a bubble wand and the ones we see after we look in the sun for too long.
These sound rings from the bowl swirled me to sleep.
It had been some time since I thought of the sound bowl—but lying in savasana the other day, our teacher brought out a golden bowl, and hearing its hum brought me back to my childhood: memories of Nana’s stories of her roommate, Margaret, who lived in India, the rich colors of gold and red, the spicy sweets filled with anise, ginger, cardamom and the tapestry robes. All these things were just the details in the stories, but for me, they were the most interesting parts.
Like the hum of the sound bowl, these sights, sounds and aromas were the things that filled my head with dreams. So I let the hum take me back to that time when my imagination ran free—those childhood afternoons with Nana.
Before class, I had started a new piece of art—a terrarium sculpture. I didn’t know how to place the petals or which colors to use. And then, hearing the hum of the sound bowl, it came to me—a circle, just like the petals connected to the flower’s center.
Sometimes we need to take a step away from trying—from thinking or looking for the solutions—and just listen. Focusing on something outside of our thoughts is when the creativity spark for which we are searching is set free.
So listen to it, follow it and don’t try to guide it—just let it take you there.
It is the unfamiliar, the new and different—just like the sights sounds and smells Nana described—that breaks us out of our rut and leads to the new and the interesting.
Author: Jane CoCo Cowles
Apprentice Editor: Lois Person/Editor: Yoli Ramazzina
Photo: Flickr/Suzanne Schroeter