• Advocacy and Activism

    Creativity Connects: in which MassCreative goes to Beacon Hill, and I go with them.

    On Tuesday, March 26, 2019, I joined MASSCreative for its annual Arts Advocacy day on Beacon Hill. As my children have moved toward adulthood and their own more public lives – one a college sophomore, the other about to graduate high school in a few weeks – so have I. In 2018 I was certified as an Intentional Creativity Teacher, and opened the doors of my own teaching studio, Studio Tara Erin at Knucklehead House in Brookfield, MA. And with Creativity Connects, MassCreative’s 2019 Arts Advocacy Day on Beacon Hill, I have made my first foray into public advocacy. Here’s a picture to prove it: Not convinced? Photographer Susan Margot…

  • In the Studio

    Imagine 2019

    With the exception of 2018 when I completed 5 major paintings for the Color of Woman training program, I have worked on a yearlong painting project each year since 2015. For 2019, my project is based on Shiloh Sophia’s Imagine curriculum. First taught in 2017, its goal is not the creation of an art masterpiece, but the use of creativity to cultivate resiliency and build capacity for thoughtful and creative response to the seemingly endless stream of personal and collective traumas of life. In truth, these benefits have been evident in all the prior paintings as well, but in this year’s project it feels as if the layer of creating…

  • Under the Miriam Tree

    Musing on Compassion

    Last night I sat with darker passions – resentment, anger, and pride. I neither denied them, nor gave them free rein, but acknowledged them and allowed them space within myself to be expressed. This morning, for my birthday perhaps, they returned to me a gift of understanding. Take no action in haste, and speak not in anger. Rather, sit with yourself in compassion. Com-Passion: together with passion (1). Allow your passion to be, and like a good friend, ask what it needs you to know. Your darker passions are like winds under your command. You can let them swallow you up, like a tornado, blinding you with the detritus it…

  • Allegories, Fables & Fairy Tales

    Rhyme and Reason in the Kingdom of Being (an Allegory)

    A long time ago and very far away lived the Queen of Being and her twin daughters, Rhyme and Reason. Both were beautiful and bright, and as they grew, their mother envisioned them as her advisers and, ultimately, the future rulers of the kingdom. Despite their equal gifts, it seemed when they were very young as though Rhyme was clearly the Queen’s favorite, and all the court shared in adoring the delightful child. When she sang, everyone would stop to listen. When she danced, everyone turned their heads to see. Although there were no refrigerators to put them on in those days the Queen, like any proud parent, made sure…

  • Under the Miriam Tree

    Becoming the Ancestors

    The Creative Now So here I am, finally, in my new blog about creativity. To be honest, I feel a bit lost. In such a vast territory, where do I even begin?! The “question of creativity” is enormous, and seems detached from my everyday experience. Then, in the very act of pondering the question, I see it shift under the light of my present consciousness: for these very words on the screen, appearing before my eyes, are an act of creation. I cannot experience creativity in the future or in the past, but only in the NOW. It seems as promising a path as any other, so I tend it further…

  • Applied Creativity

    Creativity and the Change I Want to Be

    I love Gandhi’s teaching to ‘be the change we wish to see in the world’. In practice, though, it often feels overwhelming. There is too much that needs changing: no one person can ‘be’ all of it. Systems of finance, government and education seem to conspire in teaching that change comes at too high a cost; and we are socialized to know that being different carries a heavy penalty. For those who have the resources to effect significant change, there is tremendous incentive to maintain the status quo. We can choose to be the change anyway. We must be gentle with ourselves, especially at first: just pick one. We must…

  • Under the Miriam Tree

    Every New Beginning…

    Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end…” This poignant line from Semisonic’s Closing Time feels most apropos on the day I have finally shut down Mentors and Masterminds, my networking site for administrative professionals, and turn my attention to Tara Erin: Artist in a Cubicle. The scope of Mentors and Masterminds was quite specific, and that specificity was both its beauty and its problem. The beauty of the site was in how quickly and easily I was able to design, build and deliver focused content on the subject of mentoring; the problem lay in the narrowness of the scope. I am an artist and creativity coach, and there…