My Notebook

An essay by Amy Moffitt

I have a notebook in which I write drafts of poetry and essays.  The first entry I know is for SPARK is dated 6/6/09, a poem called “Unraveling.”  The poem is about my Grandfather, a response to a painting called “Tangled” by Peg Bruhn.  (See Amy and Peg’s work from SPARK 4.) I remember opening the email with the image of the painting, staring at it, and then letting my eyes go out of focus as the painting did the magic work all SPARK inspiration pieces have invariably done for me.  When the poem came shortly thereafter, it came as a whole. My notebook shows that on 6/6/09, I wrote the response in a single draft, crossing out only one line.

The process felt like an act of healing.  When I posted a link online, my Mother read it and told me that it made her cry.  She thanked me for writing it… it had been healing for her, too.

Thankfully, not every poem I write makes my Mother cry, but the process of SPARK nearly always feels something like healing.  I’ve told Amy Souza before that SPARK is spiritual work… two people exchanging the fruit of their creative muse/spirit and inspiring the creative muse/spirit of the other person.  I remember being blown away by the first SPARK visual artist’s response to a poem I’d written.  A stranger taking my words and turning them into images that both honored what I’d done and managed to generate something entirely new was a revelation to me.  It felt like spiritual connection.  It felt like acceptance.

A few years and many rounds later, I continue to benefit from and believe in what SPARK does.  On the surface, it’s about generating artistic work, but I believe the more important and transformative aspect of it is the connection it creates between artists.  It is a truly life-giving and hope-inspiring thing to realize that this is possible… that being strangers does not constrain our commonality as creative people… that we can inspire one another new and deeper things regardless of how little we know about one another.  I truly hope that SPARK continues for many years, generating many more thousand pieces of art and writing and many thousands more spiritual/creative connections between strangers who are seeking to communicate what they have been given to a world starved for meaning.

See more of Amy Moffitt’s SPARK work here, here, and here.