After waiting for almost an hour for my bus on a Saturday morning in Manhattan, I finally made it to my first TWM Visioning Workshop. The moment I sat down, I immediately felt at ease; the chaos I just went through earlier lost its significance. After Kristina greeted us and shared her personal experiences, we began working on our collages by clearing our minds through meditation. It is hard for me to clear my thoughts and relax, but I felt the anxiety and stress of the day slowly melt away.
I haven’t even attempted to do something like a collage since my days as an eighth grader in a rundown, overpriced Catholic school. I was eager to reconnect with the pre-teen in me who loved using my glue, scissors, and pencils to create something. None of us spoke when we were working on the different steps to create our collages, which we later wrote about it in our journals. Each of us remained focused and worked quietly to create visual expressions of ourselves, our dreams, and hopes for the future.
While I used a combination of images and words in my collage, others relied on one or the other to reveal themselves in a variety of ways, like Kekla who only used pictures to create her collage. My final product may not be the most visually stunning of the bunch, but it accurately reflects my past and current inspirations, my confusion about life, and my optimism about the future. When I shared my collage with the group, I realized that it turned out exactly right.
Without the meditation, breathing, and journal writing, the collage would have just been a half-hearted art project. With all of these elements together, it made for a meaningful experience that I hope to repeat in the future. Many of the participants I met have attended past TWM Visioning Workshops, and now I know why.