The Flame has long been an image I hold dear. It is a symbol of creativity to me. Months ago I wrote a post about how I found that flame. It is called Feed Your Flame.  In it I describe how painting the image and ultimately dancing the image of a flame helped me to realize how we all have this inside of us – that creativity that is yearning to be fed.

The flame became an image I kept going back to: a collection of swirling red lines, always changing, always growing…  And so when it became my turn to express my journey not just in words on a paper but more deeply through an art form, I danced with my own flame (a red veil) and together we showed the story of how my flame had been fed through the arts.

Our choice, of course is to feed our flame or not.

Yesterday, after school, I took my son into our school’s music room.  I was supposed to be meeting with someone, but at the last minute, our meeting was postponed.  My five-year-old son Zach, however, asked if we could still go and play for a little while.  I couldn’t resist his cute little smile, so I said, “Sure, but only for 10 minutes.”

When we walked into the room, Zach lit up!  He loves the music room and I allow him to use certain instruments (with the music teacher’s permission, of course).  He has, after all been trained in the proper use of instruments.  🙂  He immediately grabbed some mallets and started making music on the xylophone.

I stood for a moment, wondering to myself, “What can I get done in 10 minutes while I’m here?”  I thought about turning on the room’s computer and surfing, taking out my date book and flipping, calling someone and chatting, taking out some papers and correcting… but then I saw the piano: wide open, keys exposed, sheet music out, bench pushed back, calling me to it and I sat down.

At a turtle’s pace I played what was in front of me.  Slowly it came back and those 10 minutes sped by.  Another song – another 5 minutes.   Let me flip through this book – another 5 minutes.  I was having fun.  Then I looked at the time.  It was definitely time to go.

As we left the room, making sure all was back in place, I looked over at the piano and realized that its being open and ready is how it remains “back in place.”  At home, my piano is closed, sheet music is closed, bench is pushed in.  That needs to change!

For a short time, I allowed myself to feed my flame again. And it felt good!  Every so often I need that reminder.  Don’t you?


This summer I am excited to be organizing a Teacher ART Retreat built to feed teachers’ flames.  Save these dates: August 15-17, 2011.  More information will be coming next week!

Practice What I Preach
5 Keys to Teaching with Arts Integration