Arte Soleil

Reflections on Art in the Blueberry Patch

by Heather Michet

Sometimes making art is like picking berries.  You just don’t know at the start of it all what magical gifts will present themselves.

I was gathering my mega pounds of blueberries this morning to supply the freezer with my annual supply.

The farm where I pick each year does little to no maintenance on their elder bushes:  rows and rows of plants have long ago transformed into a giant mass, individual shrubs only discernible when down on your knees to pass through their tunnels.

As the temperature climbed just 35 minutes into my ritual, the little pail hanging from around my neck held a scant cup or so of berries.  I was cranky and questioning the logic of doing this as I exclaimed: Just go buy a flat and be done with it!  Pay the extra money.  This is nuts! Instead of being poked and pricked with a web of stiff dead branches, I could be working on a project or reading or writing or napping.  Let’s get outta here.

I continued to pick despite the slowly accumulating bit of berries.  More wonders of my sanity came forth: Did it take this long last year?  Was it so laborious and seemingly ridiculous?  At this rate, I’d be like one of the dried up berries before I had 10 pounds in my bucket.

Then I went deeper into the bushy mass, following the lure of a few weighty clusters dangling with huge, perfectly ripe blueberries.

As the “big boys” were dropping into my container, more clusters appeared just to their right.  Then to their left, and above and below.  Leafy covers pulled aside opened windows to perfect and abundant bounty.

I had landed in my “sweet spot” – the miraculous place of standing in one spot, picking pay dirt!  Every branch lowered to my reach revealed at least four more groups of sweet delight.

On it went, as if by magic.  The longer I stayed immersed in the task in that one spot, ultimately pivoting through a full 360 degrees, the greater my rewards.

I realized that the process of expressing art is often the same.  The initial start-up may be laden with doubts, thoughts of quitting, and cranky self-questioning, but the diligence of staying with it until hitting the sweet spot of Flow and creation is such a wonderful prize.

Where I wind up is way beyond where I thought I’d be at the outset.

Blueberry pancakes anyone?


Huge thanks to Arte Soleil and everyone involved there who help me dive into the creative bushes and immerse myself in the process of magical discovery.