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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

How One Bullet Sparked Creative Chaos and an Amazing Creative & Spiritual Journey

One Bullet 

Story and illustrations by Karen Blessen 
Originally published in The Dallas Morning News on Sunday, August 17, 2003

How I wish that each and every one of you could have joined us Saturday, April 30, 2011 when the Creative Oasis Day Trippers™ visited the art studio of Karen Blessen. An artist, writer, humanitarian, promoter of peace, spiritual seeker and gracious hostess, Blessen welcomed us into her Deep Ellum space to share the story behind and the future hopes and dreams for her "29 Pieces" project.

The story that she shared with us was one of the most beautiful examples of "creative chaos" of which I've ever heard. The idea of creative chaos as we share it in Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coaching® supports the notion that creativity is a non-linear process. While linear thinking goes from A to B to C to D, non-linear thinking, or creative thinking, goes from Q to Venus to Peacock by way of glitter and winds up on your front doorstep at midnight with a bottle of champagne.

Karen Bless & Jill Allison Bryan

In Blessen's case, she was on a fabulously successful creative path making a living as a graphic artist and illustrator, having won many awards, including a Pulitzer Prize. She created the illustrations for the campaign that helped revitalize Times Square in NYC. She felt blessed to have a career using her creative talents for writing and art. Then it happened. One bullet sparked a series of events that would change her life forever. 

After a young man was shot and killed in Blessen's front yard she searched for a way to process the unthinkable that had happened. Over the span of three years she interviewed as many people as she could that were affected by the random shooting. The end result is the story "One Bullet" which ran in The Dallas Morning News on Sunday, August 17, 2003. (See her graphic illustration at the top of this page with a link to the entire story.)

Even after the somewhat cathartic experience of conducting the interviews and writing, Blessen was still filled with anger, sadness and questions that couldn't be answered. A friend suggested she try Passage Meditation. "I felt like a duck who'd be searching my whole life and finally found the pond," says Blessen of her immediate connection to this type of meditation. 


Memorizing and meditating on sacred texts led to the next steps of exploring them on a deeper level in her journals. The wellspring of words and images that this effort produced became the nucleus for her 29 Pieces project. 

Cleave the heart of a raindrop, a hundred oceans will pour forth.

I encourage you to visit the 29 Pieces website above to learn more about Blessen's incredible vision for this project which includes a permanent public space to house 29 enormous sculptures interwoven with spaces for reflection, fellowship and creative and spiritual practices. I as said, creative chaos at it's most beautiful.

Creative Oasis Day Trippers(tm) taking a closer look at the 29 Pieces models
As usual, there were some lovely connections made and serendipities experienced during our Day Trippers' time together. Trish had just come from a celebration at the Dallas Public Library where she had found a book she thought Blessen was meant to have as she seeks to bring her enormous vision for 29 Pieces to life. 

Serendipitous Sharing
If you'd like to know when and where will be going for future Creative Oasis Day Tripper experiences please subscribe to my Creative Oasis blog via e-mail. Send me your e-mail if you'd like to join the list to receive monthly invites and information on all things Creative Oasis! Until next time, how will you allow yourself to open to the infinite possibility of creative chaos in your life?

All the best from my creative oasis to yours,

1 comment :

she-she said...

It was an incredible afternoon! The things that Karen spoke about really resonated with me. The trip was an inspirational vehicle for
thoughts about pain, suffering, change and the transformational power of love. It awed me!