creative Therapy

Catalyst One Hundred and Three
March 3, 2010, 8:26 am
Filed under: catalyst


As always, thank you to all of our visitors and all the encouraging comments you left for us. For those of you who did, thank you for playing along with us.


Ok! Here’s catalyst number one hundred and three:


When did you first fall in love?


We’re delighted to have Tara Whitney as this week’s Guest Artist.


Here’s a quickie self-bio for Tara:


I am a mother of four and a photographer of families living as close to the beach as I can afford in southern CA. I spend a lot of time with my husband and kiddos – they are my favorite people in the whole entire world. And, the camera is never far from my reach. I love to photograph families. I love to make people feel beautiful. I love to laugh. I really love when I get to do all three at the same time.


If you’ve never seen Tara’s photography, make sure to visit her blog. And prepare to be awed and inspired when you look at her portfolio.





Here is Tara’s art with this week’s catalyst. You can click on it to see a larger version and more detail.




Tara Says:

I met my husband when I was just 8 years old. I hunted earthworms back then, and dug holes into the clay dirt of our playground. Homes for the worms. Sometimes keeping an eye on Jeff Whitney. There was something about him I liked, even then. That blonde hair and those midnight blue eyes. The sound of his voice.


And then I moved away.


And it could have happened that we were never to meet again.


But there was something that pulled us back together.


I walked into the auditorium for Drama in ninth grade and there he was.


We danced a shy little dance for almost three years. It took him that long to get up the courage to ask me out.


He was the first boy I was allowed to go on a date with at the romantically hopeful age of 16.


And he is still the only boy I am allowed to go on a date with at the romantically wise age of 33.


This photo I am sharing was taken at almost a year into our relationship, in Hawaii, while on vacation with his family.


I thought I was in love with him then. I know I am in love with him now.


But really?


I have been in love with him since I was eight years old.



Thank you so much Tara; we’re so very honored.



Here are some interpretations of the catalyst from members of our team.




Opal Says:

I was sure I was in love. It was in fourth grade. His name was Mark E. and he wore braces on his teeth. He was in love with her…the first girl in our class to wear a bra. She had long dark hair and curves that I wasn’t even aware happened yet. He didn’t seem to notice me, right there across from him, watching his every move. I remember his eyes were blue. I wrote him a letter in which I told him my feelings. The words are long forgotten, but I remember clearly the squeak of hinges on the handle of the blue mailbox on the corner of my street, and the whispered thump as my letter dropped to the bottom. It was in that moment that I understood cause and effect. My mother assured me that once dropped in the box, a letter could not be retrieved. I watched the mailman open that blue mailbox, reach inside and gather and pack those envelopes in his big floppy leather bag. I waited. I thought of every possible way to get that letter back before it was read. Days later, his mom called my mom, and they had a little talk. I wish I knew what was said between them. Did my mom smile? And bless her heart, she never mentioned it, saving me from further embarrassment. He never mentioned it. And life went on.





Journaling Reads:

He was a few years older than me. We would hang out while our brothers practiced soccer. He would constantly threaten to kiss me. This used to thrill and scare me all at the same time, for I had never kissed a boy. He never did. And, maybe, that is why he will always be my first love. He’s the one who never was, but it was close and I still have fond memories.




Severine Says:

I believe I fell in love oh his the first time I saw you, when our eyes met …


In French:

Je crois que je suis tombée amoureuse de lui la première fois que je l’ai vu, quand nos regards ce sont croisés …




Karen Says:

I’ve had many crushes in my youth but my first love was Levent who was, at the time, also my best friend. We loved each other dearly and twenty-two years later he’s still one of my favorite people in the world.





Wendela Says:

When I was 8 years old, I had a girlfriend…when I was playing with her, I saw her big brother..and I wish that he was MY brother, he was tall, brown hair, blue eyes..very handsome….I was love at the first sight…After 12 years we married…and now we are married for almost 18 years!! How Romantic is that! And yes..I still LOVE him!





Larissa Says:

It was for a boy named Tito. I was in 5th grade and he sent me a ripped paper note asking if I wanted to be his girlfriend… Of course I did!!!




Journaling Reads:

July 6th, 1998 was the most important day of my life. The day I walked into a music store & walked out in love for the very first time. That day my breath was taken away by the most handsome & talented boy I had ever met & I was smitten. I played giddily in puddles with a smile on my face & dreamed my school girl dreams that would in fact come true. July 6th, 1998 changed my life. It was the day that my dreams started coming true. I fell in love with the boy & have been falling again every day since.


Technique Highlight:

I created a banner inspired by the patterned paper by misting some small doilies with glimmer mist and folding them in half over thick bakers twine. I then adhered it to my page.




Christine Says:

When I consider the first time I fell in love, my initial response would be after I first met my husband. I was completely enamored with him! He truly captured my heart and I was head-over-heels infatuated with him! However, many years later, I would realize that I didn’t really love him in truest way that I could. After coming to know God and His definition of love shared in I Corinthians 13:4-8, I came to see that my understanding of love was truly flawed and self-centered. Through seasons of personal struggles trying to understand why I often felt disappointed by the lack of love that I felt from my husband and in the way I lacked in expressing my love to him, I finally realized that I couldn’t truly love him without having God’s love overflow in my own heart first.


As I came to know just how much God loved and cared for me, His grace allowed me to experience what true love really was like: sacrificial, long-suffering, gracious, forgiving, hopeful, persevering, never failing. Knowing this, I could then express God’s love to my husband in a way that made our relationship even better than before. I no longer had expectations for how I hoped he would treat me because I could now freely accept love from the One who could fulfill that need in my heart. What I received from my husband was then a blessing that I could accept, with contentment, as a gift from his heart. It took many seasons of surrendering my selfish desires, letting go of past offenses, learning to be patient, and having trust and hope in the redeeming work of God in my heart. I am still challenged very often to love in this way, but it has made a world of difference!


So…when did I first truly fall in love? It was when I fell in love with my God – my creator and Savior. When my heart was fully enamored with His, I could then love my husband in the best way I ever could. This project is simply a reminder of God’s love for me which I can, in turn, express towards my husband.




Lia Says:

I didn’t know what love was until I fell in it with you. I’ve never basked in the now like I do with you, never wanted the future more than with you, never loved myself until you taught me how. You found me at my best, and seen me at my worst. And you still tell me that I’m the best person for you and you wouldn’t want me in any other way. I waited 21 years to find love in you, and it was oh-so worth the wait.



Now it’s your turn: show us your therapeutic art around “When did you first fall in love?” I urge you to give it a try. It can be any form of art as long as it speaks to you.


Leave us comments with your work so we can share in your creative therapy, too. If you don’t have a community or blog where you upload photos, you can upload them on our flickr group.



Remember, this is not a competition. If your art makes you feel even a bit better at the end, you’ve won.


Until next week, enjoy each and every moment.




4 Comments so far
Leave a comment

loved Christine’s piece, which Christine is it?

Comment by Diane Marra

What a heartwarming, sweet story! Great catalyst! 😀

Comment by Zarah

just try…my first physical love…when my whole body caught fire !!!! and the following times…other loves, other journeys….
my “pictures” are on the blog…

Comment by Peaceful

I loved seeing everyone’s take on this and really loved the prompt because it was about time I did a page in my art journal about this! Here’s mine:

Comment by Glenda Tkalac

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