fbpx
Sunday, September 27, 2020

Creativity in Two Shakes of a Goat’s Tail

My writing had gotten stale. I needed a creative boost. I’d taken workshops over the years, but I always had the nagging feeling that they lacked something. What could it be? A celebrity instructor? Genius students? A tropical location? No. As it turned out, the thing that was missing from my classes was baby Nigerian dwarf goats.

If browsing through my Facebook feed has taught me anything over the past year, it’s that goat encounters are all the rage. I learned I could sign up for writing, drawing and painting workshops, and even yoga classes — all featuring goats enhancing the experience.

The workshop I chose was titled, “Write, Create & Laugh With Baby Goats: A Workshop for Creativity, Joy & Well Being.” Instructor Terrie Silverman of Creative Rites first had encountered the goats at a goat yoga workshop and immediately thought their benefits could be applied to writing. She proceeded to put together a program, in conjunction with Michelle Tritten of Hello Critter, owner and caretaker of the goats.

Her pitch to attendees was, “You’ll commune with the baby goats while being led through fun writing, drawing and mindfulness exercises, to release the critic, create from a place of joy and acceptance, and tap into the wisdom, whimsy and Zen of the baby goats.” That sounded way more enjoyable than my college seminar, “Style and Tone in Faulkner and Hemingway.”

When I arrived at the arts studio on Larchmont Boulevard, Silverman welcomed us and introduced us to the two goats, Billy and Burlap. My attention was absorbed by these gentle, short-attention-span creatures. Silverman had us take out our notebooks and pens as she posed a number of thought-provoking questions. While watching and petting these adorable goats, I wrote and shared with the others what I noticed about the goats and myself, what I thought the world looked like to them, what the goats could teach us, and how they affected me.

My brief experience with the goats inspired me to savor the moment, be in touch with my instincts, not get bogged down with words, remember to play and not take myself so seriously.

My fellow goat writers and I agreed that after even just a short time with these wonderful creatures, they helped us to not care as much what people think and develop more of a single-minded focus.

But perhaps we were still too much in our heads, thinking instead of feeling. And so, drawing paper and crayons were distributed. Our assignment was to let go of our inner critic and create a picture of how the goats made us feel. I hadn’t colored with crayons since kindergarten. It felt therapeutic.

I left the workshop feeling far less creatively stale. My brief experience with the goats inspired me to savor the moment, be in touch with my instincts, not get bogged down with words, remember to play and not take myself so seriously.

Could this goat thing be more than a wacky California trend? Maybe if we hung around animals more often, there’d be less need for medication and therapy, and less bad behavior. Or at least less stale writing. So, don’t be surprised if you run into me shopping for my emotional support goat.


Mark Miller is a humorist and stand-up comic who has written for sitcoms. His first book is “500 Dates: Dispatches From the Front Lines of the Online Dating Wars.”

Did you enjoy this article?

You'll love our roundtable.


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Jewish Journal, 3250 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, 90010, http://www.jewishjournal.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

Enjoyed this article?

You'll love our roundtable.


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Jewish Journal, 3250 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, 90010, http://www.jewishjournal.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

Latest Articles

Israel File Appendix: Numbers under Lockdown

The weighted average below takes into account three factors: the timing of the poll (more recent, more important); the number of people surveyed (more...

It’s Time to Look at Palestinian-Israeli Conflict With Fresh Eyes

How the Abraham Accords were achieved and what the “Palestinian cause” now requires.

Can We Forgive Each Other in the Midst of a Tribal Culture War?

At a time when Jews are supposed to look within and admit fault, too many of us are virtue signaling and delegitimizing our opponents. Can we stop?

150-Year-Old Time Capsule Found in a Wall of Oldest Synagogue in British City

Construction workers at the site of a former Spanish and Portuguese synagogue in Manchester, England, found a time capsule from the 1870s.

What Does it Mean to Have a Deeper Yom Kippur?

Rosh Hashanah begins the work. Yom Kippur seals it. But only if you are willing to go deep.

Lisa Edelstein Joins the Cast of ‘ 9-1-1 Lone Star’

Lisa Edelstein (“House,” “The Good Doctor”) has joined the cast of FOX’s “9-1-1 Lone Star” as the ex-wife of the fire captain played by...

AOC Withdraws From Yitzhak Rabin Memorial Event Following Pro-Palestinian Criticism

The event will be held in October by Americans for Peace Now.

Report Highlights Anti-Semitism in Qatari Textbooks

One textbook called Zionism "a radical racist political movement."

Netanyahu’s Waning Legacy

Many Israelis now believe that everything Netanyahu is doing is only meant to save him from trial, even at the cost of curbing Israeli democracy.

Culture

Lisa Edelstein Joins the Cast of ‘ 9-1-1 Lone Star’

Lisa Edelstein (“House,” “The Good Doctor”) has joined the cast of FOX’s “9-1-1 Lone Star” as the ex-wife of the fire captain played by...

Prosecutors Drop Solicitation Charges Against Patriots Owner Robert Kraft

They said they didn't have a case when they couldn't use a video for their case.

‘RBG’ Filmmaker Julie Cohen on Justice Ginsburg’s Death: ‘I Was Stunned’

Cohen made her comments during a Zoom event with Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival Executive Director Hilary Helstein on Sept. 24. 

Dr. Mandy Cohen on Guiding North Carolina’s Pandemic Response Wearing a Chai Necklace

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, Dr. Mandy Cohen has provided steady guidance to the people of North Carolina. As the secretary of the North Carolina...

The Sweetness of Yom Kippurs Past

Sharon Gomperts: My family is visiting the apartment building in Israel where my uncles and their families live. I awake in the middle of...

Latest Articles
Latest

Israel File Appendix: Numbers under Lockdown

The weighted average below takes into account three factors: the timing of the poll (more recent, more important); the number of people surveyed (more...

It’s Time to Look at Palestinian-Israeli Conflict With Fresh Eyes

How the Abraham Accords were achieved and what the “Palestinian cause” now requires.

Can We Forgive Each Other in the Midst of a Tribal Culture War?

At a time when Jews are supposed to look within and admit fault, too many of us are virtue signaling and delegitimizing our opponents. Can we stop?

150-Year-Old Time Capsule Found in a Wall of Oldest Synagogue in British City

Construction workers at the site of a former Spanish and Portuguese synagogue in Manchester, England, found a time capsule from the 1870s.

What Does it Mean to Have a Deeper Yom Kippur?

Rosh Hashanah begins the work. Yom Kippur seals it. But only if you are willing to go deep.

Hollywood

‘Dirty Dancing’ Sequel Starring Jennifer Grey Announced

It’s official: A “Dirty Dancing” sequel is coming, and it’s starring Jewish actress Jennifer Grey, who played Frances “Baby” Houseman in the 1987 original.

Roy Moore’s Lawsuit Against Sacha Baron Cohen Over Being Pranked Can Proceed, Judge Rules

By the time the episode aired, it was widely known that Cohen was punking public figures.

Podcasts

Pandemic Times Episode 90: Yom Kippur in a Pandemic Can Be Our Most Meaningful

New David Suissa Podcast Every Tuesday and Friday. Reflections from Rabbi Mordecai Finley on going deep on Judaism's holiest day. How do we manage our lives...

Pandemic Times Episode 89: Honoring Ruth Bader Ginsburg

New David Suissa Podcast Every Tuesday and Friday. Reflections on the life and legacy of a Jewish and American hero. How do we manage our lives...

More news and opinions than at a Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Jewish Journal, 3250 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, 90010, http://www.jewishjournal.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

x