Expressive Arts Carnival No. 13: Group Word Cloud

| By Paul | | Comments (15)

Welcome to the July 2011 edition of the Expressive Arts Carnival. This month's theme, see announcement, was to write about someone who has taught you something about healing and select three words to send to the carnival along with a color. I took all your submissions and made a word cloud using Wordle.

Here is the result of the combined contributions of 11 entries (33 words) presented as one image in rough alphabetical order to reveal similar words (i.e., most word roots are unique except for 'accept' which appears four times and 'healing' and 'understand' each appearing twice).

You can click on the image for a higher resolution version.

Contributors whose names are linked have a blog post on this activity. Here is the list in the order they were received:

  • Castorgirl wrote: "This was a difficult exercise.  When I tried to think of someone positive, my mind went blank.  Then, as I described the safe hug that the person I chose gave me, I cried.  But it was a healing thing to do... to remember those times of positivity that kept me going."

  • Payton, a new contributor, wrote: "This experience was a really helpful way to focus on some of the gifts that I have been given for this healing journey. Sometimes, in the throws of intense therapy work, it's easy to get lost in the exhaustion and pain. Thanks for this great way to thank my therapist for the many great lessons I have learned from her!"

  • Haven, blog, wrote: "These words come from a poem I wrote about my father who is the only hero I've ever had."

  • Kylie wrote: "This project really made me consider all those who have helped me and continue to do so, all the people I am so grateful for. I think it can be really easy to get stuck into how hard things are and focus on the hurt, and this can mean you overlook the people around you and you forget to show your gratitude."

  • Just Eliza, blog, a new contributor, wrote: "This exercise was meaningful because my therapist and I are facing our last sessions together. I have been reflecting on what I brought to therapy (hope), what she taught me (being kind), and ultimately what we achieved together: learning to value and express my authentic self."

  • Bay wrote: "This month's exercise was actually a really big one for us. It wasn't hard to decide who to write about, but once we started writing we started to wonder about sharing our blog with this person. We have done, and in doing so have allowed our 3D and online worlds to touch for the first time. So far, nothing terrible has happened."

  • Wantstorun wrote: "We did a modified version and came up with three words that are characteristics we want to have in an individual who helps us with our healing, or is otherwise inspirational.  My other modification was to put the words in "code" (more formally known as windings font)." When I replied back to her that I had received it, my mail converted the font to reveal the words. She took this as a sign that the non-coded words should be included.

  • Andrea, a new contributor.

  • Kerro

  • Algo4Me4Once wrote: "This entry I found particularly difficult because having been through a lot medically this month, it also increased my over-load emotionally. Also, got "stuck" when asked to pick one person because in reality, it has been many. I chose 'Healing' because it is what I am trying to do, ever so slowly, but not giving up, one moment at a time, even in the midst of chaos or when silent! I chose 'Movement' without movement I would be literally stuck. I chose 'Love' because without learning to love me, I feel the journey would not be able to be taken."

  • Paul wrote: "This exercise was helpful in allowing me to get to more stable ground."

That's all folks! Thanks to all those who contributed, especially those of you who are new. Thanks for taking a chance! If you think this Carnival is worthwhile, then let others know about it and we can continue to increase the contributors for future months.

The Expressive Arts Carnival was founded to to bring survivors together through expressive arts activities. On the Carnival's home page you can find links to all activity announcements and Carnival publications. Activities are posted on the first of every month and submissions are open for approximately 3 weeks. Please consider emailing to to be added to our anonymous mailing list for announcements and occasional discussions.


sanityisknocking said:

I regret not being part of the submission group this month, but wanted to say that I thought this came out beautifully. What a great idea :) Thanks to everyone for sharing!

Paul Author Profile Page replied to sanityisknocking:

Sanity, There is always next time!

castorgirl said:


I'm not sure whether I should share this or not... but I had quite a negative reaction to seeing my words amongst the cloud created. I've looked at the cloud a few times to try and work out what was going on for me, and then I realised that I could no longer find my words in the cloud. I couldn't remember what they were, and had no connection to them. I don't know if this was because I chose words, and a hex code similar to others; because I don't do well with group work; or because of something else. I do know that it triggered those old feelings of invisibility... I'm struggling with that at the moment anyway, so this could just be a nice neat transferable object to project it all onto.

I see the power, courage and healing within the cloud. I can see the vulnerability that many of us went through in choosing, and submitting our words... so I don't want to diminish the end result. I hope I haven't done that for anyone. I still appreciate that the activity encouraged me to think of the positive aspects of healing, and that there are good people out there. So I'm glad I participated... and maybe my discomfort is another good learning opportunity. I know it is.

Thank you all for showing your strength and vulnerabilities... I continue to appreciate, and learn from you all.

Take care,

Paul Author Profile Page replied to castorgirl:

I am sorry you had this response CG. I had some concern that some might have reactions. I have done group art in the past and had good responses. But sometimes I have had negative reactions. There is always learning, though, in those responses. I hope you find something there that will help you. Like you, I often have both intellectual and emotional responses that do not mesh. It's not easy to find that balance.

castorgirl replied to Paul:

Don't be sorry. It's my issue to work through, and I shouldn't have shared it.

Paul Author Profile Page replied to castorgirl:

No, I am very very glad you shared it, as it was something I was definitely aware of when I was putting it together. So, it's completely understandable to have a response. I can tell you that I have had some really extreme reactions in art therapy groups in the hospital, as have many others. For me, they are not all "warm and fuzzy". They are often the most charged of the groups. But working it through is the key. You will surely work it through. I do believe that the stronger reaction you have, the more opportunity there is for learning and growth. So, I hope that for you. Again, I am glad you shared your reaction. That was brave.

Kerro said:

This is great, thank you again Paul. I love the similarities, and also the differences, in the words we each chose.

I'm sorry I wasn't able to write anything about mine - my father's death has left me fuzzy headed.

Thank you again for sharing, everyone!

Paul Author Profile Page replied to Kerro:

Glad you joined it Kerro. Be easy on yourself.

wantstorun said:

And I am on the opposite spectrum from Castorgirl, in that me/mine are feeling empowered and strong, in that our words showed up, people have seen them and they joined the words of others to be even more powerful... and 'nothing bad' has happened in the sharing.

Thanks, Paul, for the different Carnival this month.

Take care, CG - I hope that things settle for you and that you can work through the discomfort.

Kerro - gentle thoughts while you have a fuzzy head.


Paul Author Profile Page replied to wantstorun:

Thanks wtr. I am glad you found the activity empowering.

Tracie said:

This is beautiful! I love seeing all the words together in a tapestry of sorts.

Renee said:

Hi everyone,
This is my first time on this blog. I really like the word cloud. I have never seen one before. I have never thought of positive words being colorful, they have always ran together along with the negative words, black and colorless. So thank you.

Paul, thank you for hosting the Expressive Arts Carnival No. 13. I love the creative arts that you use to find expression for healing.

Algo4ME4Once said:

Hello Paul,

I really had trouble with this activity, but luckily was able to enter and get it done. I like the way the color of my words' came out, but seeing it in a group of others was really hard because it almost felt to close - like I suppose my issues with PTSD and needing HUGE space in terms, even physically - leaves me a but triggered to see my "words" so close physically with other people's when I know I need so much space to feel safe. I like "countries" of space if that makes any sense... but anyway, thanks for the activity.

WIsh for me it was not so triggering to see, but do not take personally - it is my issue with space and boundaries being majorly invaded and destroyed where I had no choice or control.

Paul Author Profile Page replied to Algo4ME4Once:

Hi Algo4ME4Once, Thank you for sharing about how it felt for you. I assume you saw that you were not the only one who had this reaction. Remember, it's completely understandable. And, not to trivialize it or not validate it, but I do think that sometimes we can learn from these uncomfortable experiences.

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This page contains a single entry published on July 31, 2011 8:13 PM.

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