watercolor painting of a snowy hill with snow-covered pine tree and a full moon.

Yes, please! Let’s Ring Out the Old and Ring in the New!

Expressive Arts, which utilizes more than one art process in a session, sometimes uses poetry, visual arts, clay, movement, sound, guided meditation, and breathwork. I like to include poetry in my expressive arts workshops, online open studios, and face-to-face classes as a portal to the liminal space – the place where images live and wait to be expressed. Liminal space is often used in expressive arts therapy to describe the realm that the individual enters that holds potential, creativity, mystery, and the transpersonal. I am always looking for new words to inspire my work and the work of participants and students in my expressive art workshops.

I recently discovered that the phrase “Let’s ring out the old and ring in the new” came from poet Alfred Lord Tennyson’s “Ring Out Wild Bells.” What better than his words could express — our feelings about 2021 and our hopes for 2022. Although it was published in 1850, its verses are timeless. Indeed, one could apply every stanza to something going on in the world today.

So I hope you take the time to read it and enjoy it, as I did the other day:

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky, The flying cloud, the frosty light; The year is dying in the night; Ring out, wild bells, and let him die. Ring out the old, ring in the new, Ring, happy bells, across the snow: The year is going, let him go; Ring out the false, ring in the true. Ring out the grief that saps the mind, For those that here we see no more, Ring out the feud of rich and poor, Ring in redress to all mankind. Ring out a slowly dying cause, And ancient forms of party strife; Ring in the nobler modes of life, With sweeter manners, purer laws. Ring out the want, the care, the sin, The faithless coldness of the times; Ring out, ring out thy mournful rhymes, But ring the fuller minstrel in. Ring out false pride in place and blood, The civic slander and the spite; Ring in the love of truth and right, Ring in the common love of good. Ring out old shapes of foul disease, Ring out the narrowing lust of gold; Ring out the thousand wars of old, Ring in the thousand years of peace. Ring in the valiant man and free, The larger heart, the kindlier hand; Ring out the darkness of the land.

I am wishing all of you a Happy and Healthy New Year. Here’s hoping that 2022 brings health, happiness, and a little bit of art-making time to all of us.

Yours in creative community,


P.S. I am focusing on the opening (zero in 2022 surrounded by all those even numbers) as a portal to lOve and hOpe and blOom (those letter “o”s in all those positive words)! What words would you add to my list?


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