Monday, 9 April 2012

This last month, some words and pictures

Shortly after I signed up to an online writing group, I felt lost for words. I could blame it on being too busy or not having enough time to myself or not having anything worth saying. I could blame it on feeling overwhelmed by so much to say and not knowing where to begin.

I could blame it on all the other more important things I should be doing, the same things that I'm convinced stop me from doing yoga or meditating or going swimming or calling friends.

I could blame it on the effects on my spirit of everything that's compressing this world into a corporate, polluted, packaged, exploited, war-torn, synthetic box of ugly cruelty dressed up in pretty lies and with a price tag which attempts to sell all that I love down the line.

I could blame it on my own personal reasons for sinking into an unmotivated pit of anxiety and falling silent. But.

I like words. Despite their potential for misrepresentation, manipulation, making things worse. The words shared in the writing group were supportive, beautiful, inspiring. The questions that were being posed were around exploring what our presence is all about in the world and to live with awareness, week by week, day by day, or ideally, moment by moment, valuing life. Our words make us vulnerable but also provide us with an opportunity for being courageous and making real connections and creating change.

While I was feeling blocked from writing, I came across two books which felt like a bit of a revelation and freed me from the struggle for words and from thought.

I could just draw. I could take my book and my pencils or paint and just bring to the paper what emerged. Creativity felt like it was flowing in from the margins of my life to a central place where I've never fully acknowledged or allowed it to be, although in reality, it has usually influenced whatever else I've been doing. It was exciting to start taking a journal everywhere and experience a new way of being fully engaged in the moment and a deeper observation of what was there. And words could come in too, but they didn't have to be in sentences or carefully constucted paragraphs. They could just flow around with the images in this personal space without being judged by the internal (or external) critics which try to cut too many of us down because we're not an acknowledged 'artist' or a 'writer'. Acknowledged by who? The media? The market? The 'experts' and 'professionals'? We can all be artists and writers, or singers or dancers, or whatever else helps us feel alive in a culture that tries to dampen and rob our natural born spark and sell it back to us as a shiny wrapper which we'll always need to be searching to fill up from their shelves or screens, leaving us ever more empty, ever more alienated from our own creativity, imagination and joy. 

'Everything is it's own reward' - These words were going round my head a lot. This is it. Just this. Freed from expectations, hopes, things which went wrong. I began moulding clay, painting, deciding to start letting go of the plans that haven't been leading me anywhere useful and heading into a new direction... doing more of the things I love.
 Being together with good company.
Being in nature.
Recognising how memories hang around and get in the way of experiencing the fullness of where I am.
Realising how different media feels different - how photo's feel like they don't belong in the sketchbook because they capture instantly instead of absorbing slowly and the experience is not felt so deeply afterwards.
The pleasures of sitting amongst crows!

Just scribbling and doodling and noticing what comes to mind.
The stuff that fills our days, so that when we ask where did they go, we can peek back and remember.
Remembering also, that these pages only tell a tiny part of the story, but that it doesn't matter.
The empty page is a portal, always waiting, without censure, without need of correction, a door opening, a place to go to that's free. At least for now!


  1. you have a way with words - and drawings! wonderful and moving, as always. kat xxxxxxx

  2. Thank you so much Miss Honeythunder! I really appreciate that :-) xxx