It's the tail end of romantic February, so I'm cutting it fine. In saying that, we can always extend any celebration be it Valentines, kindness, gratitude, mothers and fathers, earth day, happiness, birthdays...let's keep the giving energies flowing to infinity!
As I drove home, listening to Kate Morton's The Clockmaker's Daughter, my gaze was drawn upwards to the sky, filled with masses of clouds catching the afternoon sunlight...spectacular!
This is a region full of wide open spaces and breathtaking sky-scapes.
Nature always overflows my being with wonder, awe and gratitude.
My week was a fulfilling mix of work and play, conversations with friends, little treats and quiet achievement.
What more could I hope for?
I find Pentacles soothing, though they represent material aspects of life, their earthy grounded energy help keep us secure and upright. Circles are a symbol of beginnings and endings, of continuity and steady motion. Enjoy the fruits of your labour, the harmony of success, you deserve it! Quite befitting as 9 is all about busi-ness and activity, leading to fruition and fulfilment.
Because I let time get away, I'm catching up!
Wrapping up 2020 and still quietly contemplating my intentions for 2021.
I stuck this together,
in a kind attempt to not overload your inbox,
though I've more to ponder,
more to say,
so please excuse the spurt of activity...
it will pan out and find a rhythm soon!
This is me keeping track of myself.
Seems I'm a mixed media human too!
with peculiar consistency,
slow and steady,
full of wonder and dreaminess,
overwhelmed with happy-sad emotions,
inspiration and desire,
wishing to do everything
contradictory and nonsensical,
I am me.
It got way too hot, too soon!
counting down school weeks
going through the motions
staying up late
Before I knew it, 2020 was gone!
December was a blur even though it felt slow.
I headed to the coast.
I caught a summer cold and got my first covid test.
Grey days and regular rain have been glorious.
I stretched myself out, continuing some pottery glazing and helping friends at their native plant nursery.
It is a crazy month for making as the days fill up with end of year stuff, so there will be catch up to do.
I tend to get quiet and reflective this time of year.
It certainly has been ripe with emotional upheavals!
Last months heat has evened out and the festive season was cooler and wetter than it has been for years, so refreshing.
As it is almost half way through September, last months overview is already old news!
As the laptop does it’s internal thing,
I’m surrounded by the hum of the fireplace, (old, noisy, yet efficient),
radio tunes and the ever succulent thrum of wind and rain.
Sounds soaking down,
through and within,
bringing green transformations,
future abundance and
ease to the farmer’s mind.
Three faithful furry companions curl up beside me.
My eye is caught by reflections of birds flitting,
enjoying the winter shower outside.
My mind wanders,
nothing unusual there.
I’m prone to distraction and
grey, wet skies make me pensive.
Natural cleansing and replenishing
as nature washes and refreshes her pores,
she extends her transformative energy out to us.
I head to my backyard studio with thoughts of flowing medieval dresses and everyday costume wearing in my head, there was plenty of umming and ahhing and not so much sewing...
My attempts to match patterns to fabric weren’t happening, not to mention choosing sizes. In sewing pattern terms, this means my measurements are equivalent to 3 different sizes...damn, in my mind I seemed to be the same shape as I ever was!
Some days aren’t made for starting or finishing.
Some days are only for pottering, tinkering, wondering, beginning, testing, trying, experimenting, fiddling.
Some days, despite inspiration and intention, it just doesn’t come together how you imagined it would.
I did start a skirt!
Weekend baking. Staring meditatively as the hand mixer combined butter with sugar, eggs, vanilla and milk.
Watching, contemplating as all these separate ingredients slowly began to merge together.
Words, thoughts and connections mixed and merged in my head, correlations - cooking to life, manipulating things, butter in my hands...I had a word, a phrase and then it was gone! The essence of the idea remains though the word escapes me.
Reminder to myself (again) always write down words and thoughts immediately!
streams of consciousness and
top ten questions.
Find a book
write down the first word you see
repeat this 8 times
write a poem using these nine words
Julia Cameron refers to free writing as her morning pages and recommends writing 3 pages every morning, for Leonardo it was stream of consciousness, for Zohab Zee Kahn, it's a brain dump. Whatever you call it and however you do it, free writing is a release. Writing is a release! Creating and making is a release! Let's map it out.
I love using mind maps to sort out my thoughts and ideas. It's like brainstorming on paper, you can even make it pretty and colourful. With the energy of the full moon above us, write the word RELEASE in the middle of your page and circle it. What gives you release? Is there something or someone you need to release? Branching out, write all the associations that come to mind from this word...release yourself!
Last week I introduced Leo’s Curiosita from the book How to Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci by Michael Gelb. Did you manage to write your 100 questions? I am still looking for which notebook I wrote mine in!
Here are the next steps;
Review your list of a hundred questions. Choose the ten that seem most significant. Then rank them in importance from one to ten. (Of course, you can add new questions or change the order at any time.) Do not attempt to answer them right now; you’ve done enough just putting them in writing in a place where you can easily find them.
Ten Power Questions
The following questions are drawn from different people’s “top ten.” These questions are powerful catalysts to personal growth and fulfilment.
Copy them in your notebook for contemplation:
When am I most naturally myself?
What people, places, and activities allow me to feel most fully myself?
What is one thing I could stop doing, or start doing, or do differently, starting today that would most improve the quality of my life?
What is my greatest talent?
How can I be paid for doing what I love?
Who are my most inspiring role models?
How can I best be of service to others?
What is my heart’s deepest desire?
How am I perceived by: my closest friend, my worst enemy, my boss, my children, my co- workers, etc.?
What are the blessings of my life?
What legacy would I like to leave?
How Does a Bird Fly?
Choose one of the following topics inspired by Da Vinci’s passionate questioning: a bird in flight, flowing water, the human body, a landscape, reflected light, a knot or braid. In your journal, ask at least ten questions about it. Again, there’s no need to write answers; in Curiosità, we focus on the questions. For example:
How does a bird fly?
Why does it have two wings?
Why does it have feathers?
How does it “take off”?
How does it slowdown?
How does it accelerate?
How high can it fly?
When does it sleep?
How good is its eyesight?
What does it eat?
Then choose a topic from your personal or professional life and do the same exercise — ask ten questions about your career, your relationship, your health. Record the questions in your journal—no answers yet, just questions.
Like many things, my creative patterns and endeavours have transformed over the last few months. Writing and poetry have taken lead, so my head is full of thoughts and words. My voracious appetite for books and creativity continues to leave me befuddled, urging inspiration yet overwhelming action.
Movement and distraction have impacted my creative pace and practice, too much or not enough. Reorganising required.
Time to order and collate recent musings, to catch up on my self.
May was here and then, suddenly gone.
Work resumed, though the rhythm and energy was shot. Adapting to pandemic changes was like a morphing process, initial changes happened in earnest, quickly, before we knew or realised how or what to do. Other changes came in waves, like our emotional state.
A sense of restless stillness, a bittersweet limbo settled in.
Simple daily comforts and pleasures became tainted with removed freedoms and the uncertainty of what the future might hold.
I filled my head with creative writing. Amotissé keeping my thinking wired as I searched for inspiring prompts. It was a long awaited and timely reawakening. An online poetry course through futurelearn.com re-hooked patterns of painting with words, a welcome distraction while my focus was lopsided.
Being well was hard with confused dynamics, people and places not their usual selves. Overall, people were well enough, yet anxiety seeped through the cracks, undermining positive flow and energy and resilience felt fragile like foundations after a tremor.
We never know what we’re made of until action is required.
Urgency brings out our best and worse.
Action and inaction.
An overall loss of expected movement led to a surge of unexpected movement. Balance swaying with mixed emotions and contradictions, positive and negative.
Behind the scenes these few months, my teenage twins have been home enduring lockdown with typical teenage relish!
So when the rental application was approved and the timing I hoped for happened, we were ecstatic!
Everything was quick after that. Packing, driving to the coast, signing the lease and moving them in! HUGE, EXCITING AND NERVE RACKING!
Time felt fast and slow. Things fell into place as they do.
Quicker than expected, they became free agents, the next stage or adventure begins for the three of us.
I am now a true empty nester.
I felt the emotion hit me as I waved to Artémis while the train pulled out from the station, knowing I wouldn’t see her again for months.
I’m rarely lonely, though I’ll be happy sad for awhile.
Getting ready to leave them to it.
To accept, to not ask, to let them carry their own responsibilities.
I am so excited for them.
The incredible adventure of life continues to amaze me. It bestows such blessings. I feel maternally connected yet so separate, simultaneously. They are becoming their own selves in a modern digital age, ripe with pandemic and unknown challenges.
Energy and momentum continues to shift.
I felt powerless as endings and beginnings formed around me, leaving a stunned emotional wake behind them.
As the repercussions of pandemic mayhem rippled through some of my close relationships, I’ve tried to remain as compassionately objective as I can, but mostly I’ve felt like a deer in headlights...no time to register before the impact.
And we are all impacted.
In ourselves, our interactions...
Winter sunshine has been steady and comforting. Like a lizard, I’ve been basking in it on the front porch, with pots of tea, absorbing the warmth. That has been a constant.
Bella, Batgirl and Ying have been constantcompany, keeping close by whenever I’m home and waiting patiently when I’m out.
The holidays brought welcome movement, respite and indulgence.
Sadly, the heaviness of emotional upset remains constanttoo.
Poetry has been a new constant, as writing creatively continues to spur me on. As my focus shifts, I’m lagging in other creative pursuits. Sometimes it feels like the dimness is turned down.
Some of you may know that I am fond of a good mind map. Whenever I need to develop ideas or pull things together, this is what I do and it works! Of course there is nothing divinatory about them...I could not have known in the early days of January what 2020 had in store for us.
Even so, apart from travel and road trips, this is all happening and I have even more time to indulge!
For me, it seems there is not much difference between wondering and wandering. It has always helped me find inspiration. Creative dabbling is good for the soul, I couldn't imagine life without it and often surprise myself by what I come up with.