after the long winter
when the shadows linger
we begin to see movement
Earlier this month I was distracted by a whale in the harbour, planets in alignment and the lunar eclipse – so distracted that I wasn’t aware of the turning of the month, calendar time was lost on me.
So now we’re in August – the days are still short with dark mornings and dark nights – but the plants know spring is coming. New shoots are forming, some plants already flowering, and birds are back in the garden.
There’s a restlessness in me after so much time spent inside. I find myself moving outside – even in the dark – in the rain – my lungs are opening to the freshness in the air.
we seek the heat
we seek the light
reminding ourselves we are alive
During these cold days and nights our senses come awake in different ways to the days of summer – we are drawn to comfort, to warmth and light.
But remember to welcome the tingle of icy finger-tips, the mist of warm breath when you step outside, the thin winter light that subdues the colours around us.
Our senses give us feedback from the physical world – keep us awake and attentive.
Hibernation is not an option.
brighten the space around you
glow from your heart
to the edges
The word I chose to guide me through this year was expansion. It can be easy for an introvert (or at least, for this one) to spend time alone, and to settle for the familiar. This felt like a good word to remind me to look outside myself, to step outside, to remember to breathe out…
The little verses I wrote for each month at the start of this year, are like my reminders, suggestions for how to live, how to relate to others. This one especially, reminds me to look outward.
I’ve been trying to explore the idea of expansion, committed to painting every weekend, and trying a few new experiences (eg: a dance/writing workshop) – saying yes to things that feel outside of my comfort zone. So far, this has been expansion of my own skills and experiences. I need to remember to expand in the sense of my contribution to others, to look for ways to share and support those around me.
Winter is coming, and this is a good time to glow, to share a little warmth. To be the bright light I look for in others.
but stay soft in the centre
and reach out past your defences
Thoughts for the start of April, for autumn in NZ.
For all those bravely trying to be true to themselves, speaking, writing, creating, loving the world.
We need to take care of ourselves and be a little cautious, without becoming risk averse, without becoming hardened and cynical.
We need to find ways to please the eye and feed the soul. Ways to warm our hearts and sweeten our words.
To keep reaching out to engage with the world even when it’s tough – that’s the brave thing – the creative act.
Working out how to keep yourself centred and true – that’s the spirit work.
draw strength from each other
create something new
I’m always surprised at the way these little verses can be reinterpreted when I re-read them later in the year.
When I wrote this last December, I was thinking of friendship, creative partnerships, collaborative projects.
And then last night, I went to a golden wedding celebration. Celebrating the life of my father and his wife over 50 years of marriage, and the family they created together. I treasure their love and generosity in opening their family to include me.
And this morning I’m reflecting on the power of a stable family, the foundation it gives each new generation, the strength it gives each individual to become their own unique self while remaining part of something bigger. It’s a beautiful thing.
Over the last few weeks I haven’t been writing very much, and I was beginning to feel a bit worried about this.
But I know part of the reason is that I’ve been more focused on the visual arts recently. I took a few art classes at the end of last year – and I loved it!
I needed to give time to this and find out whether it was just a passing whim, or the start of something new. I’ve worked out that this new learning in drawing and painting is something I want to pursue so that it can become another way to explore my world and to express myself.
And then – thanks to a connection on Instagram and Twitter I was led to Jackie Morris’s suggestion to write a few words every day – just 25 words, no more than 50 – handwritten. She describes this at the end of her January 8 blog post on http://www.jackiemorris.co.uk/blog/more-than-home-from-home/
I’m trying not to stress over how much, or how well, just to write. This feels like both a challenge and an aid. Its all about noticing the world around me and writing a small observation, a reflection.
I started posting my small writings on Twitter and Instagram, but I think they belong here too. I’ll include photos when I can, and who knows – a few drawing and paintings might even start appearing!
I’m happy to use my first “few words” for my January calendar – I’ve been a bit slow getting this year’s calendar off the ground.
relax, walk, watch the sun set
It’s that time of year – two more weeks of work – then the summer holiday. This is the time of year when I have time to slow down, and reflect. It’s the time of year when I used to explore new ideas, try out new pursuits.
What I’m proudest of this year is that I’ve made time, taken time, for personal interests throughout the year – specially the latter half of this year. I’ve started drawing and learning to paint. I’ve noticed that as I shift into this visual world my writing has gracefully taken a back seat – but I’m sure it’s going to surface again soon.
What I’d love for next year is to find a way to combine paintings and text into artworks that balance both sides of my soul.