Like finalists on The X Factor or Britain’s Got Talent, The Artist and I are ‘living our dream’.
Or are we?
After writing my last post, it occurred to me that – although all the elements are in place – there is something missing.
We have been so focused on getting it all together, that we’ve sidelined the passions that motivated us in the first place. Oh, the irony!
But, now there’s less hard work to be done, fewer practical decisions to make and life is assuming a natural rhythm – structured, without stress. Jobs done, we can turn our attention to nurturing our muses, allowing the ‘rapture’ to return.
So, what are our passions?
The first has to be writing – it’s the filter through which I view life. For a long period, when I hand-wrote ‘morning pages’, it helped me to sort out my feelings. Disciplining myself to write only three A4 ‘stream of consciousness’ pages was a challenge – some days I could have used up an entire pad! But, halfway through, after scribbling one and a half sides of gibberish, I regularly had ‘lightbulb moments.’ Once I could see, clearly, what was making me guilty, resentful or causing me pain, I was able to work out a solution, change my attitude, or simply ‘let go’.
I no longer do this every day and I’ve burnt most of my notebooks – this cathartic dumping is a snapshot in time and not for public consumption. It’s how I felt in that moment and could easily be misinterpreted, causing hurt – and the thought of that horrifies me, especially if I’m not around to explain.
However, I’m certain that this practice – designed to break through ‘writer’s block’ – is where I discovered my ‘voice’. I didn’t even look at what I’d written until later – and then I was astounded by how coherent and readable it was, so I’ve kept the best bits for reference.
Long before we moved here, I started a novel. But at 17,000+ words a computer gremlin snatched it away and all rescue attempts failed. But I wasn’t devastated – far from it. I saw it as a sign that this wasn’t meant to be and – as soon as I did that – I felt free. I’ve also written short stories and poetry – even reading out some of the latter at ‘Open Mic’ evenings!
I may do some or all of the above again – I’m ever open to inspiration. But, for the time being, I’m concentrating on blogging. It fulfils my drive to communicate through my writing and I find it immensely satisfying, particularly when I receive comments and ‘likes’. After a slow start, I’m beginning to build up a supportive network of cyber-companions, from countries all over the world. The potential is mind boggling!
Second on my list is my craftwork – scrumbling (free-form crochet) in particular, at the moment. Working with hook and yarn, blending colours and shapes, using different stitches and special effects, it’s art and meditation combined, refreshing my busy brain.
Although I haven’t dabbled lately, I’m fascinated by papier-mâché. Originating in China, it used to be a closely guarded secret, regarded as a black art. I’m excited by the illusion; creating something that appears to be crafted from more solid material, like wood or ceramic, then finding, on closer inspection, that it’s actually constructed from rubbish! I’ve also made batches of my own paper – recycling junk mail and waste plant matter to produce an end product that I’m able to write on and with which I can make greetings cards.
My garden is also important. As I potter about outside, I think back to my mother’s rose beds and my Dad’s half-acre plot. He grew enough vegetables in it to feed us and our immediate neighbours, with ample left over to freeze. Even the man who delivered our coal left with boxes of cabbage, carrots, leeks, potatoes, onions and anything else in season. At the time I took it for granted – it’s only now that I realise how fortunate I was to be raised on home-grown, organic, produce.
Although we only have a series of small spaces – it’s sufficient, without being too much of a chore. I grow veg, fruit, herbs, flowers (including roses) and shrubs. With low maintenance as a priority I follow my intuition – the results amaze even me.
These three pastimes balance my world – though I’m willing to down tools in a heartbeat to share time with family and friends. My beautiful grandchildren – twin boys and a girl – are fabulous creatures. I never imagined I could feel such a special connection with anyone but their parents. And it’s different. Free of the responsibility of first-hand parenting, I delight in the company of these perfect beings, from whom I’m learning so much.
And, then there’s The Artist. My partner in love and laughter; my mirror; my fellow Earth traveller, co-creator and best friend. My ‘God on a Harley’ – that says it all.
What are his passions?
I’ll ask him and tell you next time. 🙂