Monday, January 20, 2014

Time Management

The months roll out, from one to the next as though they are on a conveyor belt that never stops churning, relentless. And yet with that persistent steady beat, why does the passing of time seem to change pace from minute to minute, month to month, year to year?

Why does a summer last an eternity when we are young, but fly by past the speed of sunlight now? I realise that when we are little, one season can be a big slice within the greater whole of our lifetime so far, making it feel virtually endless. And the longer we live, the smaller that slice becomes respectively, until it is little more than a sliver. It's all relative, I suppose.

But it is astounding how much it seems to fluctuate, even as the gears in the clock click and turn with such sustained precision. How odd that I can wake up on a beautiful Sunday morning, believing that the day is stretched out before me like a magic carpet, the hours long and abundant... and then so suddenly I find myself in the dark of night wondering how it was that the day just slipped right through my fingers. Just like sand through the hourglass.

Why does it feel as though Christmas happened ages ago, yet I still have little white lights around my window frame? Couldn't have been that long ago.

Why can't the ticking of my brain fall in sync with the ticking of the clock? What a trickster, that Father Time. I'm tired of being teased.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

On Ravens and Snowflakes

A fresh snowfall has the same effect on my creative psyche as a clean crisp sheet of paper. Who knew white could be so inspiring? Or black? Let me explain...

The world around me is green, here on the coast.  But I journeyed into the mountains for Christmas, along with 40 or so of my nearest and dearest next of kin. We gather every three years at an old ski lodge, and while it was crazy and chaotic, there was such intense love and a wonderful sense of belonging.

We slept on bunk beds, shared in the making and devouring of incredible food, wandered snowshoe trails while flakes the size of ping pong balls fell upon our tongues. We laughed till we cried while giving and receiving (and oftentimes stealing) in a secret santa gift exchange. We read stories to the little ones and joked around the campfire with the bigger ones. We hugged. And then hugged some more. We built snowmen, snow forts and luge tracks while throwing snowballs. We made the best of the white stuff.

My dad and I took a long walk to take pictures of the snow. I hung my heart on a delicate branch while he captured the bigger landscapes. And this is where it began... my return to the creative inspiration that  has been eluding me for months...despite recently buying myself my dream camera for my 40th birthday. Despite having the free time to take pictures. I lost my mojo somewhere along the way.

When we returned from the mountains, I was reading a novel that told the story of a little girl and the drawing she made of a raven. I don't know if it was my love for ravens, or the thought of being able to draw one, but within a day I had a new sketchbook in one hand and a drawing pencil in the other. All of my immediate family members are artists...I know that somewhere hidden deep inside my DNA is the ability to draw. I've just never stuck with it long enough to see what I am capable of. I'm willing to give it another try. My dad offered me some wonderful advice. He said, "draw anything and everything...and don't show anyone your sketches." This allows me the freedom to make all kinds of mistakes without the fear of judgement. But even so, I was not prepared for how intimidated I would be by the blank page. I don't remember feeling this way as a child? Nevertheless, there is a raven in my mind's eye that hasn't landed on the paper yet. Among a thousand other things I wish to draw.

I haven't the slightest idea where this is going to take me. Maybe it is just a passing whim. I don't know. I really don't care. For the present moment, the desire to make lines and shapes is very alluring. I find myself pouring over illustrations and watercolours on pinterest. I watched a woman create a thing of beauty in a cafe today as she made someone a latte. Art is everywhere. I am finding inspiration EVERYWHERE. I just need the patience now to let myself learn a new medium, while picking up my camera every now and then to nourish the other art form I have come to love so much.

I hope to see you here a lot more often this coming year. :)

Monday, October 7, 2013

Flights of Fancy

If I could start over... be born again and become anything... actually, if I could choose my talent, and grow up all over again, I would wish to be a children's book illustrator. I come from a family of artists so I know it's in my genes, somewhere. Somewhere very lost.

I imagine myself hidden away under some magnificent tree, drawing pictures of magical things that don't really exist. I would create worlds that would appear so much more beautiful than the mundane everyday that my eyes have grown too accustomed to. They would still look like places we have here in the real world, but they would be better somehow... places I would wish I could enter into and never come back.

I wander the children's section of book stores just so that I can see the world with a more sublime twist as I imagine myself in the places that someone else has conjured up. It astounds me how creative people can be.

It is a little bit of escapism I seek. A way to buffer reality. Luckily, sometimes I can find things inside my camera that give me that little hit of awe. A little taste of wonderment. Maybe I can't draw very well, but I can see. I just never know what that lovely click of my shutter has waiting for my eyes to gaze upon. Cameras are magical objects capable of discovering other magical objects. They make instant illustrations... which is a good thing for my impatient nature.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Still Within, Looking Out

Hello. I'm still here. Somewhere.

An early fall storm has set in, so I am nestled within a blanket, within the warm cosy walls of my home, watching from the inside out. I'm in a cocoon within a cocoon. I believe that is why I love storms so much. They evoke a desire to feel safe and warm and dry. Perhaps I seek the illusion of safety a little too much. Maybe I don't explore enough of the world around me, or take enough risks. Will I regret this one day when I am old and wrinkly, wrapped in a blanket out of necessity rather than comfort?

I've always been a little bit afraid. My earliest memories seem to orbit around the same themes... the world was just too big. There were too many people, there was too much noise, too many demands and too many frightening scenarios that kept toying with my imagination, even my dreams.

Nothing really horrible happened. I think I was just born this way. And maybe that is ok. Surely, we are not all destined to do great things. Maybe my destiny is tucked within the quieter nooks and crannies of this fast-paced, ever-spinning, rapidly changing world. I still believe there is an important place for me within the chaos. I don't need a large space. Small and intimate would do just beautifully.

Have I written about this before? Many times, I think. Writing about it seems to help me find acceptance in the things about myself that I feel are out of the norm. Once my thoughts morph into words, everything seems to feel more solid somehow.

Time for a cup of tea and a little storm watching. The world and all its chaos can keep up its antics... outside my window.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

I'm doing some canning

Summer, I am ready to bottle you up and preserve you for a long dark winter day when I crave the warmth of the sun. But that's not likely. I crave raindrops more than sun rays. However, it's never a bad idea to be prepared.

All things leave a mark on us... even seasons. Particularly seasons. The things we fall hopelessly  nostalgic over... the sweet fragrance of a strawberry patch, our grandmother's lilac tree, the first quiet snowfall of the year... so many of them are seasonal. And we are full of whimsy and longing when one season starts to fade and another peeks around the corner with promises of familiar creature comforts.

At least, I am. Full of longing. Especially at the end of summer. I'm a girl who needs to be watered on a regular basis. And this year it has been way too dry, and I am feeling a little too parched.

The summers of my past have left an imprint on my soul that brings about a mild anxiety that I can't shake. I think I have conditioned myself to feel anxious in the warmer months, which leaves me longing for fall way too early. I shouldn't wish my life away.

 I do recognize and appreciate the good things that summer brings. A friend of mine just took me through her expansive organic garden and filled my arms with pea pods, fresh basil and ripe delicious tomatoes. I have spent long glorious hours wandering beaches and wild spaces with the sun on my shoulders and sand between my toes. I've eaten more peaches this year than I can count. And strawberries, and raspberries and watermelon.. I could eat watermelon for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I've picnicked with friends, went away on a little road trip and I've stolen entire afternoons to read great novels. I have so much freedom in the summer. That is truly wonderful.

But I am still ready to throw in the beach towel and do a rain dance. A few drops fell today. That is encouraging.