Wednesday, January 20, 2016
There was a low mist quietly hovering around the base of these trees, softly nudging up against their knotted ankles like a shy puppy. I didn't catch it. My brother did, but he was kind enough to stop the car and wait for me to capture its fleeting presence.
My mind is here and there, and some-otherwhere. I'm trying to get somewhere fast.... but the road feels wrong. And corner after winding corner, I don't see where it leads. I don't see where anything leads these days. Am I coming? Am I going? Am I making circles? Or am I within that centre point of the circle where nothing moves? Yes. That is where I am. The world is turning, forever churning... and all I can do is watch it orbit around me.
Perhaps that is the best place to be. For now. For a long while to come. I will sleep like the trees.
Sunday, January 3, 2016
It's cold in here. Must turn up the heat and put the kettle on... and where are my slippers?
This is the aftermath of my little niece's play in the snow. Cute little shark mittens. Sharks with horns. What you can't see are the little white shark teeth just under the surface of the snow. A metaphor for my current life... there is the beginning of an undercurrent... and it has a bite...
It's been 2 years since I was here last. (what??) I didn't think I would ever return... I felt as though I had run out of words, run out of ideas, run out of steam. I'm not even sure if I have found my words yet, but I intuitively knew better than to delete this space, in case a day came when I needed to have a retreat like this again. And here I find myself. This time, the return is more personal. As I learn to navigate through one of the most difficult times of my life, I am searching for ways to stay connected to the beauty around me... to gently remind myself that there is always a bit of light, even when I can't see past my outstretched hands...
Self care is my sole focus this year. I will put things here when I feel inspired to add to this quiet little corner of the interverse... For me, and perhaps for you, if you are still out there. (Are you still there? I can hear a canyon-like echo in the room. ) ...Maybe often, maybe not. No self-imposed rules, no obligations, no deadlines. Only when I feel compelled, inspired, or in need of an escape from reality. But then again, the pictures I take and the words I put down here are just as real as anything else, aren't they?
Monday, January 20, 2014
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
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
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.