So many sweet little stories hiding in the woods.
"The silence and the waiting and the rush of all aboard
Fifty souls to a carriage I’m trying hard to be ignored
Then my telephone shakes into life and I see your name
And the wheat fields explode into gold either side of the train..."
A perfect discovery for the first Sunday in September...
As life throws curve balls across my path, I find watercolour a perfect place to hideout. This piece is inspired by Laura Horn who I follow on Instagram. Her art opened my eyes to how delicate abstracts can be. How tiny details can enhance. And to how things don't have to be under our control to be beautiful.
“I think the creative personality is a strange mix of absolute conviction & a crippling insecurity & somewhere amongst all that is pushing yourself to the limits of experience so you can really feel fully...” Kate Tempest
This conversation between James O'Brien and writer, singer and poet Kate Tempest on the Unfiltered podcast is absolutely wonderful. I often look for ways to describe how I feel about creativity and what it means to create. Kate is one of the most eloquent speakers on the subject that I've ever heard.
I loved hearing her insight into how people in Brazil use the word 'poet' as a term of praise. Kate says, "... it's a term of endearment. You say 'oh my poet' when somebody's being particularly sweet natured, sensitive, open..." And of creativity, she muses, "... it's more like a frequency that you're tuned into life at... and when you're of that frequency. the minute you connect with others at that frequency it's a big shock. It's a beautiful thing to have a community like that..."
“Seasons of mist and mellow fruitfulness...” - John Keats
It feels like we’re suddenly in the final throws of summer & the air is slowly turning autumnal. The sun is sinking lower in the sky and the mornings have a renewed crispness to them. I love embracing the change of seasons & the feeling of going ‘back to school’. Even now, I buy myself new stationery and make resolutions about what I want to achieve in the months before Christmas. It’s a time of tea and buttered toast with homemade jam, finding your slippers at the back of the wardrobe and digging out your cosiest jumpers. I love the early twilight and the twinkle of fairy lights as I take time over cooking soups and curries. I love baking scones and eating them fresh from the oven and curling up on the sofa under a blanket to devour a Netflix box set. Don’t mourn the summer, my friends, embrace the light and warmth of Autumn and enjoy picking out that new pencil case.
"I am here. Waiting. It's happening
The moment that you want is coming
If you give it time..."
“All the arts depend upon telepathy to some degree, but I believe that writing is the purest distillation.... Your job isn't to write words on the page, but rather to transfer the ideas inside your head into the heads of your readers.” - Stephen King
Every year I start January by making a list of my creative projects that I’m working on. And I realise that every year some of the same incomplete projects appear again & again. Somewhere in the back of my mind I know something is holding me back. Especially with my writing. It’s subtle but it’s there. So I started reading Tara Mohr’s book Playing Big this week to try to finally get past this. And within one chapter I’ve had a bit of a moment of clarity. I know I have a fear of *being seen*. But why? Well, here goes, I’ve realised my inner critic is a combination of the voices of the people who bullied me at school. I was studious, I loved learning and I was bullied for that. Meanwhile our lives were a little different & that seemed to cause a stir. A couple of times my mum took us out of school for 3 months at a time & we disappeared off to Spain. From April to October she ran a water sports business & we would spend most of our summers by the lake. We had a speedboat outside our house. We were a little bit unique and this drew attention & comments. But wasn’t everyone unique? I didn’t understand why other children were mean to me just because of who I was. It made me shy & made me want to hide. I tried to ignore it, I tried to ignore them. I carried on working hard at my study and writing but felt like I was keeping my head down. So is that what I am still doing now? Keeping my head down? Because of those kids when I was at school? There’s more to this. But surely it’s time to break this habit? Surely it’s time to say, thank you inner critic, thank you bullies, it’s time to find the courage to put my head up and to step out of the shade & into the light.
I miss handwritten letters. Texts and social media posts and messages are so hurried and brief. I used to love writing letters. And receiving them. I still have shoeboxes full of them from family, old friends and boyfriends. They are full of fondness & the minutiae of life. Chit chat about daily comings & goings. A magical, slow way of living & of capturing a moment in the loops & lines of the words.
I can’t walk past the National Portrait Gallery without popping in. How wonderful to see such masterpieces so easily. These two particularly caught my eye today.