I come to the page not knowing what I’m doing.

I come to the page not knowing what I’m doing.

I might have disrupted the page already with paint, or marks or collage. But this was done to eradicate the blank page. And this was done with that one purpose in mind and then left to see another day.

I come to the page not knowing what I’m going to do. Will I make a mark with paint, pencil, piece of paper, what? I just know I need to start.

I might want to cover the white spaces. I’m drawn to colour. So using colour excites me. So I drop a dollop of paint, red maybe and then I know I need to move it across the page. But how? Finger, card, roller? Each brings a different texture to the page, each brings a different coverage to the page.

So now I’ve started but still I have no idea what I’m doing or where this piece is going. But I start responding to the mark that has just gone before. What do I need to do next to work with this last mark or interruption? What would speak with it? What would speak against it?

If I have no idea, that I pick up a pencil and allow my hand to loosely move it over the page, making circular marks. This gives me a moment to think, to look at the page and see what is missing, what is needed.

But when I say thinking, I don’t mean conscious, logical thinking. Let’s call it musing or dreaming instead. As my mind is empty when I’m in the creative process. The outside world falls away. My cares and worries fall away. I’m just focusing on the page in front of me. And not in a concentrating way, or a hard stare kind of way. Just like my hand is holding that pencil, in a loose kind of way.

I come to the page not knowing what I’m doing. But I’m listening. Being attentive to what the page, the piece now coming together wants from me, wants next. One mark, then the next, communicating to each other and then the next.

At some points in the process, I’m up close, working on just one corner of the page. At other times, I take a step back and allow other parts of the page to come into my line of vision. At some points, I fall in love with just a section of the whole. I give it some care and attention. I bring it up and out further. I make it sing, because in the process, I sing through it too.

At this point, the rest of the page needs, deserves this care and attention so I start listening elsewhere. Keep coming back to the places I love and savouring their presence.

I come to the page not knowing what I’m doing but being open to the dance of possibilities. I make myself vulnerable to the process as I feel this it the only way I can move forward with the process.

I come with no expectations, no desires to make pretty art.

I come to the page to feel and express.

Discovering New Landscapes

‘i said to trauma,
“i am so much more than you.” ‘ – Kai Chen’s Thom, I Hope We Choose Love

The final prompt last night in Honouring Our Wholeness with @olwen.wilson had us wondering about what seeds we could plant if we consider how we are so much more than our trauma.
This is what I created. ‘Discovering New Landscapes.’ Trauma is a very familiar territory for me. I’ve been carrying around these fragmented pieces of land in my body for years ever since I was 9 years old and my dad died of leukaemia. Then my sister died. Then my mum died. One traumatic experience after another builds up layers of scar tissue, thick and hardening, from the bones out. Me thinking I can protect myself from pain hiding within the rolls of fat around my body. My whole body is a landscape of accumulated pain, suffering, abuse, self-abuse, rejection, hate and cruelty. And yet, last night in this gathering of women, feminine and non-binary people who are Black, Indigenous and People of Colour, I traced golden lines around my trauma. I remembered my mother and her body, like the pomegranate, full of seeds, but who’s garnet juice ran out as she miscarried after having me, which reminded me of my miscarriage before Miss Ella came along. But from these seeds within and without, new life, new power can be nurtured and brought to fruition. New landscapes of grasses and wild flowers can be tended. In time. In space. In body and mind and soul.

Burning Woman

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This year I attempted to make a concerted effort to read more books. I felt that I was missing out on rich and varied worlds and ideas by not reading enough. I started off well but I think things went off the boil mid-year, when things in my family life got a bit hectic and harrowing.

I’m trying to pick things up now moving into 2018. To choose just one book as the best for the year is something I cannot do. Also you usually just remember the last few books you’ve read as they are the most recent. To think back over the year, if you haven’t been keeping track is difficult to do anyway. Note to self: keep a record of what I read next year!!!

So I choose Burning Woman by Lucy H. Pearce on the premise that this is one of the books I have kept returning to over the year as it is so packed with juicy truths that resonate with me deeply. This is kind of like a handbook for claiming our power as women internally and externally. I definitely claim the title of a burning woman. #decemberreflections2017

Lighting Up Fear

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“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we’re liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” – Marianne Williamson

This wisdom speaks right to my core and has me throwing my head back shouting an all mighty, “YES”. For the past few weeks, I have been gripped by fear about what I’m attempting to do here, as I develop Living Wild Studios into a creative business coming from the heart. I have questioned what right I have to imagine this, to action it, to even believe in it.
Who is going to be interested in working with me or buying my creations? How can creating stuff just for me to know myself deeper, be of any use to anyone else?
I know my fears stem from what happened to me nearly two years ago ( you can read all about it in rubedo). I know my fears have set up road blocks and excuses. Paralysed me. But I’ve been framing these fears around the idea of failure and never being good enough.
But this quote above has me thinking, that my fears, my reluctance to move forward with plans and creating new work could just as much be because of my light. I could be just as much frightened of my light as of my darkness. Of who I might become, becoming.
This idea is turning around in my gut, like clothes in a washing machine. An idea I hold it up to my light within and it matches. It sparks.
It is easier, more acceptable to play it small rather than take up more space with my glorious light. It is judged as being showy, distasteful and loving oneself, if you claims your full potential and shine.
Why and when did loving yourself, loving your own unique light in this world become such a bad thing? I think when society’s way of operating became one of competition rather than community, oppression instead of equality. When a few decided power would be better in the hands of the few, for the greater good you must understand.
I feel my power. I have a strong, bright light to shine in this world. A light that many have attempted to put out. But this little light of mine keeps on shining. And when it comes down to it, that’s all I want to do. Shine my light. If in this practice it serves others, then so be it. That does make my light shine brighter, so it can reach further, into the hearts of those who might have given up on themselves or those who never tasted freedom.
Naming our fears loosens their grip on our hearts. Identifying and acknowledging our fears starts to take away their power.
Here I am again, showing up, using my creativity to explore myself. If in the process of me exploring my fears has helped you to start naming and identifying your fears, then that’s a double whammy in my book. A result that is well worth showing up, practicing getting through my fears one step as a time for. Onward, with this little light of mine lighting the way.