Taking Myself Out On A Date

I like to think of my creative practice, especially my writing as a lover. There are times when I need to fall back in love with my practice, my writing in particular. The muse might be acting shady or we might have just fallen out and not seen each other for a while. This is when I need to start dating my muse again.

In order to fall in love with my practice again, I need to start dating my muse again. I need to treat my muse like a lover and start putting dates in the diary. Make an effort to show up for my muse. Get dressed for an evening date. Spend time on my appearance. Put on my favourite perfume. Make my favourite drink and show up at the page. All part of the ruse to get my muse to show up and spend time with me again.

When I do this, start to treat my muse like a lover, I start to get excited about our time together. I look forward to meeting up, I enjoy the time we spend together and can’t wait until we meet again.

This is all part and parcel of attempting to keep me committed to my practice. To not allow anyone else or any other thing to come between me and my practice. As I need my creative practice like air. To be completely finished with my muse and my creative practice, to separate forever from my lover would be devastating to me, to my being.

So when I think or feel that I’m letting things slide, start taking things for granted and not even bothering to turn up at the page, I know it’s time to start paying special attention to my lover. To make the effort to show up and let them know that I do care for them. That I want to be with them. And that I love them and can’t do without them. I let them know how much joy they bring me. That I appreciate them and that I don’t want to be with them.

Treating my muse like a lover is not just a reminder to my muse that I care but it’s a wake up call to myself that I want them in my life. That I love them, my muse, my lover, my creative practice.

Leaning into the season

This woman likes to wear her secret,

taste tart stars along the evening’s edge.

She be breath, she be mild roughness

all sharpness fading in time.

 

I’m loving the season, getting out and walking in the crisp morning air. Loving it. Expect to see more berries on these pages. Until then I share my berry ripeness.

Really Pissed Off At The Moment

Land’s End, Cornwall

I’ve been missing in action. I’ve been going through the motions of getting up each day and doing what needs to be done. But I’ve been tired. Put it down to the 9 hour drive home Saturday/ Sunday from Cornwall.

So maybe because of this lack of energy, then my skin is thinner. My patience is none existent. Or I’ve just plain sensitive.

But some ways people are behaving and treating me is unacceptable and maddening and upsetting. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not accepting this treatment lying down. I’m pushing back and letting them know what they’re doing or not doing and how this is coming across for me/ affecting me. But that doesn’t lessen the sting. Doesn’t lessen the questioning that seems almost like a ritual I do through afterwards.

Why are they doing that? Why did they say that or not? Why did they not acknowledging my contributions? Why did they not thank me? Are they treating everyone else like that? Did they just do it to me? Are they doing this because I’m Black?

Yes. You might say, it’s not all/always about race. And I agree with you. But if we live in a white supremacy culture where we are indoctrinated into believing, thinking and behaving as if white people are superior to Black people then it’s second nature to dismiss, ignore, overrule, disregard what the Black person is saying or doing in the room. We are not seen as of value, of worth or even present. We don’t register on your radar.

So I won’t ask for forgiveness or apologise for bringing it up because for me these are daily microaggressions which depending on my current state of mind body and soul, cut deep or can be rolled off my back like water.

But this week. Today. Now. No way. I’m not accepting them. I’m not going to remain silent about them. As I’m here and I matter and I deserve to be recognised. Not because I’ve done or said something amazing or impression. Because, I am a human being, and I have a right to be here.

Here ends today’s rant and getting things off my chest as basically I was getting tired carrying them all ant

angtaround.

Spirit of the South

As mentioned at the beginning of this month, when I declared that June was the month of the Mixmoir, going forward I plan to use Mariëlle S. Smith, Fleshing Out The Narrative: A 31-Day Tarot and Journal Challenge for Writers in conjunction with The Earthcraft Oracle Deck by Juliet Diaz and Lorriane Anderson and illustrated by Daniell Boodoo-Fortune in order to get the creative juices flowing.

Using these tools and prompts, not only allows me to create content for the mixmoir but also allow me write around the subject, explore the process and progress. This bit excites me and keeps me engaged. Working out what I’m trying to say at the same times as holding up to the light the rituals and practices I have around writing, is enlightening as well as encouraging. One way of working might work well one day but the next not.

I’ve been using the pomodoro technique with Abao in Tokyo on YouTube. Writing/ working/ practicing for 25 minutes at a time and then taking a 5 minute break, helps with the concentration and productivity. I’m really enjoying the process sandwiches into neat sections of time for a focused amount of time each day. It’s a simple practice which I look forward to and really get engrossed with during the allotted times for writing.

I found it interesting today that I pulled the Spirit of the South card when I was exploring the fire within yesterday and how I’d rather allow it to burn outwards and accept what ever backlash it may bring rather than living in fear of the fire outside consuming/ canceling/ destroying me.

This card came along today, I feel, to reinforce what I’ve been thinking of late, that is to not hold back and to stop finding/ making up excuses for not doing the work/ practice and to crack on and just do it. To follow my dreams, tell my story and to hell with it all.

And here ends the daily cheerleading chant for Sheree and the Mixmoir.

::REST::

I just posted this over on my Patreon page for supporters, but I through it was relevant to post here. These are the revelations my visual journaling practice through up!

Visual Journal Spread – 22/05

Hey hey hey

How you doin’?

Me, I’ve been hitting on myself hard. Berating myself for spending last week in a stupor of low energy and slow pace productivity.

The practice of ::SLOW:: accompanied with the practice of ::CARE:: was not being practiced last week.

I could start shouting, ‘Shame on you, Sheree.’ But then I’d just be repeating the no compassion, no grace, no patience attitude and treatment towards self of last week.

Do you ever learn, Sheree?  Are you just circling the same old wounds and territory? Are you just right back in the same spot as before?

Nah man!

I’m not circling, I’m spiralling ( in a good way).

On this healing journey back to self, the pathway is a spiral. Yes there’s circling involved but with each new rotation I’m further up and further in, deeper into the exploration and becoming.

It’s like going up a mountain when you reach a vantage point. You get a better lay of the land as your vista opens up. You’ve got more data to play with moving forward/ upwards/ sideways/ and sometimes backwards. But you’re not in the same position as before because you have that experience, thoughts and feelings, events and reflections that have come to pass in the interim.

My takeaway therefore from last week is, ‘When you know you have a busy week ahead, Sheree darling, put in the diary rest and recovery for the week after that one.‘ Capeesh?!

If I schedule in the downtime, make a date with myself, then I won’t be riding my arse for not having enough energy to complete the things that might give me energy. 

Instead of guilt-tripping myself,
I’d be able to luxuriate in the feeling of knowing that’s all I’ve got to do in the time and space available is ::REST::

Circulating My Preoccupations

Visual Journal 21/05

I’ve mentioned before how I’ve been granted a scholarship to participate in Susannah Conway’s Journal Love Club for a whole year.

It’s a gift that just keeps on giving. I get a prompt everyday, a growing community on Mighty Networks, people sharing practice and a live zoom call once a month.

Usually, I start my day with my visual journal practice as above and then by the time I’ve done that the prompt from Journal Love Club has come through so I can continue and respond to that.

Journal Love Club Prompt 21/05

In the past, I’d be on my case for using so many different journals. I would also get confused by what went where and then lose stuff, not knowing where to find the gems. Now, I’m much more of a mind that if I’m showing up to the page, at all or once or twice or more, it’s all a win.

The common denominator between all these different journals is me. And this practice helps me along on this journey of getting back to me. The core me. The authentic me.

After today’s prompt which asked me to look over my recent journal entries to pull out themes; what’s been grabbing my attention, this entry came out:

Nothing is a surprise when I look back and see what issues and ideas keep circulating the journal pages.


Identity, fear, never being good enough.

But then I started to switch things up in response to this prompt.
I’ll never to good enough in a system which is stacked against me.
In a system wired for us to aim for perfection even when we know it doesn’t exist.
But more so, if it did exist it wouldn’t be available to me anyway.

So knowing this I surrender. I let go. Not give up, but surrender means not allowing time and energy to strive for this, to even fight it.
But to use this energy and channel it into the things that are important to me. Not even taking into account the system, the white gaze but making my audience that little Black girl inside and the one in my house now.

And maybe through this I can heal as well as be a better mother to myself and my daughter.

That feels good, that feels better.”

Talking to myself

Visual journal 10/05

I come to the page bubbling with excitement. For what, I do not know.

I feel a change in my energy. It might be the light coming through my window. It might be the prospect of the day ahead. Or if might simply be the fact that I’m turning up for me daily when I come to the page and braindump, dream and talk to self.

The White Gaze

Visual journal 06/05

I do love a white gel pen on a black gesso page. I love the contrast but I also love that it reverses/ subverts the norm.

Quite fitting really when I was exploring my understanding/ operating of ‘The White Gaze’ today.

From Wiki: ‘ The White Gaze is the assumption that the default reader or observer is coming from the perspective of someone who identities as white, or that people of color sometimes feel the need to take into account the white reader or observer’s reaction.”

I wonder who wrote this definition? Loaded much, ‘assumption’ , ‘sometimes’ please. It’s our reality. It’s White Supremacy Culture. It’s the norm.

I’m learning ( all the time) how to survive the white gaze. And taking my lead from Toni Morrison, I know I have meaning and depth without the white gaze. My life has meaning without the white gaze. ‘ But we do language. That might be the measure of our lives.’

It might be a daily practice with need of constant reminders but I’m learning to create not for the white gaze, in spite of the white gaze and it’s repercussions.

I am learning to be free.

7 Reasons Why …

“ I dwell in possibility…”. – Emily Dickinson

7 reasons why me and alcohol are simply not a match any longer: –

1. In case of emergencies and who knows when there might be another one, I don’t want to be incapacitated because of having a drink.

2. Drinking alcohol no longer brings me joy.

3. Lately, I’ve been using alcohol to gain courage and gumption therefore showing up and not being genuine.

4. Alcohol is a gateway to other destructive behaviours and actions.

5. I’m no longer tasting it, really tasting it.

6. It’s been getting earlier and earlier in the day when I start drinking alcohol.

7. I’m drinking for all the wrong reasons.