Thank you so much for your encouraging and supportive comments on my writing post, I'm really touched. You are such special people all of you and I am drawn in by your writing and beautiful blogs too.
I haven't many words for the moment, but please know that I am there smiling silently at what you write. I get so overwhelmed regularly, can't seem to give much. I feel rotten about that, but I'm learning. My life is gradually getting more consistent and less of a rollercoaster but I still get these extreme times where I feel I have nothing to say. I don't want to apologise for it anymore, I'd rather stand up for who I am and what I choose to do, but I want you to know that I think of you my writing kindred spirits. You're strong and lovely and beautiful and don't you forget it.
As for my own writing I leave you with some old words of mine in Kristen's meme, where you choose favourite posts with the themes below:
One about something you love (Rumi!)
Wishing you blackbirds singing, blushing skies, soft winds and that smell of spring coming. Love to you.
I've never considered myself to be a writer. I only ever write here and in the past have only ever written for school assignments or in emotional places that were too hard to see clearly without following a pen across a page. I've never kept regular diaries or notebooks, not kept anything apart from the pages here.
My relationship is the same to writing as it is to drawing - I love it, and I love it the most when I haven't got a clue where the sentences in a paragraph or the curves of a sketch appear from. Those are the times I almost keep what I've created, when it feels like it wasn't really me in the first place. But I get so attached to what I write or draw, a pride that perhaps stems from my dad who is always fiercely proud of what his children create. It makes me feel sick eventually, the desperation of wanting to be great. So I let it go, throw it away. Apart from here.
From the beginning I have been letting quickly written blog posts go out, trying not to think too much about my writing style, just carefully looking them over for missing rhythm or the occasional right word. Lately I've poured over them more though, thinking about who I am in my writing... Worrying that it is off-putting, not personal enough. That I am still too attached to the beauty of language, forsaking the down and dirty version that would have shown more of me. I've compared myself to people whose writing I get lost and absorbed in, who don't dress up their honesty in beautiful words, who use shorter sentences, who dare address their readers differently, who make the most mundane things sound inspiring, who wrap it all up in a satisfying bundle at the end.
I've wanted to be more like this and that, collecting aspects to try, aching to be different. Feeling stuck with a style I never accepted was mine, thinking it's only what I've been using until I find my own. Which is true, I want to change more and more into what is me. But, this is me already. This is my voice that I have to work with. It's been a bit of a shock to realise, as it's been a shock to see that my photos will always have traces of me, always be of the same mould regardless of where I will go.
It's been time to pull the strings of those dreamy balloons closer to me, to realise where they are tethered to, where they'll always originate from however far out in the ether I've pictured them. And that is good. Life is telling me in yet another way that I am ok. Even though I'm sighing at the end of the string - oh not her again! Why does it always come back to her? I know her so well and I much prefer the exotic ways of these other people, why can't I be like them instead?
So in the middle of this figuring out what it's like to accept the limitations and possibilities of this specific patch of earth I'll always be standing on and what to make of it, I got tagged. I'm to write three things about writing. I was delighted at first, the pride of having your writing noticed. Then ashamed, because I really have no advice for that kind of writing, you know writing writing. I want to write about those aspects I've collected from other people, what I want to be like but am not yet. But I can't do that, that's cheating, really. So calming down I realised I'll just have to write about the few things I do know, about blog writing.
Number one is pretty much already dealt with - be who you are. Make the most of what your voice offers, whether that is frank and humorous, poetic and dreamy, honest and true to emotion, factual and trustworthy or wild and spontaneous. Figure out what you write well and aim toward some aspects you think would improve your writing, but never forget where you're coming from and what your basic personality is like.
Number two is to not be afraid to go into the little things. For myself and perhaps other people too, I'm still too polite and shy, not wanting to take up time or effort of other people and being frugal with the words. Somehow it feels helpful to summarise our lives for the ease of the reader, giving the bare bones of our daily life, feelings or thoughts. But when I read my own stuff, the writing I like the most is the one that just describes one little thing or experience in depth, where I can really feel it, like being there.
So rather than 'I did the laundry, had coffee in town and laughed with my boyfriend' perhaps 'the mountain of whites was overflowing into the next room and I had to wade to the washing machine, but that feeling of having a neatly folded pile smelling squeaky clean and fragrant, the warmth of the fabric and the tidiness around the empty laundry basket is unbeatable.' Err, never written about that before, but there you go! Hope it makes sense. :)
Number three is to play. Let some magic into your writing, dare a little more. Say something without explaining or apologising for it. Dare be yourself - be contradictory, scrap the false modesty, play around. This is your blog after all and you as you are is so much more interesting than the ideal that we all share. I dare ya! And you should dare me too, god knows I've still got envelopes to push. Want to come play with me?
(I'm supposed to tag three folk now, but I'm so curious about all of you so please will you write three things if I ask you, yes you?)
Right, that wasn't so hard! This one's been sitting nearly finished in my drafts for weeks now, I'm glad it's left the nest. That's two tags down, one to go.
I'm free and light as a bird these days I'm happy to report. The dark clouds that followed me around due to a certain situation have finally shed their rain and the theory exam results arrived today. I pounced on the poor letter and tore it open, more than a little nervous that I flunked the thing. I didn't. Yay! So that's nearly two months of college freedom ahead of me, full of friend get-togethers, crafty projects, novels, poetry and breathing in spring away from that desk.
Yesterday I spent a peaceful afternoon scanning photos from India and Brazil and today I've been making up affirmations to print out, doodle pretty colours on and stash away in a sweet pouch somewhere. I'm preparing for spring cleaning - for the place, my body and my mind. Feeling ready to leap into a new life and that squeaky clean, fragrant, tidy and satisfying place where life is flowing smoothly. The laundry has been overflowing for too long.
Much of Friday afternoon I was outside finding fairies. So many perfect hideouts for pixie people around here, I hadn't realised. Of course, you never see more than their tiny blue wings as they hide away in the little nooks and crannies.
On the box lid to my pastels it says - Make a rainbow of your own. I think all kids should be handed one of those when they come into the world - 'Here kid, here's what you do. You might draw the conclusion from this world that what to do is keep your head down and survive like everyone else. Well, you don't have to. It can be scary as hell to be different, but you can do it. Paint with bold colours that are truly yours and make it one beautifully messy rainbow. Whatever happens remember we love you regardless. We believe in you kid, make it colourful.'
I was tagged by my favourite pixie a while back and I want to write my six-word memoir now:
Beautiful messy rainbow of my own
I'm writing long to-do lists of delights I now have time for, finding sweet-smelling natural cleaning products for the spring cleaning, letting my heavy thoughts play in a corner together while I do other things, writing inspirational words with bright pastels, smelling the hyacinths and thinking of my mum, going for walks and watching the ripples on the puddles, listening to the tinkle of bracelets, wrapping up tight in soft pashminas, breathing, sighing, sinking into my strength. Thank you so much for your comments, I take them to my heart.
Wishing you that turn of the wind where life suddenly beams at you with warm gusts of air on the dry street, your feet want to run, hop and skip, your heart wants to sing, your lungs can't get enough of that delicious air and your eyes crinkle in silent smiling thanks.
These last three weeks have been some of the heaviest in a long time. I haven't liked myself, crawling through life. Taking on frustration, anger, hurt, sadness, blame, guilt, fatigue, confusion, desperation, shame, resignation and apathy. All wearily added to the heavy load, all pushed down, all blending into the same expression - depression. I wish I was different, that I didn't always react by slipping down the heavy and resigned slope, but I do.
Just before the last exams this past weekend I had acupuncture treatment which felt like a blessing, a light briefly lighting up the last of the path for me. I've finished the second year (fingers crossed no re-sits) and the practical exams went well. I am so tired and closed, but I feel life is shining outside, just waiting for me to wake up and open the window. Things are falling into place silently inside of me, a dreamy state in between.
But really I wish I could emerge from those drenching waters and vigorously shake the drops off like a dog - RAH! Kick a hind paw free of the last of it and trot off along the beach. Not drag it rattling behind me. It does feel like that is the direction though, that's what I need to learn. To turn around and face it, not run. Running makes me so tired, but I've justified it for a long time. Hmm...
Birds have been my source of inspiration lately. There's a quote by G. K. Chesterton: 'Angels can fly because they take themselves lightly.' Indeed. Not that I'm even close to being an angel, but interesting isn't it? It's me, my self image and messy past trailing behind me, keeping me tied to the ground. I wonder where I'd like to fly if I could go or do anything? What would you do?
This is the photo dearest to me from my time in India, it just sums it all up. The bells tinkling, the deep colours, the incense saturating the air, the cool stone under bare feet, the chanting nearby. The temple elephant deserves a life far better than that, but the beauty of that photo just touches me... People come up to the elephant, hold out a coin, he receives the offering with his trunk and then blesses the person by touching their bent head.
I will write a longer post about India soon (and all the rest), but for now I just wanted to share this. I feel a light touch on my head, a blessing unasked for and I don't know what to say. I'm so happy you are there, so happy to be alive. Waking up to spring, feeling a change.
Hello sweet friends. I hope you are well and life is lavishing sunshine on you. I never intended to be gone for so long and didn't like leaving you like that, but I did need the space. Something heavy but necessary to go through kept me at first, then 5000 words of assignments to write by pure stubbornness alone, and finally a weekend promised to babysitting for our friends in London.
The last exams are looming over me at the end of this week and the results of the first exams will be sent the following. Even though I hope I managed to crawl over the pass mark it was difficult and I'm not at all sure. The burdens in your mind and heart are always so much heavier than anything physical bearing down on you. I won't talk anymore about it though. Being tired and weary is one thing, dwelling on it another.
After I've rested I've got so many things I want to do and they're like little sparkly fairy lights at the back of my mind. I know there are things to look forward to and I try to keep returning to those, forgetting and then remembering again as they twinkle in the background. Several wonderful things have happened too in the meantime to make me beam and believe in the beauty of life - one of my photos was on the front page and spotlight on Etsy, sweet people ordered my prints, I received unexpected gifts (from such amazing friends), I was given yet another You Make My Day award, I was tagged twice (ooh - I'm excited about that!) and I've still got the writing about writing post nearly finished.
The photo above I'd called the field on the other side of the lane, which it is, but someone in the comments on flickr renamed it gate to fairyland which I thought suited it better, don't you? I like door to the land of faeries myself. Whenever I'm not studying these days I disappear through that door, finding enchanted worlds and meaningful living. Faerie food doesn't sustain you unless you use it to grow yourself food in the real world though. I've been living a bit too much in dreams lately, it's time to grow a garden the other side of that meadow. This is my year of vitality, I try to remember that, a year of real life. Of warm, throbbing, exhilirating, hands-in-the-soil, feet on the ground, adventurous, colourful, shining, light in the eyes, far from perfect and delightfully human living.
I'll be back soon, and sooner than that to all you people I haven't visited in a long time now. Until then wishing you sprinkles of faerie dust and that sudden joy of being alive that makes your heart suddenly rush and your feet dance an extra step into your walk.
the magical garden gate with the twinkling fairy lights is my favourite too on the inspiration clothes-line. it's from this delightful online shop called cox & cox.