It’s all a mirror…. 41/52

The year winds on, the weeks flip by, the book of weeks fills up.

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I’m finding out stuff I didn’t even know was there.

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You remember back to January? I set my word for the year, after much deliberation, to Focus.

It took some fathoming, and even then I wasn’t positive I’d picked the right word… or the right word had picked me.

But as I let it settle we found our connection with each other. And time and again I’ve been surprised at what has become my focus of attention.

As the year bumps along my focus shifts. 

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More than a few times I’ve felt myself careering down a route I didn’t plan.

(with practice this gets easier: stop trying to steer at high speed – see where you land up – it’s all part of the wild ride of life)

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Racing headlong toward something I’ve avoided in the past.
For fear. For fear of…? Fear of what’s behind it all?

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This sentence appeared in my world – loud and timely enough for it to become what  this page is based around. Loud, Bold Lettering – which some weeks gets covered up – not this week.  The organising committee in my mind had other plans, and only allowed the doodles to skirt the edges. To enhance not to obliterate. Ok….I thought….Ok. You trying to tell me something here?

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Back in the real world, this particular week the final project was almost due part of an online course I’ve been taking. I was in a state of suspended procrastinatory blur: the deadline was 5 days off when I emailed the course leader to confess I was beaten, I couldn’t pull it together in time. I had to quit.

This left me with just two problems.

Problem #1 – quitting wasn’t followed by the enormous wave of relief I’d expected. Instead a slightly sorrowful shame that nearly a year’s worth of work hadn’t reached it’s completion, it had just damply fizzled out.

Problem #2 – no amount of saying ‘I just don’t know what to do’ would quieten these big bold words I was mindlessly doodling around in this weeks page. I did know what to do, I also knew I didn’t want to do it. But I did:  It needed doing. It was going to be difficult, emotional, raw. I was a bit scared.

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Ok. I’ll do it. This idea had been drifting around in the margins for some months now. Trying to creep into focus I nudged it away. Repeatedly. But ideas can be stubborn and this one finally flew out before I could stop it, unraveling in front of me.

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I had 3 days to go and I faced my demons, I did what I know needed doing: I sat and wrote my story.

My story is my art and my art is my story. As is this book, I’m the sum of my days. Until I face up and focus for real I won’t ever see who I am behind the mirrors.

As time settles the rawness in my mind, I’ll bring bits of it over here to show you. X

with tiny sketchy folk (40/52)

There’s likely something telling about the inclusion of these tiny sketchy folks in this week

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(this character looks like he’s sustained a cartoon style head injury – a dropped anvil or grand piano I expect)

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as usual I can’t offer any explanation, this is just what falls out of my unconscious mind via my pen holding hand.

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In her TED talk, Elizabeth Gilbert recalls how the poet Ruth Stone described her creative process:

“…she told me that when she was growing up in rural Virginia,she would be out working in the fields, and she said she would feel and hear a poem coming at her from over the landscape. And she said it was like a thunderous train of air. And it would come barreling down at her over the landscape. And she felt it coming, because it would shake the earth under her feet. She knew that she had only one thing to do at that point, and that was to, in her words, “run like hell.” And she would run like hell to the house and she would be getting chased by this poem, and the whole deal was that she had to get to a piece of paper and a pencil fast enough so that when it thundered through her, she could collect it and grab it on the page. And other times she wouldn’t be fast enough, so she’d be running and running, and she wouldn’t get to the house and the poem would barrel through her and she would miss it and she said it would continue on across the landscape, looking, as she put it “for another poet.””

She talks at length about how ideas are entities that search out a person through which to be made manifest in her book Big Magic

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I love this for so many reasons…

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These are concepts that fit my ideologies

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Removing the responsibility of being the creator: we are just the catcher.
It’s more fun.

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Way more fun

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It was this thinking that encouraged these tiny sketch folks out through my pens this week.
To be witnessed by this week’s ubiquitous big eye

Time Hole (39/52)

I fell down another hole in time but it’s All OK Now.

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I jumped. I was down there from some time, lurking
(it happens from time to time. Do you do this too?)

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I’ve learned to TRUST I’ll fumble my way out eventually.
I follow my instincts and they lead me back to where I left off.

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It’s a case of just ALLOWing. Letting go.
(Which reminds me – I’ve been reading this.)

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There’s a lot about perspective…
Seeing the same thing from a different angle, a different approach.

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What matters most…

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Since I started this project back in January,
every week has entailed some sort of variation on the same theme:

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There’s been doodles and scribble, lists and lyrics,
Notes to me-in-the-future, that’s to say,
to me-in-the-now from a-previous-me-in-the-past

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There’s been a whole lot of mess and color.

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(In that sense, no different from any other of my years, I guess)

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This is the first time I’ve been disciplined to do the
same/similar thing consistently every week, for
39 consecutive weeks at this point, and still going strong

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I’m just behind on showing you, so there will be a
flurry of catching up over the next short little while.

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So this was that week then, the next week then will
follow in a blink of a thing. Hold onto your hats.

Sanctuary in Now 37/52

It’s been all this time since I posted. Cos I’ve been away.
But I’ve kept the book of weekly pages running, and so here we are with the page from the week before last.

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Somewhere nice? Nah, it wasn’t that sort of away. 

I didn’t leave the place, I just left the usual. I left the ordinary responsibilities of being me.
Time away to recombobulate.

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I’ve been hiding out here in a sanctuary of colors.
Lost in time and lost in patterns.

And between you and me, I still haven’t gone back.
And between you and me, I’m not sure if I will.

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Thing is, I’m just realising now as I explain my days to you, I’m making sense of it as I go along.
The reason I find so much warm comfort in these simple scribbles, blocks and lumps of colour…

As a kid I loved – more than almost anything – the simple pleasure of colouring in. It was as a meditative process then as it is now.

The only time I’ve had an out of body experience was sitting cross legged on my bed, aged about 9 or so, colouring in. I remember it like it was yesterday. My train of thoughts had wandered away from me and as I tried to back-track a mantra began to form in my head “what was it I was just thinking about – what was it I was just thinking about – what was it….’ then WHOOOSH I was somewhere up above looking down at this little girl sitting cross legged on my bed, colouring in.

In the moment I recognised that as me and had time to think Wow! and then How do I get back down? I was back.

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I wanted to do it again. And I didn’t. But I did. Not for the first time I was utterly freaked.

So the part of my consciousness that heard How do I get back down? and set me back in my body, prevented me from trying (properly) again.

I carried on colouring.

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So I’ve rediscovered this simple joy again as I’ve found myself still wanting to escape the real world in the way I did then as a little girl. I think the magic of getting lost in these colours is amplified by the knowledge that if I wanted to I could probably re-conjure that state again.

I’m soothed by the process, but I’m not looking to disappear now. I spent way to much life in escapism, I inherited traits and tricks that I see now didn’t serve me so well. I’m unpicking that past one bit at a time. Facing up to some ghosts. 

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Circumstances have set themselves out in front of me in a way I can’t ignore any more. This time I’m stepping up instead.

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Fueled by Doubt 36/52

I look at them in their lives and their worlds, they do their things and they live their days.

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I can do that. Look – watch me – I’m doing my things and living my days.

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And then I turn sideways, and vanish.

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Where did I go? All the fear folded in on me.

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It all looked too big, I left. It’s all too familiar, so I run. .I hide from being me.

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How am I not like the other people? Reasons crumple under their own weight and all the ideas dissolve into dust

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Who thought the simple act of being me would become such a challenge, such a confusion, so fueled by doubt.

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When this happens a lot I wonder if I should stop pretending.

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Pretending the other people are real, or pretending I am.

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I wonder at these words and fragments, at what will come next.

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Most people will understand,

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But most people aren’t real. Most people don’t exist.

Parallelity 35/52

Have you used these pens? Pilot Parallel Pens.  I love them.
They aren’t only beautiful to write and draw with, but there’s magic you can do if you have more than one and different colored ink. I got these years ago and they’d drifted to the back of my repertoire for a long while. It was a strong sense of no idea what to do that made me remember them again this week.
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I’m not a calligrapher in the real sense, but I love to play.
Have you seen Denise Lach’s art? This is my kind of calligr-drawing-joy

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…………….And so the doodling commenced.

sleep

If there was one overriding theme of this week it was sleep. I’ve never been so tired. The culmination of some health stuff, some worry-based stuff, and some ongoing insomnia-based stuff all collided and my body made the unilateral decision that the only thing it was going to properly do was sleep.

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Long heavy nights of it and small naps of it in the intervening day times when circumstance permitted. The bits of the week that weren’t spent sleeping were spent in blinky incoherence.

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(tbh, this week hasn’t been so different.)

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So much time in sleep  means more crossover than usual between the waking and the dreaming realities.

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Episodes of dream can manifest the mundane, and the awake-world does something crazy and surreal.

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And the two places overlap and get muddled.

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It’s a big jambled thing, and although there wasn’t an intent, this illustrates it pretty much as it was.

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Worlds in Parallel.

evolution in paint chaos 34/52

Week 34 into the year, and this page was a struggle. Like they always do, it started out with scraps of I don’t know what.

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Some scrubby paint, some leftover unwanted collage snips. Beginning at the familiar stage of: ‘Meh… but this will get buried. It will come good. See what happens’

Color usually helps…

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Hmmm… more collage? … oil pastels?

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What? What’s happening? It’s getting more chaotic.
White a load of this out, more collage, regroup:

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The enthusiasm  from that chirpy thumbs up is misplaced, and it’s psyching me out. It has to go. Smothering with color: that’s the way forward. Just follow the shapes

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Looking back this would have been an adequate stopping point, but I remember thinking It just needs turquoise: that will sort it.
And then a lot of layers later…

It went on and on.

It went on and on a bit like this:

Even now I’ve declared it done I don’t love it. This is the first one that seems to have beaten me. I guess being beaten at a rate of 1 in 34 – I’m cool with that. Another new week begins tomorrow. Time for a change of strategy.

Courage, Faith, Trust. 33/52

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Scribbled things. Filled in with nonsense and part heard words

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Dabs, daubs, splosh. Dragged, drawn out, drawn on.

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And more, and further. Anemones? meteors? Some frenzied chaos. (I honestly don’t know.)

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But as usual, I like the details best of all  

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The title for this week – Courage, Faith, Trust – came from the same-named scrap of paper that got itself collaged into the frenzy. (it appeared a week early, as it’s numbered 34) but it also calls up the essence of this practice. Courage, Faith and Trust in the process:

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Keep showing up, don’t plan, don’t expect, just keep doing and making and going. And all will be well.

Ramping up 32/52

Life is flooding along.

I measure out every one of these weeks and I see it unfurl new aspects, new intrigues.
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I don’t always tell you them – are they interesting to anyone but me?
Well, here you go:
These are three new facets of life which entered my world this week …..

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The Speakeasy videos from the Wanderlust Festi.
The words are from Danielle Laporte’s talk ‘The Soul of Ambition’

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This weeks page is powered by left-overs from another project. (Too many to throw away)

Tulsi Tea – I’m taking a rest from coffee in the interests of resting my adrenals and settling my cortisol levels. I’ve switched to Tulsi. It’s really grown on me. Yes, I kinda do miss coffee, but as a temporary substitute I’m glad it’s part of my world.

and finally:

Sauerkraut – from my ongoing fascination with all things prebiotic, probiotic & gut biome related.

An eclectic mix. Meanwhile, amid the above the following page took shape thus-ly:

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