I woke up tired on Saturday morning and needed something different. I had a to-do list that I just couldn’t face and as I felt the need to cocoon at home, heading out didn’t appeal. I wanted to create but I didn’t want it to be for work. So I grabbed a pile of magazines and a notebook, made myself a big-ass coffee and camped out on my bed with some Hay House interviews. I had no end goal in mind, for a change, and simply fancied making something out of nothing. To tune out my think-y mind and ease into my feel-y body. To get glue on my hands. To play.
I began by tearing out images, clipping the sort of words I usually snip when working in my Creative Dream Journal: LOVE, confident, CONNECTION, joy. I created a few pages, but the visioning felt a bit perfunctory. Without thinking too much about it, I laid out my collection of words in front of me and began putting fragments together. I’ve been really drawn to orange lately, and when I spotted “creating calm” and “FIRE” near each other I stuck them down and felt the Nudge. I’m on to something here, I thought.
That first word combo lead me to other random pairings, words I might not have typed onto a page, but pulled together with the serendipity of collage they suddenly seemed to make sense. As more words found each other, I ended up with a series of collage poems that feel silly and serious, loose and free. Worlds away from what I’d usually do, and all the better for it.
My spontaneous creativity reboot felt really decadent — I didn’t do any real work all weekend! — which is why it was exactly what I needed. Being self-employed is great and I pour everything into what I do, but sometimes you just gotta shelve the to-do list and do something DIFFERENT. I try to remember this, and am getting better at taking time off, but this weekend reminded me that it’s okay to indulge in creative play that has no specific destination in mind. It’s the best-ideas-in-the-shower syndrome — by doing something else you make space for epiphanies. By Sunday night I’d downloaded the name of my next course, the one I’ve been composting in notebooks for months. I hadn’t even been thinking about work, but there it was, fully formed and ready to jump start the new inspiration that’s now bouncing around my head.
So the lesson is: boost your creativity by doing other creative things. It’s hardly ground breaking is it? But it’s been a timely reminder for this self-employed workaholic. The challenge now is to do it more often. Can you imagine?!
Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
It’s in the reach of my arms,
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them,
They say they still can’t see.
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman
Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing,
It ought to make you proud.
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need for my care.
’Cause I’m a woman
Another week has slipped by without any posts. I miss this place. I have so many posts I want to write for you (for me, too). Soon… the end is in sight :)
For now, a poem sent to me by my (amazing) therapist. I am so working with the right woman.
HOUSE OF CHANGES
My body is a wide house
of bickering women, hearing
their own breathing
denying each other.
Nearer the door
ready in black leather
is Vulnerable. She lives in the hall
her face painted with care
her black boots reaching her crotch
her black hair shining
her skin milky and soft as butter.
If you should ring the doorbell
she would answer
and a wound would open across her eyes
as she touched your hand.
On the stairs, glossy and determined
is Mindful. She’s the boss, handing out
punishments and rations and examination
papers with precise
justice. She keeps her perceptions in a huge
album under her arm
her debts in the garden with the weedkill
friends in a card-index
on the windowsill of the sittingroom
and a tape-recording of the world
which she plays to herself over and over
assessing her life
In the kitchen is Commendable
The only lady in the house who
dresses in florals
she is always busy, always doing something
for someone she has
a lot of friends. Her hands are quick and
cunning as blackbirds
her pantry is stuffed with loaves and fishes
she knows the times of trains and
mends fuses and makes
a lot of noise with the vacuum cleaner.
In her linen cupboard, new-ironed and neatly
folded, she keeps her resentments like
wedding presents – each week
takes them out for counting not to
lose any but would never think of
using any being a lady.
Upstairs in a white room
is my favourite. She is Equivocal
has no flesh on her bones
that are changeable as yarrow stalks.
She hears her green plants talking
watches the bad dreams under the world
spends all her days and nights
arranging her symbols
never eats hamburgers
never lets anyone into her room
never asks for anything.
In the basement is Harmful
She is the keeper of weapons
the watchdog. Keeps intruders at bay
but the others keep her
locked up in the daytime and when she escapes
she comes out screaming
smoke streaming from her nostrils
flames on her tongue
razor-blades for fingernails
skewers for eyes.
I am Imminent
live out in the street
watching them. I lodge myself in other people’s
heads with a sleeping bag
strapped to my back.
One day I’ll perhaps get to like them enough
those rough, truthful women
to move in. One by one
I’m making friends with them all
unobtrusively, slow and steady
slow and steady.
by Jeni Couzyn 1978
From Life by Drowning: selected poems
Wherever you are, whoever you’re with and whatever you’re doing, I really hope you’re having a lovely day. There can be so much expectation flying around at this time of the year, so I hope you’re able to navigate it all in ways that feel good to your heart. We’re here with a poorly little boy, so it’s a quiet day for us but that doesn’t make it any less sweeter. Sending you lots of love from my little corner of the world xo