The Creative Licence

[This is a guest post from the very inspiring Jo Hanlon-Moores]

After a challenging year I chose the word ‘release’ to take into 2011. Let go, surrender, get out of my own way… all that good stuff.

I believe in ‘flow’, in being in your element and finding that The Right Path is smoother underfoot. Again and again I’ve found a path only to stumble. Land on your face enough times and you begin to doubt your own inner voice. I was in that place many times in 2010.

Last autumn, thanks to a gifted body worker, I had a sublime moment of clarity while she pressed her thumb into the sole of my right foot. I realised that I know nothing. Nothing. The ramifications of that are profound and sometimes too overwhelming to look in the eye but I’m trying.

When Susannah asked me what creativity means to me, sure enough, I didn’t know. Heh. Right now, I am being creative with my life, learning the basics again with teachers that are human, canine, feline and yes, some of them are chickens. Nature is my mentor. I am releasing a need to label what it is that I do, who it is that I am.

So I wrote a story.

The Shawl

In the cool shade of a tree, the baby slept. Down flew the jackdaw and chattered to her as he carefully wove a piece of paper into the shawl she dreamt on.

A child grown, she discovered the paper and wondered at the scritchy-scratchy patterns that covered it. It became art on her dolls’ house walls…the map that led to riches beyond imagining…a flag she planted on a distant planet.

Years passed and the paper survived. Layered lightly into collage…wrapped around flowers…folded to support her wobbly desk. Finally, almost unnoticed, it slipped between the pages of her journal.

Decades now. Deep in a daydream of yearnings and sorrow over lost time, the woman blew dust from a journal and opened it. The paper fell into her hand and this time the scritchy-scratchy was language. Words she could not read but words all the same.

That night, beneath a full moon, she took it on her journeying and showed it to her travelling companions, Wolf and Rook.

“Ah,” said Rook, “This is written in Corvid. Allow me to translate.”

And he read:

Creative Licence

The Bearer is entitled to:

Stories of her own weaving

A home of her own building

Freedom of her own defining

Beauty of her own finding

Dreams of her own realising

Journeys of her own taking

Mistakes of her own making

A life of her own creating.


Flipping it with his beak, he continued:

See also:

Wishes, hopes, art, love, dance, plans, gardens, music, science,

words, tribe, magic, paint, beauty.

This Creative Licence is granted from the vast heart of the Universe.

The woman took back the paper and carefully wove it into her shawl where is still sits, next to her heart.

This might be a true story.

* * * * *

Jo lives with her partner and their daughter, two dogs, an ancient cat and three chickens, in a cottage in the grounds of a Wiltshire manor. Home is the backdrop for inspiration in the shape of love, family, dogs, nature and creativity. She’s been a blogger since 2003, an energy healer since 1998 & an animal lover since birth. She’s putting Shapeshifter on her next passport.

Connect with Jo: Twitter :: Blog :: Website :: Etsy

[First photo by Sus, second photo by Jo]

16 responses
  1. Katherine

    Love love love that story!!! You blow me away Jo!

  2. Mel

    Love that story and love you.

  3. Tracie

    Simply and wonderfully beautiful.

  4. Amie aka MammaLoves

    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

    I needed to read this today. Right now in my life.

    I will be pulling it over and over again to ponder.

  5. Jo

    Thank you for reading and saying such nice things. You all – including you, Sus – gave me a lovely day and writing this reminded me of some truths I’d forgotten myself. Love how that works.

  6. Nathalie

    That’s lovely and so right to the core.

  7. leoniewise

    Wowzers Jo!
    The story is Amazing.
    YOU are Amazing.

  8. stacy

    just beautiful. xo

  9. Ashley

    This is so beautiful. Thank you, it gave me what I needed today – hope in tomorrow.

  10. michelle

    you have touched my heart.

  11. Brooke

    Beautiful, fresh, and inspiring. Thank you!

  12. Angela Vular

    Oh….I loved reading this story! Thank you so much for the inspiration….something I need on a dreary January day.

  13. Cheryl

    Love your authenticity and the story and your Etsy Store (congratulations !). We did Mondo Beyondo together a couple of years ago and it is a delight to see how far you have come…

  14. Jo

    Thanks again everyone. And hello again Cheryl!

  15. shamitasharma

    You are so creative, Susannah. I like the picture. It looks great. Keep it up!

  16. Veronica

    just incredibly eloquent and beautiful!

Comments are closed.