Here Is Joy

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More Snow Coming.

Here is joy.

New snow layering the bare branches of the aspens.

Crunchy toast with peanut butter and homemade raspberry jam.

Cold, clear water to drink.

Lovely Lady, our upstairs-neighbours’ rescue dog, looking in the window of our french doors, hoping for treats.

Warm socks.

Albums on my ipod.  ‘Autumn’ and ‘Winter Into Spring’ by George Winston.  Music that moves and flows and leaves beauty in its wake.

Writing valentines, to deliver by hand and to drop in the mail.

Time and space to play with pen and paper and words.

A nap after lunch.

_____________________________

In this post:

Musician George Winston.  His piano music paints pictures for me each time I listen.  My favourite albums–‘Autumn’, ‘Winter Into Spring’, and ‘December’.  ‘December’ contains a piece titled ‘Minstrels’ that haunts my heart every time I hear it.  http://www.georgewinston.com/recordings/

Thursday’s Rant – Just Let Me Create!

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What Gives Me Joy Nov 10 2016 (flowers)

It is blazing sun outside my studio window today.  The thermometer says -10 Celsius.  Even with the brilliant sunlight, I do not go out without doing up my coat all the way to my chin, and adding hat and mittens and snow boots.

Contrast and preparation.  Like the weather, that’s what is happening in my studio today.

Here is the contrast.  I want to be playing with my book draft, but there are other needs today.  What I call ‘administration’.  I am frustrated.  I want to be doing one thing, and need to be doing another.  Ugh.  Contrast.

And here is the preparation.  I have to do the administration in order to smooth the path for my writing and drawing to get out into the world to be shared.

The preparation part of my creative life is the time and effort spent on meetings, questions and answers, contracts, proposals, emails and phone calls.  I try to like this part but, honestly, today I don’t.  Even though these things are a necessary part of the path, I’d rather be writing or drawing.  Today the administration feels like it is in my way and it’s pissing me off.

I have tried to readjust my attitude.  My adjustment dial appears to be momentarily stuck.

I know this would be easier if I wasn’t so growly today.

How do I solve this?

I write my morning pages, asking myself this question.  I don’t get an answer.  Rats.  Now I’m writing my blog post, asking again, hoping for a solution and a settling of my pissed-off-ness.  Nope, not yet.

Continue reading “Thursday’s Rant – Just Let Me Create!”

Summer Mode

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I Dreamed I Was Water (Emma) – Cat Fink

I’m on summer vacation time this past week.  My internal clock finally adjusted itself.  It looked around, said ‘oh it’s July’, switched into slower, and then into slowwwww.  I am now in summer mode.  Hooray!

Summer mode means my time stretches.  Becomes casual and bendy.  I start tacking ‘ish’ onto my times for meeting friends and family.  Six-ish.  Noon-ish.  Eleven-ish.

I like ish-time.

I worked with a fellow who taught me about summer mode and ish-time.  Every year he would take his vacation, six weeks of it, as one piece.  On the morning of his first day off, he would pick up his watch, put it at the back of a drawer, and leave it there.  He moved through his vacation to the feel of each day in his body, to the rhythm of the sun rising and setting, to long conversations with friends, to the stars appearing at night.  Eating, moving, resting as the mood took him.

On the evening of the last day of his vacation he would go back to the drawer, pull out his watch, and return to the world of time and appointments set without ish on the end.

This summer it took me until mid-July to remember to take off my watch and put it away.  After an intense twelve months, it is time to play, to re-balance and recharge.  To wander through summer.  Let my days stretch.  Let my body and the sun tell me what time it is.  Let ish-time lead me where it will.

Thank you, David, wherever you are, for showing me this so many years ago.  Thank you for the gift.

Creating Stuff With Friends

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Making Stuff With Friends

The past two weeks I’ve been experiencing one of the things on my list for living a creative life—Find friends who love to create too, and inspire each other.

Drawing and writing give me great joy.  I mostly create alone, and this works for me.  I hear my heart, mind, and Source clearly.  There is peace in this, and an awareness that holds both energy and ease.

Lately I have been visiting with my artist and writer friends.  Meeting for lunch.  Going for walks.  Sharing what we are each creating.  Asking for and giving advice and points of view.  Laughing a lot.  Appreciating.  Being inspired.  Making notes of books to read and websites to view.  New resources to play with.

We talk about creativity and life.  For us, these are threads that wind round each other.  Impossible to separate.  I know I wouldn’t want to.

Thursday I sat across from a friend, at her round wooden table.  The table was high, and I am short.  I put an extra pillow on the seat of my chair.  We had pens and paper.  We wrote.

There was peace in this space, and the quiet act of creating in the presence of another.  My friend and I know intimately the feel of writing alone.  This day we chose to write together.  There was joy in this.  I feel it again as I tell you.

There is power, too, in creating with a friend.  Familiarity, love, and acceptance of the creative process.  Friendship, love, and acceptance of the person across the table.  This power is ease, and it let my words flow.  I looked up and saw my friend moving her pen across the paper, her words taking the shape of a new story.

Grace was given both of us in this time and place.  Grace, joy, friendship, and writing.  A perfect afternoon.

_______________________

In this post:

July 10th post, List For Living My Creative Life, https://catfinkknowtrustchoosecreate.com/2016/07/10/list-for-living-my-creative-life/

A Gift of Attention

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This is what I remember.

I am three years old. I am standing in the living room. My mom is sitting in the chair in front of me, holding blankets. My dad is crouched beside me, at my level, telling me this is my new baby sister. Her name is Carrie.

See? Say hello. You can touch her. My mom leans forward so I can see inside the blankets. There is a small face. Red. The eyes are closed. There are black eyelashes.

I don’t recall if I said anything or if I touched her. I do know how I felt. I can feel it now as I remember. I feel confused. I don’t know what this means. Why is she here? Is she staying with me and my parents? My parents are doing a lot of holding her. They’re not holding me. Do they love her now? Does this mean they don’t love me anymore? Now I feel sad and somehow smaller. I am starting to feel angry at this baby sister, whatever she is, who is taking my place.

This is what I remember.

I am four years old. I am in my bedroom, standing in the middle of the room. I can see the back yard through my window. It is sunny outside. I feel my feet warm in my pink socks, feel the wood floor solid under me. I am happy, peaceful, connected to everything around me. I feel secure in myself—who I am, what I can do, my place in the world. I know I have a voice and ideas worthy of listening to.

What happens in the year between these two memories?

I remember.

My dad comes home from work. He changes from his work clothes to his home clothes. He comes into the kitchen, talks with my mom, talks to my baby sister in her play pen. Then he and I go into the living room.

We lay on the thick rug, my dad on his stomach and I beside him.

And we talk. Just the two of us. He asks me what did I do today? And then he listens.

I tell him what I did, what I found in the back yard (ants, a slug, and two rocks), the songs I sing as I swing on my yellow and blue swing set (Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and Somewhere Over the Rainbow). I sing them to him as loud as I can. I know all the words.

This is the immense gift my dad gives me. His focused attention. It may be only fifteen or twenty minutes each day. It feels like always and forever. In this gift, he tells me he loves me, that I am important to him and worthy of his time, that I have ideas and thoughts worth listening to.

My dad’s gift moves me from a confused, sad, angry three-year-old who wonders if she is losing her parents’ love, into a four-year-old secure and sure in herself and her world, happy, loved, and loving.

This gift of a few minutes each day. So small, yet it is everything.

Undivided, loving, interested attention. I learn what this is and how it feels. I take it into me.

I know now the infinite value of this gift. I practise it and pass it to whoever I can. This gift says I love you, and you are worth attention and time. You are important to me. You are interesting.

Thank you, Dad, for the gift of attention. I love you.  And Carrie, I love you too.

Perfect Delicious Joy

Containers For The Soul
Containers For The Soul

It is just past noon. I’m at the beach. Sun, blue sky, a diamond ocean. A perfect breeze. The smell of kelp and sea grass and hot beach stones. At the horizon, three boats at full sail.

Perfection and delicious joy.

There are others here too, sharing this beauty. Someone eating a slow lunch. Another reading. A quiet conversation carrying on the breeze. Two bike riders pausing on the road above the beach, and a bike that squeaks with each turn of the wheels as they leave.

I am an ocean baby, born in July as the summer began. My first beach day at a few weeks old, and every summer since.

I am home here. I feel it in the way my body relaxes and becomes present to all my senses. I feel it, my mind quieting, the river of thoughts slowing, stopping. Rest here, my heart says, be open. And I do, I am.

There are places that open me. Places that are physical or spirit or imagination. That open me to my biggest self, the one that has no lines, boundaries, walls, fences. The self that is connected to all, easily and gracefully, through joy, love, just being

I keep watch for the places in my life that open me. I know in these places my grandest ideas and creations come to me. The sparks that flash into sight, then stay and grow if I let them. They live here, waiting, in these places of connection.

And what is the spark that flashes into view today? Exactly these words I send to me and to you, about the perfect delicious joy of being here. Present, open, connected, and writing.

How to create sideways

 

banfftable.detailI am a sideways creator.  I travel my own route, follow what feels right to me.  I will listen to what others say, and test out their rules and their methods.  If the rules or the methods feel right, I use them.  If not, I shift a bit to the left or right, sideways, the direction my heart is telling me, and go forward from there.

These are my current rules for creating sideways:

  1. I am the Creator of my creations. No one else is.
  2. There are no Rules with a capital ‘R’.
  3. I get to make up any rules I want for myself, but I can’t impose these on anyone else.
  4. I can add, change, discard, and break my rules any time I wish.
  5. I can make up different rules for each thing I create.
  6. I can make up no rules at all for my creating.
  7. My rules are only a starting point.
  8. I can try out anyone else’s rules if I feel like it, and see if they work for me.
  9. The best rules come from my heart.  What do I love?  What feels good and makes me happy?  What do I want to play with?  What do I want to share?
  10. My rules are play.

There are key words here for the creating sideways method.  Feeling.  Heart.  For myself.  Love.  Happy.  Play.  Share.  This is all I need, all I need carry with me into my studio and into my life.

The summer morning joy list

Blackbird Dance (desire)
Blackbird Dance (desire)

I’m outside this morning on the back deck.  Here in our summer home, writing my summer joy list.  All the things that fall into this moment like pearls on a string, in my lap to be played with, loved, enjoyed, relaxed into.

Yes.  Relaxing into summer.  Mmmmmmmm.

 

Morning sun, warming me, loving me.

Blue blue sky.

White clouds passing.

Wind in the trees and the grape vines, the kiwis and the lilacs.  Shaking the leaves and branches, whispering ‘play with me’ and ‘grow’.

Hummingbird on the clothes line, viewing his world, taking his coffee break at the foxgloves.

Baby crow on the rooftop, demanding, begging, ‘feed me’.  He started calling at daybreak.  He has been fed several times.  He’s still hungry.

Folding chairs unfolded, settled into with blanket and pillow.  Feet up, lap full of binder and loose leaf paper for writing.  Hand full of neon pink pen with pink ink (shades of Dr. Seuss).

Words.  Blessing and gift.

 

This is my summer morning joy list.

What’s yours?