(working as part of a ‘Japanese 72 season micro-climate’ artist collaborative initiative within Treesisters)
Japanese season called ‘Ritto’ / beginning of winter, 7th November – 21st November
Micro climate ‘land starts to freeze’ 12th November – 16th November
The prompts for the writing course keep rolling in….finding it so difficult to juggle my creative/spiritual practice and the ‘push’ of this course, but determined to ‘hang on in there’.
My whole brief to myself is always to weave all together…to take what presents, condense it and share the experience. The process.
Basically to always speak from my Now.
‘Nows’ can be very complex and multi-layered.
Thank goodness I rarely feel compelled to weave in the more ‘real’ trials and tribulations of my family relationships, financial worries, and practical hardships, as, in many ways, those have now become very boring to me….and I am sure would be to any readers here!
It is the ‘gaps’ in living, the times spent sitting in my true Nature, as part of Gaia’s whole, I intend, with open mind, to illustrate and celebrate here.
The whole point of this experiment is to articulate the ‘gap’.
All that I feel is really missing from our modern lives, the sheer neglect of which, I feel, results in all the darkness and dis-ease that I observe almost everywhere I look.
As I turn my attention to this Now, make Time to sit firmly in that place of just being, strip away the ‘noise’, I am curious to experience that my life is fantastically enriched.
I notice more and more and, arguably, feel more and more.
I am a bigger, better, person for doing less and letting go of more!
I know that really does not make much sense in our modern world…but is exactly what I believe I am touching on, unraveling here, in this blog, in my voiced existence, as just one example of a single human being.
Life really is not as complicated as we all insist on making it.
An example of this might be the way I decided not to submit to paper all my thinking re-the last three prompts (Fear, Reverence and Shame), instead I chose to spend time holding these ‘topics’ in my psyche, turning them over and over….then I had the encounter with the swan.
It was clear to me that this was significant.
I sat down to write simply of this encounter and there it all was.
In that single experience.
No-one was more surprised than me!
I have read and re-read that submission….each time I read it I see more and more how deeply it fulfills all I wanted to say on those 3 topics.
I have actually succeeded in amazing myself!
Always a great feeling for any creative.
Apologies to any who feel that my own delight in all that I share here is inappropriate or in some way showing off or rested in ego. It is not….it is only an attempt to honestly articulate my experience.
Weirdly, if these 3 years of riding the ‘constant wave’ of inspiration (and resulting snail’s trail of physical images and words), had actually ever achieved any sort of respected recognition, I know any ‘audience’ would not be sitting back and patting me on the head, but might even be buying my paintings and poems.
I am also super-aware it is my own, very real, inability to push and fight for this recognition that means all this effort, seems destined to remain ‘useless’.
“For the perfect accomplishment of any art, you must get this feeling of the eternal present into your bones — for it is the secret of proper timing. No rush. No dawdle. Just the sense of flowing with the course of events in the same way that you dance to music, neither trying to outpace it nor lagging behind. Hurrying and delaying are alike ways of trying to resist the present.”
Of course, it might all be ‘just not good enough’, but I believe it is enough.
My experience of Now is simply becoming too precious to lose to competition, selfish advancement or accumulation.
So the ‘topics’ keep rolling into my inbox….
Jealousy. (mercifully all that was requested was a limerick!)
I wrote three versions. My favorite was:
There once was a lassie named Kat
Who always knew where she was at,
Then along came another,
A sister or brother,
And jealousy made her a prat!
Kat Robertson 14th November
So now in front of me are the next prompts:
Imagine you stick your hand into an emotional grab bag. Write from the perspective of the first one that grabs you.
The Emotional web: write the story of your/our passage from the oldworld into the new.
Followed by the promise that there will be no more prompts! Phew!
Just a week to work up a bigger piece, suitable for potential publishing.
Our efforts here described as a type of ‘collective ritual’. A rite of passage.
And the news that our wonderful ‘leader’ Sandy Ibrahim, (who has continuously offered her own inspiring words to this journey alongside us), is meeting with Micheal Mead soon.
Wow….a man whose work I have now been introduced to through this course….
Dipping into it, it powerfully affirmed for me that all this was not a waste of Time….in fact I am simply demonstrating here exactly what so many might pay him to learn!
(So let’s take a short ‘ad’ break here to appreciate the season and the freezing that comes as surely as the world turns, upon us here in Scotland, bringing us all back to truth)
(…..wasn’t that wonderful! I know, I know….my pictures…but absolutely not my work….thank you, thank you, thank you Mother for the interludes of Beauty that punctuate my days….and give me breath, yet render me speechless! Would that all ‘ad breaks’ were like this!)
An aspect of my way of working, that I have never before articulated, is that somehow writing live on this screen (mainly through Facebook) seems to help me make a contact with expressing the now, in a way that writing and writing, on real paper, with a pen, does not.
I am forever copying and pasting to word document, catching those fleeting, truth-ringing, phrases and reactive expressions and filing them away.
Often returning to them.
This blank space of pure, white, light seems to call, more powerfully than any tree-derived page, to my inner essence, often by-passing the monkey mind….with the obvious advantage of spell check and ‘cut and paste’ for the, lexically challenged, individual that I AM.
I have practiced automatic writing, almost religiously, since my art college days, as a way of processing emotions and my feelings about the world.
I am in possession of books and books worth of such adventures with words.
I even went to enormous lengths to transcribe years worth of physical pages, written before the birth of the internet, and collected them together in the form of an anonymous blog.
At times I feel almost ashamed that, in many ways, this is just as bad as the material accumulation I profess to be working against!
My degree show, (now 30 years ago! where does the Time go?) featured two characters,
The Catcher and Debris.
‘The Catcher’ was an almost rabid hunter and collector of memories.
His aim to become immortal through this collection. He was a dis-likable metaphor, who at that time I ridiculed, believing him to represent all that was wrong with present ‘civilization’. But I cannot help seeing myself in him now, with all this diligent filing and documentation of my life’s words.
Debris was altogether sadder.
A woman who sat at the edge of life’s sea and let the waves of flotsam and jetsam build up around her until she could no longer see the ocean.
I like to think I have avoided that way of being…but as the files grow and are never published, perfected and released into the wider world, I am not so sure!
The degree show was titled ‘Spook’.
In many ways Spook was the main character. Never seen, but always passing through.
‘Spook’ is the character that represents being IN THE NOW…the illusive momentary rush of just living.
I was going to try and write now….something new, that arose in this moment…but having been poked by that original work I think I will just share a link to it here….
The visual side of my, multi-disciplined, creative practice, sits, parked for now, goading me ever from the side-lines, while I catch up with this curious journey, feeling into the power of Word.
This parallel aspect continues to grow and develop though and is constantly fed and influenced by this journey.
Looking forward to returning to it after this deep dive.
Something about self-expression in image, music and dance (I seem to do a lot less of this last option with age though!), the theater of it, that captures better the essence of ‘life’s mystery’.
I find I feel less guilty of inflicting my thoughts on a matter on another….what is it they say?….the pen is mightier than the sword?
Well all I can say is this clay-more is often too heavy for me to lift!!
Hence my love of poetry when it comes to words…..takes more time to pack, but lighter and easier to carry.
Off now to walk the path from old world to new and see what emotions arise on that slippery cliff face!