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Writing

Ali (the deer who spent time in our garden last summer when her mother would leave her for the day). It’s easy to tell it’s her because she is smaller than usual.

The planet will never come alive for you unless your songs and stories give life to all the beings, seen and unseen, that inhabit a living Earth.

– Amitav Ghosh

As our world appears to spin more and more out of balance, what are the stories that speak to this darkening time? What stories are destroying us, and what stories are sustaining us, helping us to find a path that can return us to a point of balance, a place of belonging?

~ Llewellyn Vaughn-Lee, Emergence Magazine

First rose of the season.

Last week I spent some time painting (decorating) an old journal that I am repurposing to use for taking notes in a writing workshop I am participating in.  Or sort of participating in.  Timing, being what it is, has made it impossible for me to attend the first three sessions live.  My participation is not so much with the group as it is with listening and writing on my own.

Work in progress.

The writing workshop is Writing Beyond Environment with Chelsea Scudder, a contributor to Emergence Magazine.  The theme that we are exploring is Writing From the Roots, and the first session was with Rebecca Giggs from Perth, Australia, author of the book Fathoms: The World in the Whale.  After Ms. Giggs described the place she is from, the place that shaped her, it got me thinking a lot about where I am currently living because that is the place that has been shaping me for the last several years.

The Monopalette color for the month of April was Shell Pink and one of my favorite lessons involved Cubism and flamingos. (I used an old photo I took of some flamingos as inspiration for this.)

Rather than buy a new notebook or journal for the course, I dug through the used the notebooks and journals that have been hanging around here waiting for something to happen with them.  The one I picked out is one I barely used.  Maybe 3 or 4 pages have any writing on them.  It is a journal designed to go with a book by an author I’ve lost confidence in due to her stance on things throughout the pandemic.  She went a little down the conspiracy hole that has been sucking in so many people lately.  That surprised me given all her writing and talk about fear vs. love, and acting from love rather than fear, but I suppose it shouldn’t have.  So many of the people in the yoga, wellness, and spirituality industry (and it IS an industry) have turned towards the conspiracies.  I’m not sure if that is based on fear or finances.  Maybe a bit of both although I suspect that for some, money is the root cause.  There are dollars to be made hawking disinformation about masks and vaccines, New Age spirituality/wokeness, cures for what ails you,  and testicle tanning.

Circles and lines, shades and tones.

Before painting over the pages in the journal, I found myself thinking of a theme about the shallows and depths of the sea, and the shallows and depths of roots.  I am sure I was influenced by the workshop, but there is some of me, some of my own heart or soul, in what I’m producing on the pages.  There is some of this place, too.  Bay, sea, marshes, and the woods/trees all have shallows and depths.

Back to the greening and the hike from last weekend.

I am incredibly far behind in my self-paced learning and projects.  That sounds like an oxymoron, doesn’t it?  Being self-paced should mean that I can’t fall behind.  And yet, that’s how I feel lately.  It’s as if I am always trying to catch up with myself.  That is, in part, due to the fact that I’ve taken on a lot.  There is so much I want to do, day by day.  Writing, drawing, painting, learning, bicycling, walking/hiking, photography, yoga, meditating, chanting.  Add to the mix the usual chores, picking up litter, whatever the next right thing is in terms of activism (writing letters, making phone calls, showing up), and gardening, and it feels like there are not enough hours in the day.

A path through spring greens.

I persist at this craziness.  For now.  I am not sure why other than I am drawn to do these things right now.  My head is filled with ideas, more than I can get on the page (either in words or images).  The newly repurposed journal is likely to be a repository of ideas.  I don’t know if it’s possible to go back and pick up old ideas and run with them.  Sometimes you have to strike while the muse is with you.  Otherwise, as Elizabeth Gilbert wrote about in her book Big Magic, the muse will take the ideas to someone else who will actually use them (and not store them away in a repurposed journal).  But maybe there will be a time and place for ideas I just can’t get to right now.

I don’t know if you can see them but there are clusters of yellow flowers in the background.

This looks like a good place to end this post.  Thank you so much for visiting with me.  Let’s meet out at the Point for sunset this evening.  I’m not sure there will be anything to see given all the clouds that have been hanging over us today.  I wish the clouds would produce some rain.  It keeps missing us and we’re desperately in need of it.  Sunset is scheduled for 7:58 PM.  You will probably need a light jacket.  It’s warm (upper 60’s) but always cooler by the water.

Please be safe, be well, and always be kind.

Not sure what these are. They are blooming all over the place.

A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy:  2,001)  A muse who is filled with ideas.  2,002)  The time and privilege to be able to play with some of those ideas.  2,003)  Clouds and rain.  Praise the rain! (as Joy Harjo wrote).  2,004)  The beauty of spring.  2,005)  Plants and seeds in the ground.  Now we weed and wait.

A different angle.

Author:

Robin is... too many things to list, but here is a start: an artist and writer; a photographer and saunterer; a daughter and sister and granddaughter; a friend, a partner, a wife, a mother, and a grandmother; a gardener, a great and imaginative cook, and the creator of wonderful sandwiches.

17 thoughts on “Writing

  1. Such beautiful photos–and that little deer! It sounds like you are very busy and full of ideas. As long as it’s a good busy and you’re enjoying it. I think if the ideas go away, they may just simmer and pop up later, so don’t worry about that. 😊 (My unasked for two cents.)
    That is sad about the conspiracy stuff and icky, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What beautiful work you do. I so admire your creativity! I, too, think it’s perfectly all right for ideas to simmer. For twenty years, I have been wanting to write about a young Franco-American girl trying to find her place in a sometimes hostile culture. Finally l have figured out how to do it. I needed those twenty years.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Nice artwork, Robin! I think ‘feeling behind’ is part of the human condition. There is always more to do than time to do it, and new stuff comes along all the time, so the feeling of never catching up seems true to me. I guess it is a matter of being content with what we can and do accomplish on a daily basis. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Eliza. 🙂 Yes, it probably is part of the human condition and our need to be doing. I am quite content, for the moment, with what I can manage. It’s that feeling that makes it okay for now. If I truly start feeling overwhelmed, then it will be time to let go of something.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. “What stories are destroying us, and what stories are sustaining us…”

    That’s what I’ve been pondering lately. The narrative you tell yourself takes on its own reality within you and you project yourself in a certain way because of it. Too many people are absorbing bad destructive stories [looking at you FB] and forgetting entirely about good sustaining stories. No solution to what I see as a problem, but I see and feel it. It is disturbing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m beginning to see how important our stories are, Ally. I hope we can turn things around and start telling (and believing) better stories (of ourselves and of others).

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Perhaps keeping busy allows you to believe our world will continue on, despite the disinformation, lack of tolerance, and anger we see and hear all about us. My big question this morning is: do we really have to be exposed to political ads until November?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Uggh to the political ads, Carol! Ugh and ugh. We had those forced upon us when we were in Ohio for our last visit. It was awful. Those Ohio politicians who advertise a lot are crazy people pushing the Big Lie and other conspiracy theories. Ugh.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Hopefully you are getting the rain today on the Eastern Shore, we sure are on the Western Shore!
    Beautiful photos. Especially love the ones from our hike last weekend. And your shell pink artwork looks great in the blog! 💜

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, J. 🙂 We finally got some rain last night. We’ve had a nice, misty, sometimes steady, rain today. Looks like we might get a bit more tonight. Take care. ❤

      Like

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