I’m back, after a long break, and a few epiphanies. Back to a hot, sultry summer, without the hoped for rain that, this time last year and the year before, saw this lovely region so saturated the rivers were flooding.
First, I want to say how reassuring it is to find that, although I haven’t posted a proper blog since before Christmas, my visitors keep coming, and those nice bars on my stats graph have stayed modestly high. Thank you to all who read my posts, and follow my blog.
My vision for this year is to live this life to the full. Part of that is embracing my writing and my painting, and continuing my editing practice. This last is easy for me — I do it well, I have many satisfied clients, and a lot of them return to me. It is safe and secure and I feel good when I’m doing it, it keeps me in food and the good things of life, and I miss it when I don’t have work on my desk. It keeps my marbles polished, and I am happy that I can help people get their work published, complete their degrees, and express themselves in the best possible words.
The riskier side of me is my own writing and my painting. I came to writing in earnest about 15 years ago, when I went back to uni and started to write my life story, and found a way of understanding it that made sense. I had a romance with writing for a few years, especially with the journey of understanding the deeper forces that had shaped my life, and it was transforming for me. I completed two higher degrees, and started my editing practice. But I wanted to be a published writer too; that was part of the romance. I have published several essays and memoirs, and I am an editor for a life writing journal. But I’ve had some near misses at getting my book-length memoir published, and became quite disaffected with the commercial publishing scene.
Last year, though, towards the end of the year, I formed a small writing group with a couple of friends, and have resurrected my memoir of childhood, and started to interweave it with my mother’s story (fictionalised, drawing in part on her (unfinished) hand-written memoir, and mostly from my memory and imagination. My friends have encouraged me to continue with this, and I will.
The other breakthrough for me has been discovering the joy of pastel painting. My year of wildlife painting with a local teacher taught me a tremendous amount, but I felt very dependent on my teacher’s help and judgement. Finally, the cord was cut, when I felt he went too far in instructing, criticising and forcing me to revise my work. Shades of my mother! So I quit, and have completed two paintings since then, both admired, and the last one my best yet. So I am now going solo, and will join a community arts group for support and inspiration. and I will start selling prints of my work online, and work up to an exhibition.
Yesterday, I had an epiphany about my purpose in life; it is to express myself, my gifts, to the full, to seek outlets for my creative work, and to live, not to other people’s expectations, but to the full of my own self, the gifts I was born with and the wisdom I have gained.
Today I celebrated by making an offering to the creative spirit that is in me and that informs the whole universe, and bought an indoor plant, a pot to house it, and a small table to put it on. It will be the first of a few new inhabitants of my house of creativity.