A Refresh

The past year has been one of reflection, coming to grips … figuring out why I find myself singularly unable to use my voice. It’s like my Throat Chakra has put a bit of a dam in place. I kept writing whenever I could make myself put fingers to keyboard, but other than the Goslings, was powerless to make myself share what I was writing.

I’ve been putting off Singing. I love singing. I love notes and the challenge of reaching them, however high or low, finding the sweet spot for resonance. Going deep into my chest and deep into my head, finding the smoothest path between them. Feeling the moment when the band and I hit a sweet spot. I love the challenge of this, the sensation of it.

I’ve been putting off Painting. I love painting. I love taking a photograph and turning it into something on glass that light can enhance. Creating something that is uniquely reliant on light and colour combining for one perfect moment, once a day, and witnessing that moment. I love the challenge of this, the fleeting expression it represents.

A scruffy juvenile Dunnock.

I haven’t Acted in years. I love acting. I love creating a character, asking questions as to why say this, or that, or the other. Finding back-up in what other characters say, for in acting, the words are the only truth you have upon which to build the foundation of the character. I love the challenge of this, the intimacy of it.

I’ve not Directed in years, either. I love directing. I love building a show, finding its nuances, reading the original book for inspiration. Working to create a world that an audience will become a part of. Asking questions of my actors to help them find the answers they need to create three dimensional humans and seeing the result in the audience reactions on Opening Night, then following the show’s growth through the run. I love the challenge of this, the all-encompassing nature of it.

I have been Writing. I love writing. I love words and the English language; I love using the English language. It is rich with nuance, its grammar rife with frustration and inconsistencies. Weeding through it all to find the perfect words in the perfect order to express whatever is in my heart in that moment. I love the challenge of this, the fluency and beauty of it.

A Red Admiral Butterfly and a Bee enjoy a Purple Globe flower.

I have been practicing Photography. I love photography. Working to perfect my own way of sharing how I see our world. Trying to find new ways to make flowers interesting, to see if I can’t get one clear shot of a bird or butterfly. On our rare walks up the lane, these days, I try to take at least one photo of our girl. My sweetheart. Wildflowers.

I miss Dance. I love dance. The last form I studied was Flamenco, at the Academy of Spanish Dance in Toronto. Flamenco inspires something deep in my soul and has since I was a child. Becoming lost in the Compás, the rhythm, the percussion of it. Even though I knew I would never be a true Flamenca, I would lose myself in it for hours on Saturday afternoons. I still have my shoes and my practice skirt, my dress and my manton (shawl). It could happen. I live in hope.

I miss Philosophy. I love philosophical discussions, wide-ranging, encompassing belief and the fleeting nature of reality. I miss all night sessions over bottles of wine with like-minded people, exploring spirituality and the soul. The connection between the spiritual and quantum physics and the nature of the universe.

I love Quantum Physics. If put into language, I understand the concepts of the theories. It’s the maths and formulae that make my brain run screaming from my head into the ethers, not the theories themselves. That there are mysteries the nature of which we, in this finite body with our limited understanding and use of only a small portion of our brains, cannot conceive, is no surprise to me.

Which brings me to the crux of this stream of thought and process … the nature of my own creativity. Where does it lie? How do I express it? How do I want to express it? Those I’ve named are those that I’ve pursued throughout my life, but there are so many others that I would love to learn and perfect to some degree.

A psychiatrist with whom I undertook treatment for depression for many years once told me that I had no self-discipline; that I had to pick something and focus on it. I was stunned. But why can I not do it all? Why can I not move from one discipline to another, or several at once, as occurred during one blissful period of my life many years ago? Choose one? But they all enrich my life. I could no more choose one than … well, I can’t think of anything better than ‘fly’. Which doesn’t work because they all have given me wings when I needed them most.

Japanese Impatiens tumbles down the bank to the stream below.

I want everything. I want to see the Universe and beyond, as well as every square inch of the blessed Earth who nurtures us. At some point, we humans must evolve beyond our planet. We must. Our Mother Earth is rather finite in size, if not spirit. Every step we take toward it excites me. Really, I should be going to Mars. And beyond. I want to see it all.

I want to create however I want to create in that moment and explore it as deeply as I can and it frustrates me that I cannot just do things … I must learn how physically. Why?! Why?! And so I learn, so that I can do. And I am hard on myself, because I have always felt that I should already know how. It is dis-spiriting to realise that it was in a different lifetime that I did these things, I must say.

A young Jackdaw (I think) considers the great furry beast asleep in the yard.

This past year, as I have written and shared the lives of the Goslings, endured this pandemic along with every other human on our Little Blue Planet, tried to come to grips with illness, both human and canine, seen my world slowly, inexorably, become centred on my house … my home. Physically, creatively. The isolation against which I have periodically chaffed has also become comfortable. Easy. Peaceful. A haven against the heartbreak that simmers in my soul at what I see in my world.

My physical voice keens silently. There is no outward, vocal expression that I can make through a throat clogged with unexpressed rage at the incredible, self-centred, actions of some of my fellow humans. My brain, my mind, my being, however, will not be silenced much longer.

Bear with me, my friends, as I figure this out. Say what needs to be said … what can be said … express creatively as I feel in that moment … with no timetable but the one I choose to pursue. I like to amble. I like to putter. I like to move when my body says I need to and stop to work on more sedentary things when my body says I must. I like to move through my day and pick up, or put down, whatever project, in that moment, needs to be done, taking pleasure in expanding my abilities to a point that I feel I can share them.

Now, it’s time to just let things be what they are, as they are. See where my path takes me, for I have spent a lifetime trying to be what others thought, what others expected, what others wanted, what others needed in the vain hope that it would somehow make me enough. I’ll tell you something … if I’m not enough by now, I never will be.

Time to move forward.

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