Slow down, breathe easy, make a poem of your life. Don't let life rush by; reflect. Look for beauty and rejuvenate your soul.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Flying Free

Flying free would be such a glorious sensation! Feeling the air currents lift us, seeing the earth below nolonger constraining us with vast distances we cannot cover.
Much of my poetry over the years comes back to this theme of flying. There must be something deep in me that longs to soar, that doesn't fear heights, or speed, but revels in freedom. There must be something in me that strains to be rid of constraint.

But I always also tend to write about relationship because it is our dealings with one another that connect us, that give us joy or sadness, purpose or pain. Creativity and Relationship, in my opinion, are the key things that set us apart from the animals. (And memories, reasoning, planning, imagination...)
But I feel myself digressing onto another topic, so lets's pull back...

My poetry is most frequently about relationship and flying is a theme I keep coming back to. The combination of these two more often than not reveal a desire to escape, to leave relationships behind and be free.
Ironically this is not something I am quick to advocate. In my life I tend to do the exact opposite: constrain myself within the bounds of a relationship.Yet my poetry keeps pushing the theme. Plenty here for the psychologists out there I'm sure, so before you or I get too analytical and start uncovering my secrets how about I just share the latest poem with you...

Flying Free

Raise your eye to the sky
And see me there, winging where
The clouds pass by.

Know I have escaped your heart
And watch as I race free,
Against falcon, goshawk, eagle, kite.

Do not call for me. The wind
Flutes your voice into a song
That no more sings for me.


Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Two Women

A quick art post today to catch you up on the portraits I've been doing with the help of Willowing.

Each time I begin a new portrait I say I will experiment with going darker, but I am always happy with them while they are light so I stop. Perhaps this is my style.


Friday, 14 January 2011

Female Blackbird

I was just sitting by the window with my laptop when a female blackbird landed on the fence outside.
Looking for beauty, I paused to watch her. She is such a plain creature and so common in these parts, but taking the time to really see her revealed her beauty. She cocked her head, assessing her surroundings with a keen eye. She nimbly negotiated the iron fence upon which she balanced.

Female blackbirds have always given me pause for thought because their name is so incongruous: they are not black. I have always felt a slight unease to hear myself say of a brown bird: "Look, it's a blackbird." Something's not right there.

This time as I contemplated her browness - a deliberate contemplation - I realised there is a beauty in her difference from the male. She is like him, but she is different. It is as though she is gently defying her own name, the label given her.
"Yes, I'm a blackbird," she says, "but don't think that means I am what you think. Don't think I am like my brother, or my mate. I am female with all the difference that brings. You think being brown makes me plain, but no. Being brown makes me who I am."

We women are the same, although not plain (we are blessed with the beauty of our species!). We are like our brothers, our mates, but we are different. Genesis 2 tells the story of how Eve was created from the rib of Adam. Like the man, but different. Of the same stuff, but uniquely herself. Such is (wo)man.
Some strands of feminism tried to make women the same as men. We've grown up a lot since then. We don't have to be the same to find our value. Our worth lies in our difference in the context of similarity.
This isn't new; like me you know it already. But never before have I seen this truth in the female blackbird's brown plumage. Because of it I will love her more.

Incidently, this reminds me of something that may help any of you who may feel more plain than beautiful.
In the children's picture book by Mick Inkpen called The Great Pet Sale there is a box of "assorted little brown creatures" at the pet shop.

Because they are little and brown they are selling for "10 pence the lot".

"Boring! Boring! Boring!" says the rat who wants to be bought instead.
But here's a word from me to you: the rat is wrong!
Even if we don't have knock-me-down gorgeous good looks (and let's face it not all of us do), the female blackbird teaches us one thing for sure:
Little brown creatures are not boring! They are different and wonderful!


female blackbird picture credit: Roguey000

Tuesday, 11 January 2011


I bought myself a A5 black bound sketchbook at the start of the year to explore my new drawing habit with the aid of a couple of online groups.It is just so exciting to have a pristine new book to work with! Here are two examples of the work I've produced so far.
This first is in honour of "Cosmos" the January theme for Creative Every Day - a literal interpretation.

This one is inspired by the Sketchbook Challenge whose January theme is "Highly Prized". In these winter months "Warmth" is highly prized and I have illustrated two sources of warmth.

I am enjoying being motivated to put pencil to paper. However, though dedicated to honing my new artistic skills this year, this blog was never intended to be just a showcase for them (didn't know I had them when I started!) so I also need to devote some time to sharing other thoughts with you here.

I have a couple of days to myself this week (bliss!) and am making plans for both life and blog, so do stay tuned for what the future holds as I practice my 2011 commitment to Intentionality. Promise to tell you more about what I'm doing soon.


Monday, 3 January 2011


We human beings seem always to feel the need to divide our lives into segments according to the calendar, and the beginning of each new year has a particular hold over us: an invitation to a fresh start. Our penchant for New Year’s resolutions reveals our dissatisfactions with where we are currently going in our lives and provide us with motivation for change.

Some people love the opportunity to review and embrace the hope of improvement and rejoice at the chance to get back on track. For others, resolutions can mean pressure and failure. I tend to avoid setting them if I can, but inevitably find myself secretly thinking I would like to exercise more (my resolutions are always mundane, but important, like that).

Something I have noticed during my short few months in the blogosphere is how intentional so many of you are. There is a deliberate planning and goal setting that stands out and it has certainly captured my attention.

I realise I have not lived my life that way. I have been swept along by circumstances and obligations and the one thing that leads to another. The thought of making more deliberate choices and exercising intentionality I find intriguing. I feel it seducing me, but I feel myself hesitate. I am excited by the possibilities of more actively directing my own life, but like any new venture that requires more from us, it is daunting.

To be honest I don’t even know what it would mean for me, what it might look like. Perhaps this is what 2011 will be about: learning intentionality.

I have been practising though. Over the last three months I have become increasingly intentional about one thing: my art. I have thrown my energies into this new skill and made time to explore and hone it. I have loved this intentionality. I want this to motivate me to extend intentionality into other areas of my life and see where I lead myself.

But for now, art. Since I received Willowing's Fabulous Faces DVD for Christmas I have been hard at work and so here is lesson one. I am new to shading with graphite and I am happy with the result. I imagine she is looking into my new year to see what I will do with it. She is challenging me, but kindly!