Holistic living

IMG_4711I haven’t got time to write today – there’s too much else to do! It’s a 3 day weekend with lots of unstructured hours for enjoying the May sunshine and some peace and quiet – or whatever else you like to do on bank holiday weekends 😉 I was up early for a Sunday morning – having my tea, feeding the cats and generally pottering about in the upstairs kitchen that combines breakfast, laundry, cats and painting. The joy of a good sleep and the tidying up impulse had me unpacking a bag of art materials to put away – with some ‘help’ from Scamp! – and filling the frames that had been sitting there waiting for the four pages from the Yellow Book I wanted to display on the wall. Perhaps I could do some more playing with colour today? One of my many options!

the four square frames hold the Yellow Book pages and most of the colourful paintings are mine

I was fortunate enough to get some artwork, a photograph and a poem into the recent Yellow Book produced by University of Leicester.  It was a joint project with the charity rethink your mind which promotes mental health through creativity under the hashtag IFeelBetterWhen.  The books have been produced with various organisations including an NHS partnership trust, a college and most recently a primary and secondary school.  I ‘won’ 4 hardback copies of the book my pieces were in (the soft back versions are given away free) but they fell apart because the binding process hadn’t been done properly – hence my loose pages being available to frame.  Plus I got my 4 hardbacks replaced, of course, so I’m swimming in reminders of my success in being chosen to go into the book 🙂

Unexpected Owl on far left and My First Flowers 4th from right (underneath) in the George Davies building, Uni of Leicester

It certainly made me feel better!  As did having my beginner’s paintings exhibited at the University and my photo in New Walk Museum and Art Gallery. How many absolute amateurs can say that?! I’m not even a good painter – though I have been taking photos for years and do post regularly on A Lover of the Light.  It’s nice to share good photographs – and I have hundreds waiting to be edited and organised…

I’ve been writing poetry for some time as well.  I started when Sam was first ill and turned to it in earnest when I became fed up with ‘too many words’, all the outpourings of my blogs, endless detail and explanation, blah, blah, blah. Poetry is about condensing all the words, taking away the extra stuff to get to the essence and convey feeling, meaning, story, insight in a special way – from heart to heart, mind to mind.

New Moon in the Yellow Book gallery at New Walk Museum: what an honour!

It is of course a discipline – 10% inspiration, 90% perspiration, as they say.  But I do love it and I hope I’m improving. I belong to an over-55 poetry workshop with an excellent young teacher and have done some classes with East Midlands Writing School.  In addition my poetry blog partner is prolific and extraordinary and very good at nagging me to write.  It is too easy not to, especially when emotions are challenging – far less painful to push them down and ignore the prompts.  But since I’ve been blogging regularly again the juices must have started flowing because I actually wrote a poem on Friday – and even posted it!

IMG_4720So I am pulled in different creative directions before even considering the laundry, cooking or housework. The cat wants playing with and the garden is definitely calling for more water on those new grass seeds and some bedding plants for the pots. Or there’s the call to go back to bed and just read my book –IMG_4724 bliss. This weekend is about doing whatever comes next – and on Tuesday we’re going to our favourite island in the world* where not very much of anything will be done!  My version of holistic/wholesome/holy living would seem to be trying to balance all of these things and enjoy it at the same time – while not drinking too many gins or eating more toast than is wise!

But at least I’ve made time to write today. Time to get the hose out – or maybe Scamp will prove more attractive after all…

Until the next time!


*I’m not telling you where it is or you’ll all come!

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