I went for a wander with my hubby and youngest child today for some much-needed fresh air and sunshine (and even the teenager went off to play footie with some friends for an hour!), although we got rather soggy due to some sharp showers near the end. Even managed to persuade the hubby into posing for a bedraggled family selfie!! We felt much better for getting outside and I love it when it’s blustery; it literally blows away the cobwebs and invigorates me.
As a child (and even a teenager), I loved going to the top of Castle Hill (a local landmark in my home town) and being buffeted about by the wind, even during thunderstorms! It’s my favourite place to be: you feel like you’re on the top of the world, no wonder Bronze-age people settled there. I wonder if any of them took the time to look around and just ‘be’? Was there time for them to wonder about the nature of things, to have a few moments of mindfulness? Were there trees around then, do you think, did Bronze age children climb them or friends arrange to meet under them?
Today I managed to take some good photos of my favourite trees as I love the changes that happen in between each time I see a familiar shape. Got some great ideas brewing for how to use them! Why not do something similar yourself? Maybe you could photograph the same tree once a month for a year, or take some paper and crayons out to do some bark rubbings (carefully!). You could bring home a handful of different leaves, and then draw each one in a few different ways, and try to identify the trees they came from. My friend, Juliet, of The Curious Creative Club did her first Insta live for Psychologies magazine this week, and invited those watching to take part in a mini challenge to do something creative inspired by trees and to share the results. People have written poems and all sorts!
Holmfirth Art Week was due to happen this week, but it’s obviously been postponed, and they’re also doing a virtual art challenge (here) for anyone to join if they wish. So, you see, there are always opportunities to challenge yourself and try something creative: go wherever the feeling takes you, whether it’s a photograph, a doodle, baking biscuits or learning crochet from online tutorials. Which leads nicely into talking about the online coaching/self discovery courses/people I’m currently following (Psychologies, A Life More Inspired, DO Impact Club). They’re all different, but similar in the sense that they encourage you to explore ways in which you could change your approach to life, and maybe do things you’ve been putting off, or feared you couldn’t do for some reason, maybe to provide some accountability to help keep you focussed. It sounds like a lot, but it isn’t really, you can dip in and out of these things, and take from them what works for YOU. If these aren’t for you, how about Open Learn or Future Learn, or ask your local adult education colleges? Even in these strange times, online learning is still happening, and it could spark real life interests and creativity in you!
This coming week brings some family creativity in the form of my hubby decorating our daughter’s bedroom, a much-delayed project that’ll soon be finished; said daughter has chosen the colour for the walls and is on with the grand design for the finishing touches. My son is often less willing to do the sort of creative things that he simply thinks of as drawing or painting, but now he’s showing an interest in how we could change his room around; new colours and furniture, which IS exploring his creativity and it’s good for him. Cue yet another Pinterest board with bedroom ideas; some of these boards are getting out of hand! I read something FrankAndFeel said, about paying attention to what you Pin. She was referring to Pinterest, and what she’d noticed about how/where she saves those beautiful images. Instead of saving something to her home decor board, she saved it to ‘One Day’, which sparked her curiosity about the themes we (as Pinterest users) come back to time and again. What do these images mean to us? How do they resonate? There must be something that pulls us – why else would you find you’ve saved the same image half a dozen times over?! She describes these phenomena as “digital maps of our desires”, and suggests that even if we profess to not know what we want, our sub-conscious certainly does! I believe that this concept feeds back directly into our own perceptions of creativity, so maybe we could sit back and think about this, or go for that walk and really look at our favourite trees, take note of what chords are being struck inside us, and choose to make something of that barely submerged creativity? Go on, give it a go, and let me know what you find out…