Practising joy & relaxation, liberation, restoration
I didn’t do much writing on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday morning, and I was miserable. There were a few causes for the misery, but one of them was not writing.
Wednesday afternoon I wrote some of the things I wanted to write, did a deep rest meditation and went for a short walk. My mood picked up massively.
I’m writing this down to remind myself of the importance of writing for my wellbeing, and not to let anything get between me and my writing.
This is not negotiable.
Joy is the paradiseLoved listening to, and reading, this poem: Joy Is the Justice We Give Ourselves by J. Drew Lanham
we can claim,
The Job of Paradise by Roger Robinson: This has a very modern ‘If’ by Rudyard Kipling vibe in the last stanza, but that kind of rallies me to fully embrace life.
Creating a better world with climate solutions, imagination & the will to change
Angry, worried or despairing about climate change? You can do something about that
I participated in a useful, encouraging & motivating workshop to learn about climate science on Thursday. It exceeded all my (high!) expectations. Learned so much.
Register here to participate in one yourself: Get to grips with the climate science: Climate Fresk – Community Edition
100% recommend this experience to individuals & groups who want to learn more and do more. Happy to chat with folks about this too.
I posted about this on LinkedIn, if you’re on that platform, you can share it.
I’m part of a cli-fi writing group (think science fiction, but oriented towards climate change solutions) and this will inform my writing from now on, and my life.
Every weekday in Writers’ Hour, we have words of wisdom: Quotations about writing. Here are those from this week that particularly resonated for me.
11 August: We must forgive ourselves.
The first thing a writer has to do is forgive themselves for all the feelings that held them back. Only then can we get on with joyous writing, which is often a healing process.Maurice Ruffin
12 August: We are called to let the future into our imagination.
Out of this darkness a new world can arise, not to be constructed by our minds so much as to emerge from our dreams. Even though we cannot see clearly how it’s going to turn out, we are still called to let the future into our imagination. We will never be able to build what we have not first cherished in our hearts.Joanna Macy
Relatedly, I read the manifesto Roger Robinson wrote to himself: Success is on you, and it inspired me too.
Experimenting with different forms of art
I did a bunch of playing around with stuff this week, it was great. Slow start to the week, but Wednesday afternoon onwards, I was on it.
I’ve been playing with my writing this week. Experimenting.
I’ve been doing some of the writing exercises that Nii Ayikwei Parkes and Rachael Allen introduced me to last week, and it’s been so fun and so generative. I’ve been writing WEIRD things. Hooray!
And I submitted to an anthology too, so that was good.
Tangled Nature Drawing by Ink & Hatch
Loved this because the focus was on simplifying the shapes, rather than trying to draw the reference photos exactly. It was so relaxed. And I loved what I came up with, yay!
LAUGH and DRAW: Rosie Jones, Sophie Duker, Chloe Petts & Helen Bauer by London Drawing Group
Omg, this was So Much Fun. We drew in a really silly way whilst a bunch of comedians cracked jokes. It was hilarious.
We had to draw with our eyes closed and draw the music from a video playing (The Aristocats cartoon, maybe?), with eyes open but looking at the object we were drawing not the paper (sausage roll), draw the feeling behind a quote (“Next to music, beer was best.” Carson McCullers, The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter) and draw Helen Bauer but starting with darkest tones first.
The Art of Erasure: Drawing and Destruction by London Drawing Group
Destroying is creating. Weird erasing art experiments.
This was fun because it was completely disconnected from outcomes or output. It’s pure process.
Hermaphroditus by Aaron El Sabrout
What we need from writing exceedsTake It by Will Harris
what’s possible within it. But I
recognise writing by the need, at
naptimes, to communicate without
moving any part of the body. If
it feels possible, it is. Look at you
Craft Capsule: Doors vs. Corridors by Will Harris
I gravitated to this short essay by Will Harris because I saw a mention of Emily Dickinson and she’s one of my BFFs.
Alongside quotes from Emily’s work, Will references ‘How to Wash a Heart’ by Bhanu Kapil. Which is wild because I heard about that book for the first time in Writers’ Hour that same morning. Synchronicity!
Where does poetry stop and music begin?
Well, sometimes the music doesn’t stop and the poetry starts.