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Love Liz Gilbert, and so much admire what she has done creatively and personally. It’s not my path to walk in the same way as her, and probably never will be, but I admire that someone so sensitively aware of the world around her can be so free. And that freedom didn’t come naturally, she had to practise over and over. In so many respects, she has lived with a fullness, grittiness, and freedom so much above mine despite what the world decides to say about her. It cannot be easy, to be in constant conversation with yourself and your fears. But so enlightening and exquisite, to know your own heart.
Her words on creativity have inspired me to do the best I can to keep the thread of creating going as I embark on a new school year. I will struggle with tiredness, competing demands, and being a vessel for solving problems, but I would like to try and keep my authentic voice, just a tiny little flame, alive for as much as I can.
Because creativity is as much rest, repose, and a life-source as silence. As necessary as breathing. Create, and you heal some part of the stress and struggle of the day. It is the means to articulate from the soul what you cannot in plain words.
On creativity [Richard Ford]
I say that to you only because whatever you are doing right now is clearly bringing you no pleasure, only pain. Our time on earth is short and should be enjoyed. You should leave this dream behind and go find something else to do with your life.
…however, I will say this. If you happen to discover that after a few years away from your craft, that you have found nothing that takes its place in your life – nothing that fascinates you or moves you, or inspires you to the same degree that your craft did…well then, I am afraid that you will have no choice but to persevere.”
“I realised that, as a songwriter, the only thing I really do is make jewellery for the inside of other people’s minds. Music is nothing more than decoration for the imagination. And when you come to that realisation, the creative process becomes less tortured and more free. [Tom Waits]
“See over there
A created splendour
Made by one individual
From things residual.”
Love how this one is presented, love the crumpled paper, and love the message. 🙂
A bit of a riff on “Stand your sacred ground.”
I have been LOOOVVVVING Kristina Kuzmic. Her sass drew me to her, but it was the underlying foundation of grit and authenticity that endeared her to me. And here latest few videos and posts have gotten under my skin in the best way possible. I, who has the most polar opposite life in terms of raising a family, find resonance in her words.
Cheers to you, feisty and amazing Kristina!
I don’t start every day excited, as excited by life as I usually am. And I don’t mind at all that I feel the full gamut of feelings; it somehow makes me feel more grounded, even if it is uncomfortable. But a conversation I’ve had regularly with myself recently, especially toward the end of Term 3 when I am “Secondary Music Teacher Exhausted”, an exhaustion like no other, has been, “Why take that extra step?”
Especially when it seems like it doesn’t matter, or no-one cares, or that the joy is belittled, or that it seems like the gesture is not valued. Or that it costs way too much of the precious energy that I have left, that I’m literally scraping the bottom of the barrel to get to. Why EVEN?
Because that is the very definition of life.
It’s the very defining feature of being alive and human.
I don’t mean that anyone should push to the extremes of their limits every day, and to jump hurdles that should never be jumped. I mean to say that extra caring word, make the extra gesture, the little moment of connection and love and too often we stuff back into our pockets because, well, “they won’t value it anyways.” Or that there might be that horrible awkwardness of a tender moment somehow marooned on a desert island in the middle of the hustle of a day.
Well, get stuck on that island. Hijack a little bit of the relentless pace, and build a pontoon. The little awkward moments are the fleeting moments of being purely alive and human!
How often have you been on the receiving end of one of those leaps of faith? When someone went out of their way to come to you when you looked and appeared okay, but really REALLY, you so much appreciated their care?
Now reverse it.
Be that little fairy sometimes. Because you don’t know HOW MUCH people need tender-awkwardness in this world.
The dorky-tender shall rise up!
If I were more courageous, I would engage in the conversation more. I’d not be afraid for daily interaction, and daily discourse that ruffled me up and left me shook. I would dare to voice opinions more often that could create waves. But I engage with conversation just enough right now. I walk along with a quiet resonance that is a little on the safe side.
If I were more courageous, I would back the stronger opinions, rather than just putting things into words. I would follow ideas with actions, rather than just the quiet background support. I would risk more, even if it meant being in the frontline. I understand there is only so much a person can do, and there are plenty of other things I am in the frontline for. But my goodness, there are other people who are heroes even when they don’t mean to be…and it’s because they step up and follow intent with actions, and step into the frontline, even if they are afraid.
If I were more courageous, I would adopt a child. I would fulfil my core of core hearts and become a mother, because that is a love I have had all my life. I am afraid of so much here; what my family would think even though it is not their choice, if I had the energy and love to spend after a long day at work, if I could bear this child not being my own biological child, and the grief that inevitably would come with that, that would need mourning. As it is, I am mother hundreds of times over, to so many other children and young people who I teach. But my heart and desire are human and selfish; I don’t want a 2nd-place caddy prize on this one, even though I carry this grief with grace, courage, strength, and pure love.
If I were more courageous, I would ask. I would ask for more. I would expect more from the world and myself. I expect so much already, and so easily and joyfully, but I would ask with more focus and direction. And more implicitly, I would put in to exact words what I needed to fly, to be loved, to be cherished, to be happy. As it is, I am so extraordinarily joyful; I feel so lucky in so many innumerable ways. But the practice of asking for exactly what is required and setting boundaries…wow, there are days I fall short.
If I were more courageous, I would be still more often. I am not afraid of myself, but I am moving more often than not. I wonder if I could be with myself for longer than a school holiday? I wonder if my mind and heart and self could cope with not having something to be industrious about? Would I feel obsolete, or at peace?
BECAUSE I am courageous, I infect each day with pure joy, even when I don’t want to, I can’t help but find humanity and joy. Because of the example of all my teachers and mentors, I know that I am deeply loved, that I am free to make mistakes, and that I really DO engage with life from a place of pure worth and joy. I cannot help but be excited by learning and life, and when I am left to my own devices, my own equilibrium is joyful engagement. I find it easy to be industrious, to be interested, and to connect with others when I am rested and feeling healthy.
BECAUSE I am courageous, I keep walking. I keep walking with more grace than I understand, sometimes. I am 37 years old and I did not expect to be here, and yet, I have travelled, felt, and achieved more than I could fathom. The truth of the matter is, I may never be a mother, a wife, or raising a family in the traditional sense. And it breaks my heart. But I am ALIVE. I am unbelievably ALIVE, and I have work to do, love to live for, and a life to love.
BECAUSE I am courageous, I rock the colours. Colours, stripes, spots, patterns, bold and beautiful. Wearing these outfits so joyfully allow me to love my students and share of my joy; and it sounds ridiculous, but I know that what I do each day, how I teach, how I approach life, and the example I give, makes a difference. I affect my students heartfully, and I am so glad for that responsibility.
BECAUSE I am courageous, I am unafraid of standing independently. I have been practising this for ages. Every time I come up against struggle or failure, grief, opposition, sadness, or petty weakness, I stand quietly. I find my compass. I listen. And I walk with my face upturned, no matter how much I quake inside. I am unafraid of walking my own path, because it feels absolutely right and resonates.
BECAUSE I am courageous, I live a life of meaning and joy.
Thank you for a heart that works so joyfully.
Because we all feel like this sometimes!
Gold, for the right reasons. Ernie + Bert, breaking a few hearts!