Medicine

After a lovely weekend, this week has been tough.

But inspiration to keep going has come from many places.

The voices of friends, urging me on.

Book recommendations, connecting me to other worlds.

Hugs from dogs (mine and other people’s).

Walking through fog, and feeling its peace.

Seeing the creativity of others, and their willingness to share.

Parcels from friends!

Yesterday, I started some new medications. As I always get side-effects, lovely MH Doctor put me on a quarter of the minimum dose. She gets me 😂

Last night, I was feeling asleep at 8.30pm. Having to force myself to focus on anything. Worrying: ‘Oh no, not again.’

Today, I woke… feeling good. Not having to fight to do the most basic tasks. No tension headache. No brain-fog. Feeling as bright as the sky outside.

I have no idea how long this will last.

But for all of the above, all of the different types of medicine helping me hold on and continue my fight, I am so very grateful.

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Caring

Today… so tired. Recovering from the past couple of days, perhaps.

What has kept me going is the love that has been sent to me. Seeing how people care. Friends I know well, those I only know via the Interwebs – their honest caring has been a lifeline to me.

Friends who send patterns for creative prettiness.

Those who send their own books, for amusement and distraction.

Himself, caring so deeply even when he is struggling.

Those who share words, pictures of furry family, funny madness and randoms to raise a smile.

I am so touched that people care. Especially when my illness is trying to convince me that I’m worthless.

You all put the lie to this, shining truth by reaching out. Never doubt the worth of your words, even when your own brain weasels start to bite.

Thankyou so much, dear friends. Your love and care is a gift beyond price.

Also, the expressions of your cats as many of you took their picture was its own peculiar gift 😂

xx

UK Eclipse

Today, there was a total eclipse in America. Not so over here… but there was certainly something going on in the air.

As the day went on, I grew increasingly tired. Unable to concentrate, having trouble doing much of anything.

This gradually turned into a terrible attack of anxiety and depression, which had been threatening all day. Himself wasn’t immune either.

We resolved to head into the village for a quick ‘hit and run’ (not literally) to the shops, to find something cheering for tea. 

Heading outside, the silence was eerie. The light was bright enough at 7.30pm, but strangely yellowish. The air felt thick, cloying and heavy. Nobody else was about.

As we returned up the hill (mission successful), clouds hid both sun and moon. But as we turned towards home, there was a glimmer of sky and some sunbeams. By the time we stepped out of the car, the eclipse would be over – and the air felt amazingly fresh. I could breathe again! 

It’s still happening. My head feels lighter, sounds and visuals brighter, thoughts clearer. Something has changed as the world turned.

As I couldn’t take a picture of the eclipse (and as many have asked), here’s a picture of the extremely pink circular vortex of my in-progress knitting (atop a sleeping Fen). Which feels even softer to my touch now, too. Creativity in yarn and in words here, for your consideration.

We bear witness to the movements of the universe, just along for the ride…

xx


(Yarn is a OOAK by CountessAblaze, Pattern is ‘Mint Latte’)

Why

I’m not often asked why I do what I do. The more common reaction is appreciation, enthusiasm and curiosity – and then a deluge of questions!

It can be hard work. Some days, I am just worn out and no use to anyone. It can feel thankless.

Then, on days like today, I’m reminded all over again, simply Why.

Invitations to perform Handfastings and Renewal ceremonies. And Funerals. Life-changing moments.

In-depth discussions of the work being undertaken to have Pagan voices recognised by Government. Including the constant striving for legalisation for the aforementioned ceremonies. Lasting change.

Encouraging creativity, seeking inspiration, keeping the tales of this land alive.

Discussing Druidry as it is lived, every day. If I’m being listened to, I’m encouraging others to explore with me.

Hugs and thanks from random strangers who’ve read my words.

And then finally, being unexpectedly moved almost to tears by ‘The Battle for Stonehenge’ documentary (here). Hearing the voices of others with shared belief.

I am just one character in this tale, narrator and player. But I do my best to make what I do count, by its truth. Word by word, step by step. Constant challenge, often battling, moving forward.

Inspiration.

Goddess

Sometimes creativity can be a random, spontaneous event. But having a focus helps as well, I find – in the act of creation, yes, but also in the plotting. From a mind-map or ideas board, to the subtle cogitations of your subconscious as the planning gets under way, that key theme is always present, as a North star to steer by.

Synchronicity is good to listen for, too. I’ve found that the right topics come along at the right times. Ideas which tend to fizzle out or frustrate might just not be what’s needed – or not just yet. But they’ll wait, if you bear them in mind and return later.

I know many creative people who use their Paganism as a helpful aid in seeking inspiration for their work. From paintings and sculptures to stories and even clothing, images of deity in particular stand out as focal points – very much helped by those individuals often stepping up and demanding you pay them attention! The Muse is not always gentle in such cases, and it’s up to us to hear and act.

I’ve made a few knitted creations over the last year which have been Goddess-centric – sometimes by chance, sometimes by intent. The first came about with a yarn find that reminded me of a painting of Oshun which I’d seen. Then the right pattern arrived. A beautiful wavy shawlette resulted.

And I’ve written about my adventures with Brigid earlier in the year (see here), which resulted in one of the most synchronous creations I’ve ever had pass through my fingers!

Now I’m beginning another, with the guidance of one of the darker goddesses. It’s already coming together beautifully, from the right pattern (again), to the perfect colour and texture of yarn. Now the Lady is guiding my hand as I get on.

I’m reminded of the very humanness of creation, the knowledge that my ancestors sat and pondered, planned and then made things as needed, with purpose and guidance. I’ve seen shades of Her in recent days, like a wise grandmother at my shoulder, keeping an eye to make sure everything is ok. My fingers move the tools but She is always in my mind as I work. I learn so much during these times, as it’s impossible not to become involved, to investigate and explore history, mythology… and manifestation into reality.

Sometimes Deity influences our Awen. And judging by the results, that’s no bad thing,

Giving

Sometimes, people can be hard work. I love to spend time with others, but due to the nature and variety of People, there’ll be those who have alternate/opposing views, those whose understanding is very different to your own, and those with different ideas about what’s acceptable.

Broad terms, obviously. Sometimes, people can be frustrating, belligerent and stupid. Or just too ‘in your face’.

I’ve noticed this more since my books came out. People know me, but I don’t know them. They approach me to chat, which is wonderful, and I love it, as that’s where new friends are made. But sometimes, it can be rather overwhelming.

More often lately, I’ve felt the need to retreat, either to my own space or with those who know me well and provide company without demands. But too much of that can be unhelpful as well – the world seems even stranger when only viewed through the lense of the Internet.

Today, I worked hard. Lots of writing, making things, and generally Sorting Stuff Out. As I went, I realized – it was all for others. Everything I was doing for intentionally for a specific person. Which felt rather wonderful. I do my best, hoping that they’ll like it. It raises the bar.

And then the postlady arrived with a mysterious package. From one of my students – a beautiful image of a guardian that she’s spoken of often, drawn so evocatively that I was awed and deeply touched.

I think many creative people devalue their own work because they’re so close to it – there’s nothing special about something when you’ve spent hours swearing to make it just so (although the opposite is clearly true, artistic perspective can be warped and crazy).

But I came to a total full stop today, just gazing at this picture and feeling that connection with the lady who created it… words of thanks just aren’t enough. The work is unique and beautiful, because of the meaning behind it as well as the subject, the effort that’s gone into it, the intention and heart.

This is why I work. Not for the Stuff, or the thanks (although those are lovely!). For the relationship, the appreciation of what I’m doing and return of similar – the sharing of creative magic. My little community gives as well as takes. Overwhelming maybe – but generally with goodness, on a true and heartfelt level. That can be hard to grasp in this cynical world.

When those moments of connection come, I do try to hold on to them. I’m so glad that I have such good friends, that we work together to inspire each other. Know that you are honoured, truly.

I look forward to seeing what the Awen brings next, from within and without.

Small Accomplishment

I had such plans for today. Chores around the house, yes, but also my own work – I was even looking forward to my morning run.

All of which was effectively scuppered by a total lack of energy, combined with a brain which refused to focus on anything. Even the easiest novel.

I think this might have been a mild migraine. I get them occasionally, and do my best to manage, but …

Sometimes you have to ride the downward waves, of course. So I did as my body asked – and fell asleep. When awake, it was simple TV or dozing. I could do nothing.

By 4pm, this had become actively depressing. A wasted day. I felt bad for not giving my pups the playtime they’d been hoping for (fortunately brief stints of frisbee in the garden were sufficient, I’m glad to say). I had to do something… but what?

Finally, the frustration was too much. Laptop was grabbed, typing began. I anticipated a stream of utter rubbish.

Instead, I blogged – on my ‘main’ page, the original blog that started it all, ‘The Catbox‘. And I’m actually rather pleased with the result.

Writing is my joy. When the words flow, there’s no sensation like it. Inspiration strikes and, if you’re really lucky, begets more – and that’s something to ride, until you physically (and mentally) have to stop.

It’s early evening now and the day is so much brighter. My head feels clearer, I have a little more energy. The pups will be walked as dusk falls when Himself returns from work, and I’ll prepare food for a relaxing evening. On our terms, my little family.

No wasted day after all – because something was created and shared.

Ride the flows, my friends.