Colour

Today… I’ve mostly been battling. Anxiety, then panic, not helped by a rude (patronising) repairman who came to service some kitchen electrics.

Lately, panic has been my brain telling me that I have to do everything at once. All the jobs I have, why aren’t I doing them? And then the fear that if I try, I’ll mess them up… so I sometimes end up stuck, unable to move, unable to see straight, physically shaking.

Distraction is key when the ‘brain weasels’ try to take over. Books, movies, computer games… whatever works.

Yarn is tremendously helpful to me at such times. Knitting and crochet are tactile and engage the brain in a focused way. Simple patterns are sometimes the best (again, for fear of going wrong), although lace sometimes demands my attention to the exclusion of all else.

Today, I’m working on a relatively simple, ongoing project: Knit It Like You Stole It. Using beautiful CountessAblaze fingering wool, each stitch slips through my fingers, while the finished section sits warmly in my lap.

While black is always my go-to clothing preference, colours have proved themselves tremendously helpful to my mood in recent years. The vividness of this wool is soothing and inspiring; when I wear it, I find it calming. My shawls really are portable hugs.

Keeping me grounded today, when any little thing can send me spinning. I’m grateful for this, very much.

Healing creativity.

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Re-Beginning

It’s been a while. Illness mostly, but this meant a certain anxiety about exposure, wanting to snuggle in and hide instead of expose myself… but this page was intended to be small. Daily sharing of things that inspire me, to remind me and keep me moving, while hopefully sharing that energy with others as well.

Plus, any writing is good for momentum in creating More Writing 😉

I’ve been finding mornings very difficult lately. I used to be up and doing, loving that fresh feeling of the air before the day truly begins. But the thought of all the things the day might hold has been scary recently. Overwhelming. More than I can cope with, physically and mentally.

So today I’m taking it gently. What am I doing… right now.

I have a pup cosily asleep on my leg.

I’m writing.

I’ve been knitting a madly-coloured cosy thing with beautiful yarn, that makes me smile and feels good to touch.

The rain is beating down against the window.

These thoughts can inspire grins or worries. I have to take the dogs out in the rain soon – I’m letting the thought bring a smile, anticipating the rain washing my hair naturally and bringing the scent of damp grass. I could let it bother me, whinge and moan… but I can’t avoid it, so I choose to welcome it, as the dogs will.

Writing has been daunting. What can I say? How will people react? I’m not clear enough in my mind to put ideas ‘out there’… But this is my space, and I’m doing it anyway.

Even the knitting – in a crazy mixed-up bunch of colours that I really shouldn’t like. But I do. It makes me happy, in the act of creation and the result.

I’m doing my best to dig deeper than the surface miasma, the fog of depression. I want to see, to determine that Yes, I’m doing something because *I* want to. And I can. And it will be whatever it is.

I’m looking at the potential of the day, not the fears. Heading outside soon. Let’s see what comes.

Much love, my friends.

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,

The Creative Web

I happened upon an inspiring passage in a random book today, which stayed with me until I shared it along here:

‘Knitting is a process craft… The true joy comes from discovering the individual beauty of each segment, the feeling of accomplishment when completing a particularly difficult section, and the sense of challenge that lurks as you plan the next project. In other words, knitting is like life. We have to enjoy the journey if we expect the destination to mean much.’
(From ‘Zen and the Art of Knitting’, by Bernadette Murphy)

There’s been some lovely thoughts out there on creativity lately, with the best yarn-based blog coming from Nell at The Animists Craft (Soul Weaving). I’ve even blogged about writing before, over at The Catbox (Words). We each have our preferred ways of keeping hand and mind busy, making something which wasn’t there before.

When broken down into what makes creativity – imagination, tools, hard work, swearing and joy – the above excerpt can relate to pretty much any creative act. Painting, writing, gardening, cooking… probably even processes that I have no idea about, such as programming and coding.

Because it is about life. Acts of creation fuel our fire, make life worth living, allow us to express ourselves and pass on a little of what’s in our minds.

I deny that anyone is without creativity, by the way. There’s always something that you can do – whether it’s ‘good’ or ‘bad’ is subjective. Creation just is.

That little paragraph lurked in my head as I took up my own knitting today. The exploring of ideas, the philosophy and simple (yet complex) ‘why’. There’s no easy answer… but it didn’t stop me in the doing. The end result is lovely, the sense of achievement grand – but the getting there can be even better, as the spell itself is woven.

Where did your creative journey take you today? 🙂