“I have been a seeker and still am
but I stopped asking the books and the stars.
I started listening to the teaching of my soul.”
Apologies for being absent on the blog this week. I am going through a lot of changes in my life at the moment.
My partner is in Europe on a cycling tour for five weeks (not the Tour de France, ha ha), so my days are even busier with the children, being totally on my own to look after them. I am also undertaking an online course which runs all year called “Year of You: Creative Rehab”.
Having been a stay at home mum for some years I am trying to work out what I should do next, i.e: what do I really deeply desire to do?
For a year or so I regularly posted on Instagram about books and art, but started to find that very restrictive, as my photography skills aren’t that brilliant, and to me the caption was always more important. ‘Bookstagram’, as that niche of Instagram is known, after a while just became boring really, everyone congratulating each other’s choice of book, with posts mainly all about beautiful images of books staged with flowers, coffee or on location such as the seaside. Don’t get me wrong, I played the game too for a while and enjoyed it, but as my life got ever busier, I started asking why am I doing this? I realised it wasn’t working for me, so disabled my account.
For the moment, the blog and my on-line course is enough for me. I love writing about books and art still, but I want to try more creative writing too, so I will start doing some on the blog soon.
The on-line course I am doing is very confronting and intense, but in a good way. It asks basic questions that are quite fundamental like:
What do you want?
What do you need?
What is keeping you suspended over the void of what you no longer are, and what you need to become?
If you knew you would die tonight, what would you regret the most?
These are questions I am on my way to answering this year. I am considering doing a course on visual arts next year. I have read widely about all sorts of artists, and am constantly amazed at how many women artists there have been throughout history, yet totally underrated or unknown. I would like to highlight some of these in my blog over the coming months.
A genre that has always helped me as a form of bibliotherapy is poetry. One poet that is still immensely relevant today is Rumi, a Persian mystic born in the 13th century. But even though the word mystic might imply “weirdo” these days, his work is strongly grounded in the here and now: it’s direct, powerful and abundant in tolerance and compassion.
“Christian, Jew, Muslim, shaman, Zoroastrian,
stone, ground, mountain, river,
each has a secret way of being with the mystery,
unique and not to be judged”
He had so much to say, on everything from love, to religion, to life and death, and everything in between, and he sounds startlingly modern.
Live where you fear to live
Destroy your reputation
“Don’t be satisfied with stories,
how things have gone with others,
Unfold your own myth.”
He speaks to us unhindered by time and cultural difference, and his words have an elemental force that remains undiminished across centuries. He certainly speaks to me as I journey through a year of great change.
All quotations from “Rumi, Selected Poems” published by Penguin, translated by Coleman Barks and John Moyne.