Saturday, February 1st, 2014
My mother’s name is Brigid, though everyone knows her as Ida, named as almost every Irish person used to be, after a saint.
St Brigid, one of the patron saints of Ireland, whose feast day is today, the old Irish imbolc, the first day of spring.
Much to my own surprise I found a poem about Brigid rising a while ago.
I saved it for today.
It’s in the style of the old Irish poetry, the oldest vernacular poetry in Europe.
Queen of queens, they called her in the old books,
the Irish Mary. Never washed her hands
nor her head in sight of a man, the books said,
never looked into a man’s face. She was good
with the poor, multiplied food, gave ale to lepers.
Among birds, call her dove; among trees, a vine.
A sun among stars. Such was the sort of woman preferred Read the whole post »
Monday, January 27th, 2014
Knowing that the same elemental, dangerous energy that moves the wind also moves me, the only approach to life that makes sense to me is the creative way.
And knowing that I am an advocate for this way, people often ask me: if I did ‘go creative’, what would happen? Here are some answers:
• You would recognise the relationship with your own creative consciousness as the number one relationship in your life, the one that defines all the others.
• You would allow yourself to observe and express the truth of your unique character and experience.
• You would be awake to life through five outer senses (sight, hearing, taste, touch, smell) and five inner (perception, emotion, intuition, imagination and inspiration).
• You would know how to Read the whole post »
Monday, January 13th, 2014
Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people.
It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life…
I think perfectionism is based on the obsessive belief that if you run carefully enough, hitting each stepping-stone just right, you won’t have to die. The truth is that you will die anyway and that a lot of people who aren’t even looking at their feet are going to do a whole lot better than you.
And have a lot more fun while they’re doing it.
READ MORE: Bird By Bird: Some Instructions On Writing And Life
Monday, January 6th, 2014
I have thoughts
but I am not my thoughts. I am
one who sees them swirl.
What can be seen is not
I have thoughts but my thoughts are not me.
I have a body
but I am not my body. I am
one who makes it move.
What can be moved is not the mover.
I have a body but my body is not me.
I have feelings
but I am not my feelings. I am
one who feels them feel.
What can be felt is not the feeler.
I have feelings but my feelings are not me.
I have wants
but I am not my wants. I am
one who knows desire.
What can be known is not the knower.
I have wants but my wants are not me.
Monday, December 30th, 2013
Iit’s that time of year when people make their New Year’s resolutions.
One wide ranging study found that almost 90% of people break New Year’s resolutions within days or weeks. What’s more significant is that research consistently shows that those who do make resolutions are more successful in creating what they want than those who don’t.
Taken together, these statistics add up to a picture of poor creative skills, with the vast majority of people failing to create what they want through resolution.
If you’re looking for a better way, you’ll find it in creative intention.
So what’s the difference?
Among other attributes, creative intention:
- ACCENTUATES THE POSITIVE: New year’s resolutions are often framed as negative injunctions (“I’m going to stop wasting time on Facebook”) and based on self-judgements and criticism (“I’m a lazy good-for-nothing who can’t focus”). Creative Intention is framed as a positive proposal, an opening to something you’d enjoy. (“I’d love to see this book published in 2014.”)
- SELECTS HIGH VALUE PRIORITIES: New Year’s resolutions usually come in a list, wanting to “fix” everything that’s wrong with us. Creative Intention recognises that we can Read the whole post »
Sunday, December 29th, 2013
This is a section from the most remarkable Christmas poem ever written, “For The Time Being: A Christmas Oratorio”, by WH Auden. Composed in 1942, the darkest days from the British Allies perspective of World War II, the poem is 1500 lines long (more than 50 pages), a series of dramatic monologues spoken by the characters of the nativity story, in twentieth-century speech, as if the events were happening in that time.
It’s a long parable, merging biblical and contemporary into an audacious display of metaphysical poetics underpinned by Anglican theology.
How could the Eternal do a temporal act,
The Infinite become a finite fact?
Nothing can save us that is possible:
We who must die demand a miracle.
The structure is held together with choruses and a narrator and, in the penultimate section, Christmas is over and its meaning pondered.
Auden’s conclusion seems to be that Read the whole post »
Friday, December 27th, 2013
Last Week: Go Creative With… Sebastian Faulks
Set aside time. Also what’s useful is to have expectations laid on you that you’re going to produce the work. Many people find it extremely difficult to just drive themselves onwards. I don’t know where ideas come from – if I had a clear idea of that, I’d have more of them. I do a lot of hiking, and the rhythm of walking is very amenable to the rhythm of thinking, and that’s a good way of letting ideas begin to take on a bit of life. They just pop out of nowhere really.
Sunday, December 22nd, 2013
It is a poem born out of loneliness and solitude. Kavanagh wrote it after spending another festive season alone in his bachelor flat in Dublin and the poem is infused with nostalgia for rural, farm-family life, recalled through the lens of Christmas.
The memories come dressed in christian imagery, from the story of genesis to the virgin birth.
The first section of the poem sets the scene. The adult Kavanagh recalls the “gay Garden that was childhood’s”: the frosted potato-pits, the music coming from the paling-post, the heavenly light between ricks of hay and straw, the “December-glinting fruit” on an apple tree. In that Garden of Eden, the most commonplace event – even “the tracks of cattle to a drinking-place [or] a green stone lying sideways in a ditch” — was invested with a sense of wonder and love, the “beauty that the world did not touch”.
“How wonderful!” says the poet now, longing to return to this creative consciousness that as adult, he can only rarely access now.
In the second part Read the whole post »
Friday, December 20th, 2013
Last Week: Go Creative With… PL Travers
Life is all luck, isn’t it? In the period of composition you have to be exceptionally open. Anything might feed in.
The knack is knowing the difference between a disposable thought and a robust idea. You have to live in a rather vulnerable, open state, while at the same time making hard decisions.
You are a like a valve that switches between active and passive all the time. This is what takes it out of you a bit.
Next Week: Go Creative With… Ian McEwan
Monday, December 16th, 2013
Dimensions of Mind. You have three:
1. Surface (Ego) Mind.
2. Deep (Emotional/Imaginative) Mind.
3. Beyond (Inspirational) Mind.
Your creative intelligence encompasses all three dimensions but become more creative invariably means choosing to develop the third more fully.
Doing so is a matter of another D word: Daring. In this context, the courage to create. As Rollo May said, in his classic of that name, “Human freedom involves our capacity to pause between Read the whole post »