Summer of Change & Deep Noticing
It's been a bit since I've written here. I have been creatively quiet, spending time sorting, dusting out drawers, reorganizing art supplies. Over the years I have had creative pauses, they are uncomfortable for me and often mystify me but I know that my creativity also needs rest, and that this fallow time will shift with the seasons, the stars and the moons.
Along with sorting and cleaning, I have been pondering where I have been these past two years. The world has changed. I have changed. Of course my relationship with my art has changed too.
Even the simple rituals and everyday practices and comforts of my daily life have changed - they resonate differently for me. I have a need to find new ways to greet my mornings and end my days. Perhaps if I allow these natural shifts to take place, I will find my way back to my art and my creative self.
It is time to wander, to take myself outside....to feel the warmth of the summer sun on my body....to let these warm days fill me and change me as I am meant to change.
To help me with this I have remembered a beloved practice. It is an active practice of noticing. Noticing where I am, what I smell, what I hear, what I feel and what I wonder about. For me, it is best practiced while walking or wandering in a quiet park or along a favorite path without a destination in mind or a need to hurry myself. As I walk I repeat these questions to myself and am brought into the present moment naturally by the noticing process.....at some point I often sit and write a few lines of what is most noticeable to me that day or sometimes I draw what I am seeing.
This practice is based on Mary Oliver's poem, Gratitude. I offer this practice to you from my heart.....make it your own, tailor it to suit you, I hope it brings joy to you and that your summer wanderings bring the gentle shifts and changes in your heart that will sustain you this coming fall.
As reflection for yourself, and a way to deepen into Summer spend a few minutes with these questions that were inspired by Mary Oliver’s poem, Gratitude. What are the things in the natural world that you haven’t noticed because you have been focused on getting to work, keeping cool, planning summer activities etc. Have you noticed that the plums are beginning to fall on the sidewalks, that the color of the sky has changed to a golden haze late in the hottest part of the day….what have you forgotten to see? What living thing did you notice in the last few days that was green, or lacy or tiny or flying by or because you had to duck under its branches or walk through its grasses?
What did you hear recently that surprised you, a robin, a crow, the voice of a cricket, the quiet of the cool dawn before the world awoke?
What did you admire? What moved your heart, even slightly?
What astonished you?
What would you like to see again?
What was most tender?
What was most wonderful?
What did you think was happening?