With all the chaos and confusion going on in the world right now, I’ve noticed many writers doing less blogging and I seem to have succumbed to it myself. It’s probably not surprising as we’ve had weighty matters to get our heads around and no doubt family to look after. But there is only so much news you can listen to without feeling overloaded, frustrated, and helpless, so my fall back position, as ever, is my creative life, and I suspect many of you feel the same and return to the same. So this post features what I’ve been up to in this regard and there are masses of pictures!
But first, a wee seasonal musing. The clocks went back a week ago and darkness descended, along with buffeting winds and rains to announce ‘winter is coming’ – a nice catch phrase from the popular drama series, Game of Thrones! There is a feeling of oppression in the season which is compounded for many of us by imminent or current increased social restrictions due to covid 19. But there may be another way of looking at this darkness and restriction, which I came across through reading a post on Galen Pearl’s blog, No Way Café, entitled Embracing Yin.
As Galen says, ‘Yin is still, receptive, dark, nurturing. It is the womb from which creation emerges. It is the fertile earth. It is the energy of gathering, returning to the source, the energy of harvest. Its season is fall.’ After the outward and forceful yang energy of the summer which we have just been through with its weather extremes and passionate social discord and dysfunction, we need the yin of autumn for balance. An article from Five Element Healing expands on this:
‘Winter teaches us that the only way to fully enjoy the powers of the season is to surrender to it and learn from what it has to offer us. In winter the earth lies fallow; nature appears frozen and dead. In this deep stillness of nature, winter calls us to look into our depths, to reconnect to our inner being, to befriend the darkness within us and around us. In winter—like the seeds that are beginning their metamorphosis and starting to manifest their destiny in the deep recesses of the earth—all of our energies are being called to examine the depths of our being.’
And I would argue the creative life is a tangible pathway to this growth of the spirit in winter – it nurtures, it sustains.
Some autumn scenes outside my door, from back garden, to country lane, to maple leaves:
Now onwards with sharing my works in progress:
1. I’ve finished a 50 by 60cm acrylic on canvas, which I shared earlier in the year. Here are the stages as a reminder and the final result, which I’m very happy with. It’s a yang extravaganza of colour and energy!
2. And I’ve just realised my current painting in progress happens to be calm and serene in contrast, so I must be seeking some yin balance. I’ve chosen to paint a warm gentle sea – as shown, and into the foreground I’m going to paint some soft grasses and seed heads, before returning to finish the lighting in the sky. I’ve kept the sea as softly defined as possible because I don’t want it to compete for attention with the foreground textures and structures.
3. Do you ever return to something you’ve made or created because every time you catch sight of it, niggles prickle you?
Well, this wall hanging has been prickling me. Why? There is no defined grounding for the plant life and stones, and the bands of crocheted colours, although easier to crochet in this striped manner, are just too regular.
So I’ve added some dark burgundy chain stitching to the base of the flowers and pebbles to help them to visually pop out, and I’m currently adding some trees to break up the monotony of the composition in the upper half of the hanging.
4. In a similar vein, I did eventually finish my afghan squares throw, after sharing it with you earlier when nearing the finishing line. A reminder:
On went a three coloured border to complete using, pink, pale turquoise and purple.
But I found the whole thing too stretchy when handling because I hadn’t realised the lacy aspect of the afghan squares can cause this to happen – in particular a wheel design I used – not to mention the fact that you can so easily catch your fingers in the open network of holes. So this won’t do! as by my nature, I prefer works to be robust, whatever they happen to be. The solution, I hope, after all the work that’s gone into this, is to back it with a fleece blanket to support all the squares, and the pale turquoise fleece I’ve chosen is on its way to me in the post. The challenge will be to find an appropriate way of bonding the two layers together. Here’s a close up so you can see what I mean:
5. And finally, writing. My current novel in progress is going well, albeit slowly. I’m about to tackle the alternative health industry in my next scene, where the main characters are visiting a Mind, Body, Spirit Festival. They will duly collide when some chaos ensues. It’s a few years now since I imagined writing about this environment and the attendant complexities surrounding the subject, so I’ve slowed right down, wanting to get it right, at least from my own perspective. But I’ll be pleased when I can move on past this to my mid-act turning point scene – a Christmas day dinner with dramatic revelations over the turkey and cranberry sauce.
So this is where I’m at just now, and dealing with the current world events is an on-going major work in progress for us all. I hope you are getting some respite or solace from your creative pursuits or nature itself, and maybe can embrace a little yin.
Until next time, Namaste from me to you :>)