By being an antidote, a sovereign antidote, for passivity. For the basic fact about poetry is that it demands participation, from the secret physical echo in muscle and nerve that identifies us with the medium, to the imaginative enactment that stirs the deepest recesses where life-will and values reside. Beyond that, it nourishes our life-will in the process of testing our values. And this is not to be taken as implying a utilitarian aesthetic. It is, rather, one way of describing our pleasure in poetry as an adventure in the celebration of life.
Nothing else does quite as much for most people, not even the other arts. We are a wordy species. Words are the wings both intellect and imagination fly on. Music, dance, visual arts, crafts of all kinds, all are central to human development and well-being, and no art or skill is ever useless learning; but to train the mind to take off from immediate reality and return to it with new understanding and new strength, nothing quite equals poem and story
Ursula K. Le Guin
It is difficult to put into words ‘inspiration’, but this quote jumped out of me from a blog post talking about the importance of imagination in her book Words Are My Matter: Writings About Life and Books, 2000–2016, with a Journal of a Writers Week. It inspired me to keep reading and writing and being imaginative. I instantly experienced flashbacks of being read to as a child and my Dad doing all the voices for different characters. My imagination is now important to me as a means of meditation and reflection.
I love this statement.
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I know I’m in Stratford-upon-Avon as soon as I see the swans. Their white feathers glide back and forth as canal boats motor under bridges and past theaters. The birds barely give me a glance as I walk alongside them, but even their indifference can’t dampen my enthusiasm for this place. It’s my third visit…
Waking in the morning to the song of blackbirds outside the bedroom window, it is time to rise. Pulling on a tracksuit and trainers, grabbing a bottle of water and the dog lead it is time to pound the paths. Opening the door the sun shines brightly and the song of blackbirds and now starlings compel you out of the door. There is no need for ear phones and pop songs, at this time of the morning just after sunrise there are no crass noise of car engines or children; just sleepy bedroom windows, you and the birds.
Jogging through the meadow to the opposite spiral of houses the birds pass on their calls to the next tree and the next. At the halfway point you stop and rest, stretching out on the ground amongst the tall grasses. Meditating with closed eyes all of natures sounds become amplified. Buzzing bees, shushing grass and trees, birds and the sound of your own steady breath next to your companions.
Continuing to job the rest of the way back home other homes begin to stir, the occasional car starts and begins its journey, the pure sounds of life around you begin to fade into the background now. No music is sweeter than that of life and its ebbing and flowing nature.
Home: the place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a family or household. An institution for people needing professional care. Returning to a common place by instinct to nest and procreate.
But we are emotional creatures so the definition of home is so much more. For some, home is a place to find family and comfort; or a car that resembles big family decisions, holidays and life experiences that provide that home like attachment.
Home can be the sensation of peace, a place for contemplation and calm, rainy days spent reading in a nook, or the feeling of relief when you climb under the duvet.
Home is more than a building; it can be a boat or a caravan too. Home, by emotional or sentimental definition is the place where you feel the most like yourself. A place of sanctuary away from the stresses and pressures of ‘life’ outside.
Home is where I can find my family, my dogs, my books, my crystals, my memories, and the place where I can take off my bra as soon as I get through the door and crawl into my most dishevelled clothes without feeling judged or having to keep up appearances. It is my retreat, wherever it may be at any given time.
“Seek to be worth knowing rather than be well known”
At some point while growing up it is pretty reliable that all children dream of being famous for something – a footballer, an athlete, a singer, a performer, a designer, an inventor etc. I had my eyes set on the stage but when it came down to it stage fright won every time. I grew up, dreams changed, ambition for stardom faded and a desire to be remembered by friends took that dream’s place.
Now I desire to be worth knowing, and decided what I want to be known for is generosity and helpfulness. I aspire to be a person friends feel comfortable talking to when they need some support. I aspire to spread kindness around my town by leaving post-it notes in shops and books (#secretnotes). I aspire to be mindful of all being around me and help preserve open spaces and community spirit.
Fame in the 21st Century is awash with reality celebrities, there are very few truly ‘famous’ people around (those renowned for something admirable that is). Celebrity is flippant and shallow and I have never dreamed of being a celebrity of any sort. The phrase ‘legend’ is churned out far too easily (and I feel incorrectly), a person becomes legendary once they have died and typically a person who achieved something remarkable and extraordinary such as Albert Einstein and Marie Curie. Now Pete ordering and finishing a ‘cheeky Nandos’ is a ‘Legend’! umm, no, no he isn’t.
What is the price of fame?
As a species we naturally evolve. I am not the person I was yesterday, I am certainly not the same person I was a year ago. Each day I grow – emotionally, mentally and physically. I learn from experience what hurts and what creates joy and apply that learning to either avoid getting hurt again or to experience more happiness.
Nature is natural. I feel more myself when I am immersed in nature. It is the sweeping of the wind through my hair, the flowers scent as I brush past my garden plants, bees pollenating in the tall grasses surrounding the field behind my house. It is beautiful watching other beings go about their business, it feels natural to observe and appreciate all that they provide me while doing their jobs. Further evolution as my garden changes with each season and year, establishing itself more and more.
It is natural feeling protective of loved ones, friends and family alike. We each want the best for our children (or our pets), to protect them from harm and encourage all that is wonderful. Natural to love them unconditionally even at times when you may not like them.
Natural movement of water, cascading down from the mountains into a babbling brook; down the crevasses towards a stream and flowing over rock beds and reeds into a river. The river collects its natural current, ebbing and flowing onward towards the open sea. Each stage of that first drop of water naturally feeding habitats and wildlife until it reaches our homes and shores. The stillness of a lake providing tranquillity and peace, also a natural pearl of life we enjoy.
Prompt provided by Daily Post: Natural