Creating space inside your head and around you to find what speaks to your heart….

I’m having another go at the grouting for the mosaic tiling in my kitchen. This week I was heard to remark to one of my writing colleagues (when the group came round here for writing) “I have dropped into a creative abyss with this as it ceased to be fun about two months ago!” Mind you, we are seriously considering re-naming our writing group something along the lines of wine, cake and laughter club….there were times when we were crying with laughter on Thursday night and no, not much writing occurred. Anyway, back to the point, the grouting has given me time to ponder.

For the first time in years I have the mental and physical space to explore my creativity and to do things that speak to my heart (funnily enough not mosaic tiling!) I have reached this time at some cost and I wonder if during the preceeding years I could have played things differently to carve time out for myself. Given my past situation I doubt it, but it’s a thought (although not one I’m going to spend much time on). It is what we do going forward that counts.

The things we discover as children that gave us delight can get lost in time as we grow and daily adult demands crowd in. If we now take the time to remember what we actually love to do we need to ‘sift’ through multiple layers of ‘stuff’ that have gone down as the years pass and buried our true passions and pastimes. This doesn’t happen to all of us as some find their vocation early on; not many do though. Quite a few friends say to me that they don’t have any talent but I don’t think that’s true. It may not be an obvious thing that you enjoy like painting or creating music but it could be an activity that you used to enjoy.

I remember when Em was a baby I used to keep a scrapbook of pictures cut out from magazines, newspapers, postcards, cards; anything that caught my fancy. I looked back at this the other day and the pointers were there to the things that speak to my heart. It was like an archaeological dig; I didn’t necessarily know why the pictures mattered, I just knew that they did. The hints were there; of bold and bright artwork as this was the only subject that I cared about in high school; delicate lace and embroidery were the memories of hours spent as a child with my Mum, both Grannies and my Great Granny teaching me knitting, sewing, embroidery, smocking; all the old handicrafts. Jars of sparkling preserves were memories of my Mum and Great Granny making Blackberry Jam and many other goodies at our first childhood home. The sea; that feeling of hope you get as you look out at the horizon and anything seems possible. Africa; my teenage years with horses, dogs and ample freedom and space.

It all means something and paints a picture of passions and pastimes that bring a smile to my face.

I think we all have things that speak to our heart that we may have forgotten and ‘un-earthing’ them can bring some much needed balance back into our daily round. It is just finding that little bit of mental space and physical time to discover what once made us smile and then to breath life back into it again.

That said I’m off now, back to the grouting, as this has become a challenge to complete and I have that fierce look of determination on my face…..wrinkles ahoy then. Finishing the mosaic (the end is in sight now) will give me the mental and physical space to paint the two paintings that have been ordered. I have a deadline and that always helps!


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Jane Sturgeon

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