Posts Tagged 'joy'

Dreams…

Over thirty years ago, far away in Johannesburg, I watched my sister in law carve a headboard for their home out of wood. She had been to a workshop and was hooked, admitting that it was addictive as she found herself staying up into the wee hours carving after her family had long gone to bed. This memory took root and became a dream.

Over the years I spotted classes and courses, and when life gifted a gap, I signed up only to have them cancelled because not enough people were interested. Various creatives have offered to teach me in exchange for paintings and other creativity and for a multitude of reasons, their promises disappeared on the wind.

A few years ago I met a lovely lady called Marie, who weaves basketry in a shared studio not far from here, called The Wellington Road Art Studios and we stayed in touch. I had an email from Marie recently and she invited me to join them for a workshop with her talented woodcarver friend Jo. I didn’t hesitate and on Saturday we all had a magic day.

Jo is a gifted carver and a natural teacher. The peace of the studios gave us a foundation to create and Jo’s gentle encouragement and knowledge soon had us absorbed. Nothing is a mistake to Jo and wood can be carved around anything to restore balance. ‘I’ve lost my stem’ I called out, as my chisel removed an important piece of the ivy I was practising on. ‘Nothing is a mistake, Jane’ Jo soothed as she showed me how to carve down and raise it up again. When you are carving all else falls away, even the constant mind chatter. Feeling neglected at one point my mind chirped up with something I had forgotten to do that day and I found myself saying ‘Shhhhhh, later’ as I went back to carving the undulations on my dragon’s wings.

A heartfelt thanks to Jo for her loving care, Marie for sharing her space, the kindred spirits I created with and the moments that birthed a long-awaited dream. It was a gift to do something for the sheer joy of it and I loved every second. ❤

Feelings, feelings and yet more feelings…

A cruise ship left port the other evening against the backdrop of a dramatic sky. It was drizzling from a dark sky first thing this morning as a new ship came in and she had all her twinkly lights on. I was reluctant to disturb the moment and find my phone to capture the image.

There has been a sharp awareness lately of feelings and how they can steer the ship. A loving friend became concerned that I was alone a lot and asked why. I appreciate that she asked and didn’t immediately judge, or try to fix. I created the aloneness, as my engine room needed a thorough service and new oil. The peace from turning off distractions, saying ‘No’ and relishing the silence meant I could just be. Acknowledging what actions I was allowing, the choices I was making and where my parts were seizing.

Another loving friend asked when I had last had a paddle? Goodness, it had been a while, so I flowed that into my daily round a few days ago. The tide was in and I happily pottered at the edge of the water, discovering a new piece of sea glass and a heart shaped pebble. Making my way back up the slipway I met a Granny, her daughter and little granddaughter making their way down to the beach. Well, Gran and Mum were, little Ava was swinging on the Coastguard’s gate and showing reluctance to move. I opened my hand and showed her my treasures. We started chatting and walked back down to the sand. There was a small scallop shell that was perfect for her little hand and we set about filling it with shells and sea glass. Then we found a stick and a Seagull’s feather and started to draw hearts on the wet sand and chat about fairies. Her Gran called out to Ava to drop the feather, as she said it was dirty. No blame, but our joy disappeared in an instant. The energy changed and Ava ran to her Mum and I listened to Gran for a while. She and her husband had recently moved back to this area, after living in a very different place. Her unhappiness poured out. I replied that I moved up here a few years ago because when the souls here ask how you are, their hearts listen to the answer.

Being alone has sparked much creativity. I’ve made tunic tops from men’s shirts, tote bags from denim jeans and lined them with vintage frock material, crocheted tote bags, knitted throws and baby matinee jackets. I am blessed to be gifted many items of clothing, yarn and all sorts of bits and bobs. They ‘speak’ and I create from their energy. ❤

Joy….

There has been a theme lately of form filling and swift learning curves on how organisations run with differing processes and terminology. It reminds me of how some ‘techies’ used to share I.T. knowledge back in the 1980’s. They made it mysterious and confusing, which helped to foster the feeling of it being beyond the grasp of ordinary folk. I recall how annoying that used to be. There are similar threads running between some current social set-ups that are here to help those in need. How vulnerable people, who are facing sharp life changes, are supposed to find their way through all of this is beyond me. I sense there are many falling through the net.

An unexpected wave of paperwork hit this weekend and my sparkle got temporarily buried under the deluge, so I escaped on Sunday teatime to walk the beach.

The Belfast ferry was gliding into port to the ‘pip’ of the Sandpipers merging with the cry of the gulls. The sound of cathedral bells floated across the water, as the sun caught the ripples at low tide and it was peaceful.

I paused to breathe deeply and have a splash at the water’s edge in my wellies (which are flowery).

Driving to Mum and Dad’s yesterday the radio DJ was talking about a choir she had seen at the weekend, on the television show Britain’s Got Talent. I remembered when I returned home and found the clip on YouTube. What follows is seven minutes of joy from Flakefleet Primary School Choir.

Loving balance…

Boris the Wonderdog has come to stay with me for a few days and I am loving it. We have flowed together a few times over the years and he is a joy.

We’ve fallen into our ‘together’ routine and there are many magic moments as he hurtles across the beach chasing seagulls at lunchtime, retrieves his ball once and then hangs onto it till we get back home, ambles down the cobbled lanes first and last thing each day (such exciting smells) and chats to me as I knit and create. He is also a wonderful companion as I curl up to read at night time and he lies right next to the bath keeping guard, as I disappear in the bubbles. Instinctively, he is utterly silent when I am working.

I could have taken my phone out as we go on our walks, but there is a freedom in leaving it at home. This means there are no action shots, but my heart holds the memories.

There have been a few work and ‘techie’ challenges to sort out this week and he is a supportive sounding board.

I love him ❤ and my heart family for sharing him ❤

Sparks in the gloom…

Life has flowed with a few challenges lately and I've been left gasping for air at times.

I lay there in the middle of one sleepless night and simply did not know what to do to soothe myself. My wisdom said 'Stay still and do nothing.' Then I sensed a lovely dog in spirit on the bed beside me and felt my Gran and her Mum, my Great Gran, close by my side. A feeling of calm settled in and I could let the feelings I had be, just as they were. Breathing in the experiences, breathing out the feelings.

I needed unconditional love, so the next day I asked my heart family if I could borrow their lovely boy, Boris, the German Shepherd. 'Absolutely' was their swift reply and he's coming to stay with me for a week after Easter. ❤

That sparked another idea and I ordered insurance, new wellies and some marketing postcards. Say 'Hello' to Jane's Dog Walking Service. My old flowery wellies have done two years sterling work, so I took my new ones out at lunchtime today and christened them in the sea. I also found some more sea glass and treasure to add to my collection.

My heritage is rich with hand crafts, so it is no surprise that I turn to that for comfort again and again. My lovely buddy Pam and I set off on Friday to a local art gallery, as they were running a Creative Think Tank, with taster sessions on all sorts of crafts being showcased. I had it in my head that I would finally get to have a go at wood carving, which has been a long held dream, and willow basket weaving. You just know this didn’t go to plan don’t you? We had a great time and saw all sorts of wonderful things, while discovering that the basket weaving and wood carving courses were out of our financial reach right now. Then the unexpected happened. I had made a connection with one of the receptionists when we arrived and he was looking after everyone by keeping the whole event flowing. Pam was absorbed trying out a Viking weaving loom and having a great time. I glanced up and Mark came over and said ‘There’s more going on in other rooms Jane, can I show you?’ So off we went and I found myself at a table where a lovely lady was demonstrating rug making with re-cycled materials. I took a seat and Alison let me have a go weaving strips of old t-shirts into hessian and I was right there, in the moment. She showed me what materials to try and what to back the rugs with. The edging stitch that holds it all together is new to me, but my Granny said in my head ‘I can show you that Jane’. I’d discovered a new joy. As I sat at home later, knitting, my creative sparks started to fly. I have been a painter since I can remember when and for the last few years it has stopped ‘talking’ to me. With the rug making I can chalk and ink my design on the hessian and by hooking in re-cycled materials, there is more leeway. It doesn’t have to be precise and as the freedom of this sunk in, well I am sure my heart singing could be heard far and wide.

It’s been dark and raining like ‘billy-ho’ today and then just as I finished my new wellie walk, the sky brightened and the clouds looked as if they had been brushed on the blue.

Patience with the tides…..

This morning there was a sailboat heading out to sea. It took him a few hours to come up The Mersey as he battled the incoming tide and strong headwinds. He was under sail and at times his mast was almost parallel with the water. After this went on for at least two hours, a fellow sailboat came into view and with sails down, he was relying on his motor. Needless to say he sailed past the chap who was battling and I don’t need to be a psychic to sense the feelings flying around out there.

Yesterday, I took time out for a creative day and I am grateful for the space this created. I realised that I have ‘hung’ all sorts of expectations on a work situation coming into being and the pressure has got intense to say the least. I was building the pressure. What was I thinking? It will happen in it’s own good time and there is nothing practical I can do right now to move it along. It is as it is.

Today dawned without pressure and it brought a different level of calmness with it. I think a good buddy of mine would call it acceptance.

A few unexpected events dotted through the morning and I simply changed tack and did other things. One brought such simple joy into my day I have to share it. The ‘man of the house’ has put a whirly washing line up and out in the garden my freshly laundered sheets and towels are blowing in the ‘sunshiney’ breeze.

Life’s sweet spots…

Yesterday the rain held off long enough for George and I to join Mum and Dad at the track for a ‘boys and their toys’ session and train rides.

A special day unfolded as we rode together under the canopy of the trees between the fields and around the old fishing lakes. Dad was running his diesel engine, because it’s easier for him to handle nowadays, and there was a wonderful mix of steam engines and other diesels. The air was filled with concentrated conversations and sharings on engines and cries of ‘I need more water’ as pauses were made at the station platform. Smiles as we were asked to ‘Hop on and try this out’ and ‘Do you fancy a trip?’

In quiet pauses birdsong could be heard and we all felt the joy of travelling beside the last of the bluebells and rhodedendrons in bloom. Mum brought a yummy lunch which we shared in the clubhouse, as Bobby made tea among the sharing of stories and laughter.

My heart will hold the sight of George’s face relaxing as his grin broadened on each trip round the track. The moment my Dad lent towards George and shared a man’s perspective and the two men were in perfect accord. All the hugs as we parted and wended our ways home.

George discovered that the track was in Daresbury the birthplace of Lewis Carroll, thanks to my Mum. ‘Do you fancy seeing the church and commemorative window?’ he asked me, so we turned right instead of left out of the farm gate.

Lewis Carroll’s Dad was the local vicar and we were lucky enough to have a kind lady show us round the church. The stained glass window depicting Lewis Carroll’s life is beautiful and we stood there hand in hand gazing up at it.

Our exploring afterwards took us through tiny little villages tucked away between country lanes, quintisential pastoral scenes unfolding one after the other, a big set-up selling secondhand pieces, hand made furniture and all sorts of goodies for the home and from there we moved onto a country pub garden. A giggling game of random questions could have had us moved on for inappropriate behaviour, but we got away with it, only disturbing a duck on the little stream running through the garden. They are holding duck races there next weekend and there is already an impressive display of rubber ducks appearing at the back of the bar.

We wended our way back home through the country lanes with memories made of spun gold and love. ❤



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