Life

Wild Geese: Mary Oliver

A friend gifted me a beautiful copy.

The words were swirly, and letterpressed onto white rippled cardboard, and when I read it—Wild Geese, a poem by Mary Oliver—I just knew there was no one in the world that needed it more than I did.

Fast forward to today: a few months after I met this lovely poem, and it met me. I’d planned another blog post entirely— I’d even written it and was ready to post. But the soft girl said, ‘No.’

The soft girl said, ‘share the poem.’

So, here I am.

Sharing the poem. Why?

Because the soft girl said so.

And if you feel it in your heart the way that I felt it when it first found me…then you’ll know the soft girl meant it for you. xx

***

Wild Geese, By Mary Oliver

You do not have to be good.

You do not have to walk on your knees

for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.

You only have to let the soft animal of your body

love what it loves.

Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.

Meanwhile the world goes on.

Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain

are moving across the landscapes,

over the prairies and the deep trees,

the mountains and the rivers.

Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,

are heading home again.

Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,

the world offers itself to your imagination,

calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting—

over and over announcing your place

in the family of things.

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

 

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Life

The Deep End Of Me

If I love you:

Today, you feel like all the pink clouds in my sky.

white clouds and blue sky

 

If I miss you:

Today, I ache for what we make the world when we are together.

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If I know you:

Today, I see every inch of your universe; inside, outside, below and above.

sky space dark galaxy

 

If I’m upset with you:

Today, you are the one black rock among a sea of white.

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Today, I feel everything and all of us.

Today, I am swimming in the deep end of me.

photo of man with face paint

 

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Photo 2: by 周 康 on Pexels.com
Photo 3: by Pixabay on Pexels.com

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A Blog a Day in May

The Cupboard of Unfinished Things

It happens every year.

The wool balls enter the stores in preparation for winter, and my brain enters a frenzy of the most bizarre kind. You see, I’m not really a knitter. And yet, every year, as soon as the first wool balls hit the supermarket shelves…an orchestra made up of little tiny people begins to play inside my head. That’s how I know. I absolutely must start knitting something. Again.

And so I do. I sit down with a new pile of wool and my pretty pink hot water bottle, and I begin to knit the one. A precious new creation. Another chip off my creative spirit, that, ultimately, I always know, will be banished to the rickety cupboard of ‘unfinished things.’

It’s quite the comedy, really. Because I can’t actually knit, my choices of what to knit are always limited: a blanket made from a thousand hand-sized patches, or, yet another scarf. All the while, the little devil on my shoulder sits and quietly smiles. Because he knows. He knows it doesn’t really matter what I choose, and he also knows the reason why. (Ah, yes. There he is. Already preparing that nasty little cupboard. Sheesh.)

Well. There I was at the supermarket, once again with the wool, and I wouldn’t let any of that stop me. The decision was made. My little boy would quite like a scarf, and maybe knitting for him would give me that extra boost to save this one from the cupboard of impending doom.

But as I examined the stacked shelves—faced with a wall of fluffy, colourful possibilities— something came to me, something big. The reason. The truth that could have saved me the shame of every project that’s ever wagged it’s sweet, broken little tail into that big meanie of a cupboard over the years.

I’m not meant to finish.

I was never meant to finish, not any of it.

Maybe for some people, knitting is about creating something useful and beautiful. But, for me…it’s really not. Yes, it would be lovely to knit something of use. Lovely. But entirely unnecessary in the grand scheme of the life I’ve chosen.

For me, knitting is about the journey.

It’s about that blissful repetitive tune, the clickety-clack that somehow soothes me and brings me back into my body when I fly too far into the land of the perpetual dreamer. It’s a way for me to take one step (or one row). And then another. And then another. Rather than simply fly through life, looking for the greener grass that lives at the very top of a hill that I just may never get to.

Who cares if I don’t get to the top of that hill. The journey is lovely enough. It’s a journey that slows me down and reminds me to just…be here. In my body. On the couch. Knitting. Joyfully aware that this scarf— just like its many older siblings— will probably never be finished.

 

 

 

 

Poetry

Coming Home

Let this heart I wear

on my sleeve

draw all of its letters in the sand…

not just the ones I think

you

will like me for.

person wearing red socks walking on sand

And in that sand, let there be

scribbles of the past, the present,

and the future;

a million perfect letters

tumbling all about my day

teaching me,

quite slowly,

just who it is I am meant to be.

beach coast island landscape

I am no longer searching

for anything, or anyone.

Somehow

I just know.

I’ve found the thing

I never knew I needed to find.

A tiny home at the edge of my sleeve.

photo of person holding multicolored heart decor

 

Arts

This Creative Life

Isn’t the world of creativity fascinating? For so many reasons, really. But I’ve always been fascinated by the unconscious aspects of the way we create, particularly how the unconscious feeds the creative mind, almost as if it is a direct channel from the soul.

What makes the whole thing even more fascinating to me is this: no matter how many times I am dragged away from my creative world—by the hustle and bustle of life, by lack of time, lack of resources—it seems that I always come back to it. Always. Like something bigger than me is in charge of this whole crazy shindig.

Over the years I’ve struggled with finding focus within my creative world, and I suspect that many creative artists might feel the same way. Because the thing is this: creative energy doesn’t seem to care how it gets out. All it seems to care about is that it gets out.

I feel an affinity to many of the disciplines within the arts—music, acting, writing, painting, the list goes on. And the choice as to which discipline to use in order to create (to tell that story of my soul, you might say) really doesn’t feel like a conscious choice at all. To me, the urge to create is exactly that. An urge. A push. A tug. It’s the magnetic pull to the piano, or the computer, or the scrapbook—and I get the impression that my only job is just to go with the flow and get swept along in the breeze of it all.

In my experience, this is such a hard concept for the rational mind to reconcile. Because the rational mind, the one I use to bring sense to everything, seems to crave control. It seems to be at odds with all the wonder that explodes so organically within my creative universe. It seems to want to make sense of something that simply cannot be explained. The imagination. I mean. How can such a wondrous, wondrous world ever be explained?

There are not too many things I am totally sure of in this world. But what I am sure of is this: every single person in this whole wide world has a unique imagination. And every single creative artist sets their imagination free like nobody else in this world. We all see the world differently. We all live in the world differently.

What a lovely creative mess that’s all bound to make.

umbrellas art flying
Photo by Adrianna Calvo on Pexels.com
Life

The Little Blog Of Everything

This is an everything blog.

A little bit of sugar, a little bit of spice.

And, right now—like Forest and his many park-bench dwellers—you (the reader) and me (the writer) just never know what we’re going to get from this place, do we?

But Brooke, I hear you say. You are the writer. Hold the wheel. Steer.

Just take us to a place we know, a place we love.

A place we choose.

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You may have already met the many versions of writerly me—especially if you’ve followed along on my Sunny Mummy journey—and if so, you may be wondering which me will be the captain of this particular ship, at any given blog post.

Will it be the very serious me; the scholar and the thinker, the champion of all things books and arts and creativity?

Will it be the dreamer, the romantic, the philosopher? The Mum?

Or will it be me of the adorably nuts kind; me who wishes the world was made of chocolate, and cherry-red wine, me who thinks she’s way funnier than she actually is. (And yes. The latter is the captain of this particular blog post. Sorry about that.)

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So!

What will the next post be? A photo blog: short, sweet and poignant? Or will it be wordy and slow, important and true?

And deep?

This is my confession.

I don’t know.

All I can say about this little land of words is that it is, and always will be, a place for anyone who finds it, a place for anyone who needs it. A place that changes and moves, because life changes.

Life moves.

And that’s what I want for this space.

Life.

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With this confession lies an apology of the sincerest kind. Sometimes you will be lost here, wishing for direction, wishing for routine wrapped in a neatly labeled box.

This place will give you all of the things, sometimes. And none of them sometimes, too. What exactly it will give you, I can’t be sure.

BUT.

What I can be sure of is this.

My heart lives in this place.

And where my heart lives, I live.

All of me.

And hopefully…

All of you, too.

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Nerdy Party, Writing

An Audience With My Writerly Self

Hello Writerly Me,

It’s good to see you! Thanks for coming, by the way. No one else will be attending the party, sadly. Some were too shy to come. The rest: burning the candle at both ends, they said. Too busy for a party, they said. So that leaves…you. And me.

But, hey, that’s okay! When I really think about it I’m thrilled no one else is coming. I’ve been meaning to talk to you. Now seems like the perfect time. (Wait, do I hear crickets?)

Oh, sorry! How rude of me, please: take a seat.

Now. Writerly Me. I’ll start with a little story about how the two of us met.

When I first began writing creatively— you were there, humming away under my skin; a cute little engine you were, pumping ideas through me and onto those frightening white pages. So, yes. I knew you were there.

But I didn’t really know you then, did I? I didn’t recognise you, or the role you played in my writing. Luckily, that didn’t matter because you knew me. And you knew I needed your help to write. So, you kept coming back. Thank goodness.

The more stories I wrote, the clearer your voice became. You spoke for me: all I had to do was turn up at the desk and write what you told me to. In fact, you insisted.

‘Please,’ you said to me. ‘Just turn up. Write. Do nothing else.’ Remember that? You were pretty adamant about that part. (How’s your bum feeling, by the way? Sorry. These chairs are not okay.)

Anyway, you told me to stop thinking so much. Thinking does not belong in the world of pure imagination, you said. This was something I’d learnt the hard way. So much staring at the blank page; so much sifting through words, choosing only those that were pretty, or important, or…right.

Writerly Me, I think I finally get it. There is no right, is there? I will never know what kind of books Tom, or Jenny, or Joe Reader like. But I do know what kind of books I like. It’s quite simple, really. If the words that land on my page feel like warm chocolate milk to me, chances are those very words will feel like warm chocolate milk to someone else. (What? No, you can’t have a warm chocolate milk! This is still a party, you know.)

Trust that the magic will happen. You gave me those words, didn’t you? Yes. I thought so. You were spot on, there. Writing—creating anything, for that matter—is a kind of magic. So when I’m scared to face that blank page again, or when I wonder if all my previous stories were just one great big fluke, I think of you. I think of that magic wand of yours, how you flap it about and magic up a story, how you help me sprinkle that same magic all over the page.

Thank you, Writerly Self. No, really. Thank you. For coming to the party. For reminding me to trust in your magic. All writers are different, you taught me that. And although thinking and planning may belong at some other writer’s desk…they don’t belong at mine.

Magic belongs at mine.

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