I say it often to the folks who take my classes: don't ignore the things that inspire you, even if you don't know why they are making you feel inspired. Maybe, even years later, it'll be the missing puzzle piece.
I’ve been needing a creative kick in the pants. More, a swift kick in the creative pants.
And I’ve been giving lots of thought to this blog and what I want to do with it. I suppose part of that is the time of year, this time of birth and renewal, and most of us start to think about change naturally. But I’ve been feeling a little stuck here; losing motivation for participation in the blog world.
Not long ago I protested to my lovely friend Susan that I don’t participate in blogging as a social networking forum; that I wish this to be a creative endeavour – to improve my writing, to become braver about what I put out there, and to foster my creative perspective. But all that can’t be entirely true because blogging is a social endeavour by its nature. And oh I love the friends I’ve made here; you’ve all enriched my world, and I mean that from the bottom of my heart.
But it is like minds I seek in the comments section, not numbers. I’ve had lots of fun participating in blog challenges; and it has found me some of YOU, but it also turned me off to one element of blogging – in that many people dart in and out of other’s writings to make a quick, superficial comments, just for the sake of making an appearance. And for the higher count in your comments section you’re obliged pay the person back by visiting them and adding to their numbers. After a period of that, the numbers just didn’t mean anything to me anymore.
Having said all that, I do want to come back and visit you more, and find more of you. Things distracted me this year. A new job in a new industry, which required lots of learning and new commitments. And later in the year a new man. Things with him have settled into something warm and comfortable; a kind of matured happy that accommodates me sitting in the same room with him and being able to sit at my computer and write. Like now.
If I were to listen to myself when I offer advice to others about how to kick-start creativity, I would say “journal more. Just journal. Get the moments down, write with no mind to 'good' or 'clever.' Just let go of the need to be good."
I’ve never lost inspiration – I still find that everywhere; and so it seems natural that I have been thinking about expressing that in a new way. It’s my resistance from making a commitment that has stopped me from full out beginning a 365 Project. But here I am, committing: a photo a day for 365 days.
I’ve always loved taking pictures, and occasionally I can produce a pretty good shot. I take lots of photos these days, mostly thanks to a half decent phone camera. Sometimes I take pictures to help me find the appropriate words later. Sometimes I just like an image and can't articulate why. Or I take a picture because I don't want to forget a moment. Sometimes there are just no words.
So I have given birth to a new, sub-blog of sorts – a photo journal – my 365 project. In keeping it separate from this blog, I hope to better sustain the focus for both. This space will still be dedicated to the story, and my endeavouring to become better at telling one. The photo journal is more for me; going public keeps one accountable. It’s a forum in which I can write bad sentences and post shitty photos (and hopefully some good ones!) and just record my daily comings and goings for a year.
So it’s not so much a change for this blog, but just adding a new project on the side. Getting back to journaling without mind to how the writing sounds, to it being clever or interesting, will improve the original project. Of that I have no doubt.
My Photo Journal is found here: 365 Project: Photo Journal
It's bloody cold today, but I made myself get out for a walk. I'm glad I did because the colour of the sky was the most gorgeous gradation of blues: from asure to cobalt to indigo to navy to midnight. And probably a whole lot of others I couldn't define. And it's not even supper time yet.
Queens Quay West, Toronto
This is a 365 Project – wherein I will endeavour to post a photo a day for a year.
I needed a creative kick in the pants. And I have been wanting to get back to a more basic daily diary keeping – a basic capturing of my daily comings and goings and getting down those significant moments, without mind to "good" writing or story. Unlike my main blog, which encompasses many little stories and encounters, this project will evolve as a story over time, it will grow and change as each day unfolds.
A photo journal fits. I just like to take pictures, and I take a lot of them. Sometimes I take photographs to help me find the appropriate words later. Sometimes I just like an image and can't articulate why. Or because I don't want to forget a moment.
Sometimes there are no words.
Today I had lunch again with Ceri and his lovely father Al, and when I came into the street to walk home I found this. This gentle sun looks like Christmas Eve usually feels to me. I hope your Christmas Eve is (was) peaceful too.
The Esplanade, Toronto
Big walk today, and then walked down to meet Ceri and his father for lunch in the St. Lawrence Market neighbourhood. Walked down Church Street for a change. Had a very enjoyable lunch of chicken parmesan pesto salad with wonderful company in a cosy pub by a gas fire.
Only the bell tower remains after a fire in 1955. When I was searching out its details online, I found it in a list of "Toronto's Best Makeout Spots."
There has been a soft rain falling off and on since last night, and as I walk to work under the heavily overcast skies this morning everything is glistening luminous under the dim light; the pavement a wet black canvas painted here and there with splashes of colour reflecting the city pulsing above it.
Earlier, I lay in bed watching the sky through a gap in the curtain, thinking I was as reluctant to come to wakefulness as that sky was. Last night’s rain capped a gorgeous, warm and sunshiny Sunday – that kind of weekend day you look upon as a gift at any time of year, but particularly this one. The day was gentle; I walked and shopped and puttered around my home, and later my table housed a big pot of vegetable barley soup and toasted rosemary bread and warm company and suddenly I find myself in deep autumn with not a little pleasure.
The slowed pace amidst the low clouds and glistening streets extends that autumnal comfort even on a Monday morning. Once upon a time when I was a driver on the highway trying to get to work in mornings like this, I would curse at the way even a soft rain like this would slow everything down. Now I feel lucky to be able to find pleasure in the slowed pace of a city under a rain. It wasn’t all contentment – I wanted to walk right past my office and spend the morning in it.
I’m not sure I’ll move so peacefully into winter, but who knows? Maybe I just need to learn to carry with me in my mind the gentleness of a rainy morning.