“Progress is incremental for us, both as individual creative beings and together as a society and civilisation. The flower doesn’t go from bud to blossom in one spritely burst. It’s just that culturally, we are not interested in the tedium of the blossoming.” —Debbie Millman
I thought you might like to know how my break, and my blossoming is going. The break has gone fast, the blossoming a bit more slowly.
A few people have asked if I missed writing the blog…well yes, and no. I’ve missed expressing myself with words. And I missed touching base with you, though I have managed to keep up with some of you by other means. I realised, when I was considering taking a break, it felt like I needed to just live my life for a while without looking for stories or wisdom about which to write. It is the old story of the well running dry.
A week or two ago I was listening to a podcast and heard:
You can’t connect the dots by looking forward, only by looking back.
That made sense to me. So, I began connecting some dots. And then within a day or two I read something Joseph Campbell wrote:
If you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step, you know it’s not your path. Your own path you make with every step you take. That’s why it’s your path.
Do you see that these quotations speak to the opposite ends of the spectrum–the getting of the wisdom, and the invocation of wisdom as we seek our way? Or maybe you see it differently–do tell me!
So I have been reading and listening and walking, cooking, painting, photographing, traveling, learning and yes, even a small amount of writing. I have been filling up my vessel with life. Whenever you wonder where your wisdom or ideas come from, allow life to wash over you and seep into your being. The seeping is important. Seeping takes time.
One day, six months ago, a friend had received a bouquet of tulips the day before she had to go away. She wouldn’t be able to enjoy them so she asked if I would like them. The light that shone on and through the tulips in subsequent days was beautiful. I couldn’t resist photographing it. At first the petals grew more translucent and opened wide, then little by little, petal by petal, they began to deteriorate and fall away. Still the light shone each day and I gave myself over to photographing their demise. It wasn’t tedious, it was beautiful. It was life.
Author, William Gibson, has a succinctly descriptive term, “personal micro-culture”, by which he means all the things you surround yourself with—people, books, and any kind of ideological input.
So this has been part of my personal micro-culture, the nourishment for my blossoming. I have returned to blog again and share thoughts with you, and hope you will share your thoughts with me too.