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Panning for Creative Gold

by | Apr 7, 2013 | News from the Nest | 2 comments

smokeThe last couple of weeks have been frenzied and mostly devoted to family. My creavity has been feeling in short supply. My thoughts are like little puffs of smoke dissolving before my eyes. As much as I try to grab the moments, they slip through my fingers and are gone as quickly as they come. I have been swirling and whirling and trying to decided what to put down here and nothing seems right these days. I have been feeling uninspired and blocked up creatively recently. Creativity has been coming to me in spurts and fits as of late.

I come to find that more and more photography is my solace, so I have spent a fair amount of time clicking away with my little iPhone, hoping for more and trying to heed my own words from the past to take it slow and be gentle with myself.


tree-branchesYet still my wise words are going partially unheard right now. While I have been working hard to quiet my mind and get off this rocky road, I have also had some rather remarkable revelations too.

My father-in-law’s sister passed away last week leaving an indelible mark on my family’s heart and caused this question to float into my head. If you only had a couple months or weeks left to live what is it that you would most want to spend your time doing? What things would you savor?

Until now this kind of question was one that I lumped into the category of questions like – What one thing would you grab if the house was burning down? or What is your desert island music selection? I would entertain the thoughts but would not take it very seriously because, ok really, what are the chances of either of these things actually happening. The desert island thing for sure is not a real possibility especially because I don’t do a lots of activities that would even put me in danger of being trapped on a desert island. But seriously, this question became all too clear to me after attending the my husband’s aunt’s funeral. I suddenly understood it on a level that I never had before. Now I am assuming it’s my age and maturity that has finally snapped this question into perspective for me and made me really understand the gravity and full weight of what this question is asking. Maybe because death is actually getting closer for me at this point in my life then ever before that it has finally hit me as it should. I should become serious about living each day as if it was my last. It’s why people have bucket lists. But also to think this might be your last time doing something makes it different, sweeter and something to be more grateful for. It also makes my heart flutter because it’s getting more serious as time passes. It’s no longer just a question but something real and tangible. We do not live forever and no one knows how long they have got on this precious planet of ours. There is so much to take in.


It has brought a sharper clarity to why we should be mindful of every moment and why I seek to find the beauty, love, and light in the everyday moments. Those are the ones that I will miss when it’s time to move on, all the little things that I can, at times, take for granted. That’s why earlier this week I was so pleased with myself for deciding to embrace procrastination instead of beat myself up about it. I drank my cup of tea very slowly. I stopped and I took a breath. I played with some colors. I noticed the light through the window. I listen to the quiet. And that is where I had another revelation, that this is actually the space where my creativity grows. Some place in the deep recess of my mind I know this and yet I always forget. A lesson it seems I need to be hit over the head with a couple of times {I am stubborn, a quality in myself that even I find annoying at times} as this week proved to me once again.

Today I am taking abundant amounts of pleasure in this quiet easy day where I know my eight year old son is starting to embrace the author in himself – he writes right now while I do in the next room. I can hear the wind in the trees from the open window. My heart is full knowing he is so happy and that my husband and daughter are off doing errands together – not something that usually happens. All is as it should be and a I am greatful for these quiet simple moments. I will not again so quickly make haste of the words – Live every day as if it was your last.


So in all of this I am certain that the blocks that I am feeling will soon be dislodged, the great sediments of winter that have been collecting will soon be unearthed. I will be vigilant and try to listen to my own words that echo through my mind. I know I will find gems of creativity in the silt at the bottom. I will pan for creative gold. I know that the creativity will be there amongst the other noise and debris with the changing light and warmer days. I feel it. I know this is the process of being an artist and though I have been doing it for more years then I can count, it still seems like every step of the way is new and yet a place I have not been before.