Thursday, 14 July 2016

Day of Gratitude - The Writer's Cafe and Collaborative Art At Broadacre House

It's happened again.  Another brief comment on Facebook got longer than intended.  This time it was a post in the Sunday Assembly Gratitude Group, for today, July 13th.  I am excited enough by it and by the new beginnings in my life that I post it here.


Grateful for having the spoons to try new things this week. After kitten cuddling on Monday and going to new places yesterday, this morning I took the plunge and went along to The Writers' Cafe at Settle Down.

I've known about such things for quite a while. But hey, that's where writers go. Proper people who write things. Proper writers who know how to use words. And I'm not a writer.

Except I am.

I am a writer because I want to write. I am a writer because this year have been taking steps and time to write - even if much of it is devoted to a small pink blob! I am a writer because the urge is there inside and maybe this time it won't be stopped by self doubt, self loathing, or any of the excuses I've invented over the years. Honestly, I am a writer because I am writing. It's obvious but it was obscured in the haziness of doubt and a history of unwillingness to ascribe positives to myself.

I have small beginnings. Of course. But they are beginnings. And I am truly grateful for them. What existed only as a desire that I never believed would be conceived into being, let alone born as a helpless infant, now exists in both childlike and childish reality

They say rightly that from small seeds grow great trees. My tree may never be as mighty as a giant redwood. But if my tree grows to have anything like the ecstatically interesting shapes of those I saw yesterday I will be far more than satisfied.

If my branches can be unpredictable. If they form shapes not seen in a child's picture book that shows only the acceptable, idealised form of the tree.

If my wounds, like the splits and scars on the trees, are allowed to proudly add to the story rather than being deemed shameful.

And if my tree can provide refuge for another being, if it can give life, then I will be rewarded by that privilege.

I enjoyed the group. I have another little writing project to try to find the energy and make the time for. I met good people. I met again a member of this Sunday Assembly group. And I'll go back and experience it again.

I could wish that I had managed to go along sooner. I could wish that I had been brave enough to walk into that place and be a part of something unknown. I could wish that I had not spent so many years holding myself back from living in abundance.

I could wish the same about so many aspects of my life that have been finding their place and their freedom over the last few years. But everything must happen in its own time and in our own state of readiness for them.

Maybe, as a writer, writing foremost for my own sensual joy of the words, of the thoughts, of the images, and of the story, it is my time of readiness to become what I often dreamed but could never dare.

This photo was taken in the middle of September when I was wandering around Broadacre House after a mindfulness group. A haiku on a window. It just happens to be by Marie, who led the group.

Oops. The above is over 500 words. Whatever happened to being brief?! This is enough for another instant, accidentally free written on Facebook blog post.  [And yes, here it is.  Hoorah.] Yay! It may be obvious that I'm a little enthusiastic tonight. That is probably a very good thing.


A thought.

While I'm blogging the words I posted on Facebook.  Here's another photo.  It's of a collaborative piece of art that I was a part of a few days before taking the haiku photo.  Yes, this is really a day of gratitude from ten months ago.  I note that these photos were taken one month to the day after the start of Autscape and the day I first met Amanda.  The nearly a year that's passed since arriving at Autscape has been amazing in a lot of unexpected ways.  Walking into Broadacre House was one of the unexpected things.

There was a peace conference at Broadacre just a fortnight after I learned of the place. At the conference interesting people spoke about different aspects of peace, their own experiences of peace, and of the work they do in different ways to facilitate peace.  This was a couple of weeks after a friend had answered the question "And what do you do?" for me by saying "She is a peace facilitator."  A wonderful answer and I still don't know exactly what it means for me.  The day at Broadacre also included a wide range of workshops and discussion groups.  I signed up for a bunch of them at the start of the day and then participated in a completely different bunch of them.  But nobody minded such indecisiveness.

One of the workshops was to create this collaborative art.  Each person was given one square of the finished item and the idea was just to throw colour on.  This was completely new for me.  I still don't really know how to just throw colour on or to play or to just whack it on and see what happens.  But I had a go.  My first real foray into art as play.  And I think also it was my first time picking up a paintbrush for any purpose other than painting a wall since I was at school.  A day of new experiences.  Here, just so you know and I know, are my two attempts at slapping on colour and trying to let go and just have fun.  My first square is at the top.  My second at the bottom.


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