No doubt if you follow my page you will have noticed that the folding frenzy has come to an end and the cranes and doves, both symbols of peace, are now in place at Rudyard’s Tea House in Beeston. I hope that visitors to the tea shop make time to look up at them, and allow their eyes to follow each subtle motion as they turn and bob gently on gossamer thread.
There are other projects in the planning stage but this year I am going to make sure that I don’t take on too much, all at once. As a typical busy bee, I do get so much joy out of buzzing from one creative project to the next but am learning as I get older that I need to allow myself time to just ‘be.’
This week’s Bee Creative session was led by Kay and it was great! not only was Kay excellent with the group, taking time to make sure that everyone was engaged and knew what they were doing, I got to sit with everyone else and enjoy learning something new too. I liked that bit best.
Just ‘being’ is not something I have been especially good at in the past, being rather a ‘do-er’ that a ‘be-er,’ nevertheless I have been working up to it since my last birthday and have been practising a lot this winter with some success! Spurred on by a hoard of books that I acquired from local charity shops, in the run up to the Christmas break, I have escaped into at least four novels and two poetry anthologies already! But I do think winter lends itself well to curling up with a book.
Now my writing corner is set up, I am spending quite a bit of time in my quiet space at the back of the house and regularly catch myself staring out at the trees, watching the light fade and colours change, homemade light catchers in the nearby nursery garden flashing silver as the breeze rotates them. In the blog I follow, written by Helen of Polly Dextrous, she talks about adopting a word for the year and she chooses ‘breathe.’ I choose ‘be’ for similar reasons, although it is fun to be busily creating for much of the time, downtime is essential for well-being.
“Embracing life’s pauses is healthy, restorative, and can boost creativity”
I came across an article about ‘niksen’ the Dutch concept of doing nothing, as the title resonated with me I read it. Possibly the next instagram hashtag, niksen ‘reminds us that periods of doing nothing whatsoever, of purposely avoiding productivity, has great value,’ and I am inclined to agree. I was also delighted to read that the very thing I use to get in trouble at school for, and that would be daydreaming, is actively encouraged with niksen.
Some of last years’ best ideas seem to have come from a period of inertia, where I put my lists away, turned off my phone and literally allowed my mind to wander. In a world where we are continually online, within reach, task rich and time poor we need to be careful that we don’t reach burn out. As Katherine Martinko says in her article, ‘Niksen differs from the ever-popular mindfulness’ seeming more like a precursor to meditation by endorsing mind-wandering and imaginative escapes- watching paint dry is a perfect example of niksen.’
In the same way that ‘sometimes you are the pigeon and sometimes you are the statue’ sometimes you are the one who is making the origami crane and sometimes you can be that elegant feather-light crane, suspended from the ceiling stirred only by the faintest breath of air.
Until next week
Allow your mind to wander
and stay sweet