Title borrowed from the poet Lee Herrick
I spent the week with the early sketchbooks and it was nice to be able to join the dots and see how I found my creative voice. I was cute, so innocent and honest – it’s really endearing. Of course there were periods of confusion, loss of identity – but I’m still here. (Yay for WordPress!) So grateful to be able to draw…Thank you universe.
THURSDAY • 15th Aug holiday: Apart from mourning for democracy, spent grieving for my lost sense of humour and my declining sense of poetry. Which reminded me of what Lekha said once: “One day you’ll wake up and you won’t be able to recognize yourself…”. And how much of what is really worth it. “What is the price of your sense of self,” I ask the universe. “It’s a cup of coffee and a cookie,” says the brown boy.
This one is for Punam and Deepa.
I’ve talked before about my journey in building self compassion – and learning to accept myself as I am with all my imperfections is a long and difficult process…
…and knowing that everyone probably is fighting their own battle. Remembering that sometimes helps me to be empathetic and less judgemental to the people I interact with in an ongoing basis.
As I realised that day, I felt in dire need of growing some kindness. Maybe it was due to the daily bustle of everyday life, or continuously missing the opportunities to practise, my kindness diminished and receded until some strangers’ kindness took me by such surprise!
As always I turned to Pema in my search for growing kind:
She talks about Maitri, the Budhist concept of loving-kindness. It starts with being honest, loving and compassionate towards oneself. It’s unconditional, she says.
Aspire to be happy. Find the tenderness of feeling love, or the vulnerability of feeling lonely inside yourself.
She encourages us to become aware of when we’re closing down and erecting barriers, and to always have a clear aspiration for happiness:
“May I and others enjoy happiness and the root of happiness.”
Maitri essentially starts with locating in yourself an honest feeling of goodwill, and then encouraging it to expand…
The anteater as always, being helpful: “Without someone to irritate you, you’ll never get a chance to practise.”
Anyway…I’m still on that quest. Drawing about being kind doesn’t really make it happen – I have to actually find the opportunities to practise it in my life.
The last few years has been a lot of late nights working, and in the lows of those hours between midnight and dawn I always end up questioning the larger purpose of my life. This is a poem for those times.
From the sketchbook Captivity (Feb 2017)
Getting out of your comfort zone always brings with it a loss of identity and the last one for me was becoming a parent. Suddenly you’re thrown to the deep end, everything around you, losing the floor beneath your feet. Not only your body, your hormones, your sense of time and also your relationships, your mental makeup, your creativity and your sense of self. Everything you knew how to do, suddenly becomes harder. On non-existent, like creativity. Or sleep. It’s easy to hide behind the baby – but you really owe it to yourself to get it back or you might lose it forever. 18062017.