spring – time for growth

I look at trees, the way they grow if they’re sheltered and what happens when they’re buffeted by the predominant wind.  They’re like people.IMG_1744Bent, broken, misplaced, alone, determined to survive.

I think about trees as metaphors for people a lot as I drive.  Trees cut back as shelter belts, never achieving their own form, or bent out of shape by the demands of their environment.

IMG_1198There is something truly beautiful about a mature tree, having survived the inevitable challenges of time. Yes, trees are great metaphors for people.

another late start?

When I read Natasha White’s Grand Declaration post today on Define Your Joy, I realised that if I didn’t want to start slipping backwards I needed to start moving forwards again . . . marking time is not an option!

I was lent a copy of The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron a few years back and couldn’t read it, it didn’t seem to be what I needed at the time but later, I borrowed the book from the library and then eventually bought a copy.  Writing the morning pages works for me: they help sort out my head, help me focus on what’s important and head me off on the right direction for the day.  It is in this journal that I started to realise that I could dream and that those dreams are attainable.

So why is the book such a difficult read for me?  God has something to do with it – and there’s quite a bit of God in there.   You see when this God with a capital G turns up and is referred to as ‘He’ I have to do all these complex transformations to fit it to my beliefs and quite frankly it gets in the way sometimes.  You see I don’t believe in the ‘God’ I grew up with, I don’t believe in an interventionist god, but I do believe in the power of love and hope, and I do believe in the connection of all things and that we are just a small part of everything.   I do not believe humans have any superiority, nor that one faith is, nor I am more important that any other form of life – I believe in positive interdependence.   And while I’m at it, I believe I’m here just to be uniquely, lovingly me . . . that’s all.

And then there is the cultural divide – the book’s written by an American and I’m not one . . . I’m a down-to-earth New Zealander and it all needs to be taken into account.  It can be somewhat exhausting really.

So why am I wrestling with this book again?  Because having already found something of value there, I want to dig a little deeper and see what other gems I might find. I aim to respect my skills and talents more, to honour my Self.  I’ll let you know if and why I give up trying to read it again – and what the gems might be.

When I started this blog, I hoped to demonstrate, primarily to women in their 60s, who had put their creative dreams on the back-burner, who had eaten the burnt chop and given the best to everyone else at the table (sometimes literally), that it is never to late to find what you want to do and go out and explore – I just have to want to enough . . . enough to enter uncharted waters and create my own map.

So when I pass this vine-covered tree on my way to work each day, I’ll imagine that it is waving to the other motorists and me and saying, “Off you go, be yourself, be happy.”

The Greeting Tree

The Greeting Tree

Natasha made a pledge, to blog about The Artist’s Way each week.  My pledge is to just blog at least weekly from now – a bit of whimsy (like the tree), some mucking around, and perhaps an insight or two – what ever takes my fancy.

Thanks for stopping by.    Ka kite ano au i a koe . . . I’ll see you again!


achieving your my form

I stopped on the way to work this wintry morning and photographed these recently trimmed trees – all their branches were on the ground, no doubt to be removed some time soon.Trimmed treesI know these trees, planted for a purpose and trimmed to meet a need, will grow again in the spring but I feel sorry for them.  They have a predestined shape, a true form, their own and not one imposed for some external purpose.

On the way home I stopped on the roadside again.  The trees below have had perhaps a season or two to recover however one day they’ll get the chop again, when the height they have reached is more than the farmer wants – when the tree has reached up and out again to achieve its true form.RegrowthPerhaps the sympathy I feel for these trees is in part due to my recently having to reshape my life to fit back into being a ‘working woman’ once more.  I can no longer spend my days as my mood takes me, doing what I feel inspired to do, rather I’m doing what I need to do, what I am expected to do.

Please don’t misunderstand me, I appreciate having a well-paid, interesting job with wonderful colleagues, however I’d love the luxury of having the day to myself to spend as the mood or the muse moves me.

Where’s that anonymous benefactor – I’m feeling a little misshapen this week.