The Autumn leaves are falling!! My frantic inner self unhappy about the scarcity of the dwindling leaves, falling to their resting place on the earth.. I’m so busy I haven’t had a chance to meander the beautiful parks and take photos in the magic Autumn light. I’m feeling both deprived of time with my camera and exhilarated by the work coming from our dye pots. How did I get to this busy place again?? This year has been so constant with moving house and endless change. I’m yearning for slowness and feeling so driven at the same time.
I notice in the feelings of panic that what is really happening is a regular pattern for me, an old friend showing up. You see I am not shy of hard work or pushing myself to beyond tired, and I find that even as I go about what I adore – making beautiful eco-printed textiles – I am wearing myself out.
I’m moving at a pace that is not aligned with nature to make our wares, moving faster and faster so I can avoid looking at what’s really going on underneath.
The leaves and high-anxiety are both my trigger and my message. With trepidation, I surrender and slow myself to pay attention to my inner life once again. I know this is the place where we learn and grow.
With paper, charcoal and pastels, Jacqui sits as a gentle companion as I explore my feelings.
As I give my feelings colour and life on paper I am surprised, and what I find in a frantic flurry of a black charcoal shadow is a soft, light pink spark of creativity. A familiar colour and theme from past reflective work. It is a purity, an inner part of me that is gently asking for a place in my life. My creativity, an essence that is hard to explain, is asking for space to meander, space to find its uniqueness, space to find its own flavour.
The dark cloud is also speaking loudly, of fear and also of protectiveness, mistrust, of rage and frustration. I feel it is serving a purpose but is no longer needed, I thank it for being there. It is also given time to be heard, as one is not the same without the other and each part has so much value. I find this especially true of the parts we feel most scared of exploring – the darkness we often ignore within – the fear, anger, shame, sadness.. they too have so much to teach us.
I sit with the image of creativity shadowed by rage, and ponder it overnight, noticing as I go about my day and night, just how many layers this has in my life. I write in my journal some new insights, words, knowings.
The next day I find myself more able to slow my pace. I have to consciously make myself, but it is in the forefront of my awareness and I feel less able to ignore it. A tiny piece of the black cloud begins to dissipate, ever so slowly.
I spend some time bundling my new knowings, writing words and phrases onto paper and adding leaves as I go. I tie it up with string, all the while still giving me messages as I go about the process in a meaningful way. The bundle is placed near the pot, ready to share space with women coming to do an eco-printing workshop.
I unbundle my paper book a few days later whilst I am on my own. I notice that I am feeling less frantic and a sense of calm has come into my life. I am feeling acceptance and grace as we move into winter, and my body is looking forward to the slower pace, the softer light, the coolness that begs us to hibernate and be introspective. Winter’s blessings.
Pictured: my unravelled eco-printed book, holding insight, knowledge, words and wisdom gained from my inquiry.