More self-creation

I spent one month without sourcing inspiration. That means no blogs, no social media, no Pinterest, no lifestyle magazines. I spent that time painting, reading books, trying printmaking, writing tanka poems and my blog, and just being. I also traveled to Holland and was inspired by the dunes in Den Haag, cheesy omelettes and beautiful old tiles.

I did this because I am addicted to the things listed above. I could just daydream looking at other people’s beautiful homes, art they create, and the lives they live. But I’ve noticed that for the sake of my own well-being I rather live my own life in my own way than let outside expectations influence my daily choices. I also tend to want more things when I see what I don’t have. But I don’t really need anything.

I’m not going to completely abandon the things mentioned. But I’m going to try and enjoy looking at beautiful stuff only occasionally, to relax and get a break. Not to replace self-creation. Let’s see how that goes.

Tanka x 2

I wrote a few tanka poems just for fun, to get out of a word rut. I ended up quite liking them! Here is my attempt to translate them while maintaining the syllable count:

The two of us here,

in this world – once more,

together, alone.

It’s me, missing you my love,

when you are right next to me.

Towards the darkness

for so long I walked alone.

I hit the bottom.

And woke up. Light over there.

To it, I now surrender.

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*I realized now reading these that I miscalculated the syllables in the last line of the second poem. Oh well.

Less inspiration

I’m that type of a person who is used to (out)sourcing inspiration – a lot. I’ve always loved magazines, blogs and Pinterest, visual stuff that feeds my mind. I don’t think that’s such a good thing.

Looking at too many ‘inspirational’ photographs, artworks and objects tends to dilute my inner creativity and then eventually I start to feel like everything has been done already, and that can feel very discouraging.

Not cool.

I am tempted to have a break from it all. Turn off my iPad for a month and step away from the stuff that overfills my mind and robs away the time that I could spend creating rather than planning on doing so.

Let’s see what one uninspirational month brings along.

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Above: Stuff that surrounds me

The non-plan

This is what I’ve noticed: to think that a creative outcome could be planned ahead is foolish. That is not how creative process works. It works like this: you pick up a pen/paintbrush/camera, and you start from somewhere, nowhere, anywhere. And then you watch the magic happen. The end-result: unknown.

I’ve let myself go loose, letting go of the control lately. Like this:

Here I am,

Easter feels like forever.

Sound of silence, sound of peace.

This feels like nonsense,

but I have to try.

This poem of mine,

poem of freedom.

It’s hard to accept that not everything is great,

that nonsense has its place,

and what a place that is.

When did I start taking life so seriously,

when did I lose that sense of play,

play that is a great joy.

Yes.

Just like that, word after word. Embarrassing maybe – especially if you take yourself and your work too seriously – and definitely not what I intended when I started typing, but this so called poem opened a gate, and something else will come out of it. Perhaps this could be applied to most things in life.

To be a mother

Last year I became a mother to little Taiko. At 37 I was relatively old but it still happened pretty quickly. I used to think that I would be happy just working, traveling, experiencing life without children. And here we are, me and him, and in these past ten months we have become a great team.

Before Taiko was born, a friend of mine told me that life doesn’t change that much after having children. I have to disagree because life really does change – hello nappies, restless nights, and just generally looking after a little human being – but I somehow know what she means. I feel that I’m still the same me, even more so. With children there’s no space for faking. Becoming a mother has added a layer to my identity. I’m discovering a new, softer side of me.

Sometimes I’m exhausted but I’ve been more tired before. When I was younger I used to party too much, then work too much, or trying to achieve something with force that was just too much. I guess I’m one of those people who don’t always recognize their limits. Having a little baby staring at me has forced me to pause. This is probably the first time in my life that I don’t compare myself to others or feel inadequate.

I’m proud to be a working mama. Work feels more meaningful now. It feeds my little one and is another source of purpose for me, something that I don’t take for granted (anymore).

I never completely trusted that I could or would be a mother and life could have turned out differently. But I am a mother and I love it. Every day my heart melts a little bit more.

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Above: Me and Taiko in September 2018