Nourishment of All Sorts

It takes courage to say yes to rest and play, in a culture where exhaustion is seen as a status symbol. ~ Brené Brown

1. A little escape into nature

During this summer break, I stuffed a rucksack with essentials and headed for the trails. I can’t even begin to tell you how much I needed to unplug, literally, from days of Zoom. One of the greatest rewards was this swan family. A swan, in the wild, seldom comes this close to humans but this family kept us company, gliding to and fro our camp all the time we were there.

2. “The things I want to know are in books…”

And that’s why I always make time to read. I set my reading goal for summer at five books. But I’ve already covered eight, and without counting poetry chapbooks from small presses. I’ve also reached my entire year reading goal on Goodreads but I ain’t stopping now. Anyway, one of the books I read is by H. Henneburg. My conversation with this amazing poet is coming up, in due course.

3. A small can of paint can do wonders

There’s been a whole lot of talk about baking during this pandemic. I confess, I’m not much of a baker. I simply don’t have the patience for it. But one way I destress is with a can of paint and brush. I just love painting. In fact, I’m that kind of friend who is always willing to help you paint your walls. 🙂 So, I’ve also been busy painting garden furniture anew.

4. What I’m listening to, right now?

Neo-Soul. I’ve been particularly listening to Maxwell, of late. Flashbacks of friendships, places and activities linked to his music from a different stage of my life have inspired some writing. Time will tell if these autobiographical memories are rich and textured enough to share.

5. The art of dining well

…and keeping good company. I’m always grateful for the opportunity to spend time with friends. In keeping with my travel reads, I tried some new dishes. By the way, if you’d like to try out some African cuisine, you can peruse Sophie’s rich recipe index from A Kitchen in Uganda. And if you are health conscious, Jan at The Low Carb Diabetic is got you covered. Please visit these blogs, you’ll learn more than just an ingredients list!

Now over to you, what creative outlets do you enjoy as a way of rest and play?

Occasionally, I share five random things I’m reading, watching, doing, listening or thinking about. I love hearing about your days, too.

On Finding Clarity

I stood in the middle of a chamomile field wondering why there were flies all over my flowers. Then it occurred that every living thing has a role to play in the ecosystem. Flies have always been here, and going about their business of either feeding on the plant or helping pollinate the flowers.

I’ve always associated flowers with bees and butterflies; beautiful things. On the other end, flies conjure up images of pests, dirt and rot; ugly things. As I looked at this combination of flowers and flies I realized I had two choices, to either let flies be or clean up plant debris around the flowers.

It’s been a very busy first half of the year, for me. On top of the upset caused by the pandemic and workload, I also had this persistent sense of unease; a vague dissatisfaction I couldn’t pinpoint as I pretty much enjoyed things I was doing.

Unhurried in the countryside, I had all the time to observe, think and investigate all different kinds of flies; their movements, behaviour and intentions. One of great interest is a crane fly. I learned that even though an adult fly is harmless, larva on the other hand can stunt growth or kill a plant as they feed on the roots. With that came clarity!

Writing Fury

Writing on fire or writing when everything is on fire is difficult. I’ve been silent on current events not because I suffer from amnesia but because I have so much to say. But one thing I know from experience is that writing from a place of anger is never a good thing, for me. What has been happening in the US provokes. And each time it happens I think, will this ever end; the discrimination, victimization, injustice…

“Anger … it’s a paralyzing emotion … you can’t get anything done.” ~ Toni Morrison

I’ve been asking myself how does a writer respond to this moment in history. And Jericho Brown challenges in his poem, Thrive, “You don’t get to be a poet without publicly asking questions that people say it’s rude to answer in public.”

Like most, who know too well about the injustices of racism, I don’t have the luxury to be silent or look the other way. Yet my intention is not to deliver solidarity on hot coals nor do I want to tiptoe around certain topics in an attempt to write cheerfully and agreeably, while the world is ailing. Mind you, we’re still battling a pandemic!

“It’s a clear manifestation of the suppressed anger and sadness we’re told to get over and stop harboring.” ~ KE Garland

Some of my American friends (black and white) I’d recently spoken to want justice, peace and acceptance of one another. I want all these things and more for you, and with you. As you might have witnessed protests around the world, all those against racism stand with you. Please take comfort in that.

Of course, I’ve been reading and inspired by how other writers are responding to these events. To name but a few, here are some writers that inspire:

So, on that note, I feel it’s the right time to take a blogging break and as I normally do every summer. I’ll be concentrating on writing and reading.

Be well, be safe and see you in August!