Painting My Days

1. Innovation is a word I’d forgotten

Now that I’m back in the business world, innovation is a word I hear everyday. Though the word is not new, I’d almost forgotten and had surely misplaced it. Thank goodness, for literary innovators such as Emily Dickinson, who continue to inspire my writing.

2. On avoiding tough conversations

If vulnerability is the birthplace of love, why is it so difficult to embrace? I’m currently listening to an audiobook, Dare to Lead by Brené Brown. Man, there are so many takeaways from this book.

3. Why is Gregory Porter’s “Painted on Canvas” top on my playlist?

Simply because this song is music therapy for my autumn soul. For me, autumn is a season for manifesting. That is, it’s my most productive season in terms of creative writing. So, we’ll see what fruits I reap in spring. 🙂

4. What colour are your days?

So, after listening to the song above, what colour would you paint your day(s)? Me, I choose the colour of love. And of course, you always check how I painted the poppy below with a poem, Red Blooms, that appears in the chapbook From the Depths of Darkness.

Poppy illustration by MagicLoveCrow

5. A strong sense of self

“It takes nothing to join the crowd. It takes everything to stand alone.” ~ Misha Nonoo

Hope you’re enjoying the season. May you be inspired you to find your own misplaced word, paint your days with whatever colour you choose or take a risk and start that tough conversation!

Khaya Ronkainen
Khaya Ronkainen is a writer, poet and creative professional. Her blog focuses on all things poetry and creative nonfiction.


  1. 1.) Ha! I work in a quirky office where they seem to have a buzzword of the week. Innovation is a perennial favorite.
    2.)I’ve had really rewarding conversations that required me to be vulnerable. But I’ve also had times when being vulnerable got me hurt pretty badly. The other person or persons involved have to be as committed to that kind of conversation as you are, or it all goes south pretty fast.
    3.) I get more creative around this time, but mostly because the kids are in school 😀 Thank you for introducing me to such a sweet song.
    4.) Hmm… I think they’d be a blur of lots of colors as I’ve been scrambling to get a lot of things done this last week. I have a big work project I’m taking on, the Jewish high holidays, and visiting my son at college to juggle.
    5.) I am definitely pushing myself to take risks in the near future! LOL, I need to think of good treats for myself when I get them done.

  2. 1. Innovation (or, more accurately in my case, trying uncommon things) has been on my mind lately. So… I, too, am grateful for those who came before us and continue to inspire our muses. May we do them proud.

    2. I’m completely deficient at the subtle art of avoiding tough conversations (very likely because I love poking danger in the ribs *cough*).

    3. I shall give “Painted on Canvas” a try…

    4. Red and Black, always red and black… but they always mean different things (to me).

    5. Misha Nonoo doesn’t only have one of the coolest names, her words are also so true. So, grab the toughies by the throat, I shall. 😊

  3. Emily Dickinson is great. What a fantastic inspiration to have!

    And I absolutely adore autumn. That’s awesome how you always feel so productive during it. Hope this season leads to many creative accomplishments for you! ^_^

  4. Autumn is such a great season, I love it.
    The water and sky in the picture is quite beautiful.

    Wishing you a Happy Autumn, and good October days.

    All the best Jan

  5. You made me laugh with innovation being a perennial favourite in your quirky office. 😀 As for vulnerability, I agree with you. People concerned should, at least, be willing to participate in that conversation. I’m glad you enjoyed the song, and happy writing! It would be interesting to see the canvas of a multitasker, good luck with the work project. Ah, nothing motivates like a treat or reward to keep pushing. I can’t wait to see the smile on your face, when you’ve taken that leap.

  6. I think a wonderful idea to try uncommon things. Even though in your case, there’s nothing common about your creative work. I’m in awe of the different ways you write and share your poetry, especially the stitching of words.

    Lol with your deficiency. 😀 We all could do with it. As for “Painted on Canvas”, I find the song really inspiring. Hope you enjoy.

    By the way, red and black are my favourite colours too, though in recent years I also appreciate the beauty of the muted colours. And thumbs up for grabbing toughies by the throat!

  7. Thanks Heather. Dickinson is one of the greatest, and continues to inspire.

    Autumn is a season that’s easy to fall in love with. I wish you a wonderful one as well.

  8. Thank you so much, Jan. Wishing you a wonderful season too, filled with different aromas of all the delights you produce from your delicious recipes. 🙂

  9. Great post Khaya! I’m taking risks at my new job! Actually, I am really stepping out of my comfort zone! It’s a good thing! Happy Autumn my friend! Big Hugs!

  10. I’m so happy to hear this, Stacy. We all should step out of our comfort zones and grow, whether personally or professionally. Brilliant job, my friend. Happy Autumn & Big Hugs your way!

  11. Interesting assortment of random!

    I’ll begin with Number Two… while enjoying Number Three in the background… so, I have in the past month or so been doing “Thoughtful Thursday” posts… but as soon as I seem to touch on anything slightly controversial (like the myth of climate change and the toxicity of CO2) the likes, comments and daily visits drop off sharply! I often wonder, in this enforced PC world that mass media and political agendas have shaped, if any debate is possible? Identity politics is ruining free speech and decency… never mind civil interaction!

    OK… it’s autumn so I’m painting my days with diverse creativity. I’ve just, in the last few days, taking up the paint brushes again. I need to move forward with a few different projects… because, without creativity I will stagnate and become affected by the winter blues. Also… I am rediscovering my Faith… knowing that my belief will make a better man of me… more gentle, less likely to criticise without first pausing to reflect!

    I will add that YouTube has many advantages… I now watch want I want to watch… and learn about things I want to turn into projects! And, then I’m still writing… hopefully confronting a few of the issues mentioned above… as I’m compiling a collection of non-fiction… to likely be called “True Stories and Other Essays”.

    So… innovation? I think I do take risks… I chance baring my soul (to a degree) and I chance failure and criticism because at least I attempt to do and say things I believe in! (Winston Churchill was known to quip something about enemies…)
    Practically… I just this morning had an idea to go on a mixed-media trip… using charcoal and paints. My daughter and husband are remodelling their bedroom. The feature wall behind their headboard is now green… “Springbok Green”, I’ve dubbed it. Seemingly randomly chosen. Anyway, they’ve asked me to do a piece for above the bed! (To tell you what, I’m rather chuffed and honoured!!) So… it will either be a canvas print of one of my photos… or a painting. Hence the need to work on a few painting ideas. But, then another thought struck… I have played with a number if images… all cropped to a set size of “9 x 16”. So, why don’t I display all these photos over at my blog… and hope people comment!? (Page under development as we speak! – first draft completed – page is titled Photo Print Ideas.)

    OK… that is enough… for now! Thanks for always providing thought provoking content and challenging ideas. As for point number five… just be true to your beliefs… and not afraid to be bold in expressing opinions, in a dignified and sober way!

    God Bless!
    PS – I don’t visit here often enough… please forgive! 😉

  12. PPS – Please correct the bad boo-boo in the Churchill sentence… *known*… TA! 🥴😵

  13. Hi AJ, I’m glad to hear that I provide thought-provoking content. And even more glad with your in-depth response. That’s one of the things I love about blogging, we can have deeper conversations than on other social media platforms. And I couldn’t help but smile, when I read you were listening to Porter’s song while writing this response. See, inspiration is all around us!

    Regarding your “Thoughtful Thursday” posts and slightly controversial topics, as I mentioned on this post we (gross generalization) tend to avoid tough conversations. I was referring to a different set of conversations though. Nonetheless, when it comes to controversial topics (and I speak for myself) it’s not about identity politics but politics in general. I prefer to have such conversations face to face (and even over a glass of wine) rather than on the world wide web. Because misunderstandings, when it comes to such topics often lead to all sorts of huffing and puffing; something I certainly don’t have energy for in this space, at least. 😀

    I had a glimpse at your wonderful paintings on your blog long time ago, and I also remember one of your impressive short story in your collection about some “artist”. So, I’m really happy to hear you’ve picked up your paint brush again and rediscovering your Faith. It’s an awesome way to banish winter blues. And oh, your non-fiction book “True Stories and Other Essays” sounds intriguing, I’ll keep my ears peeled. I’ve got a feeling I’ll enjoy it immensely.

    As for failure and criticism, I think if we are not willing to take a chance, we simply don’t grow and remain bored or satisfied in our comfort zones. So, kudos to you for taking risks. And the Springboks better win on Saturday, if you are planning a “mixed-media trip” in your daughter’s bedroom…lol!

    Thanks once again AJ for taking time to read and comment. I appreciate your visit. Now popping over to your blog to see the inspiring photos.

  14. Thanks Khaya! I’m now sitting here with a smile on my dial… because I managed to make you smile too! Yes, those Boks better do it for us… or else, we’ll go beat them up!! 😉

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