Journal

Don’t be afraid to feel.
Even when it hurts.

I once lived in a country where everything worked and life seemed easy. We worked hard, but we also had lots of time for play. Life went along smoothly. The hardest choices for young people growing up in that country seemed to be things like, should I study straight after school, or should I have a gap year traveling in Europe? Okay, I’m exaggerating. But, after a long period of living happily in that country I found myself yearning for home. If everything goes too smoothly, I wondered, does one start making problems where there really aren’t any? Or looking for excitement …

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Everyday Magic is going to Grahamstown…

For the first time, this year, I will be exhibiting artwork at the National Festival of the Arts in Grahamstown from 28 June to 8 July. The Festival is South Africa’s premier arts event, celebrating the arts in a variety of forms. While the main focus is on theatre, dance and music, visual art has an increasingly strong presence. This year for the first time, there is going to be a digital arts exhibition, Creativate. Not ready for that yet, but maybe next year… I will be exhibiting a range of my work – large and small, paintings and prints …

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Making a space for something new.
Letting New Year’s resolutions make themselves.

This year has been a long and difficult one for me. Albeit with lots of good things and high points. It was a relief to come to the end of the last semester, close my office door, and welcome the holidays. The busyness of Christmas is now over too, and here I am, a month of unplanned days ahead of me, ready for the new… So where to begin? I learnt long ago the value of letting something, especially something of value to me, go. Because, once I let it go, a new space opened up. I remember clearly sitting …

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Use your creativity to heal your pain
Art as therapy

I have just read an article, Healing Trauma by Nanice Ellis, which explained so clearly the background to something I have always believed, and frequently put into practice. That is, art, of any form, can be powerful medicine. Nanice describes how to heal trauma from a karmic perspective, but does not specifically advocate art as a form of therapy. So let me explain myself more clearly. Firstly, I think that, no matter what your spiritual belief system is, the main point in Nanice’s article about healing trauma holds true. Repressing emotional wounds, whether by medication, work, social activities, addictions, or …

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Why pretend?
Or, is social media encouraging us to be untruthful?

A year or two back, this beautiful sentiment (https://wearelightbeings.wordpress.com/2015/04/15/a-letter-from-albert-einstein-to-his-daughter-about-the-universal-force-which-is-love/) went viral on social media. In a letter purporting to be written by Albert Einstein to his daughter, the author explains how LOVE, a universal force, is the one and only answer we need in life. It turns out that this letter was NOT written by Einstein, and the actual author remains undiscovered (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/katharine-rose/the-truth-behind-einsteins-letter-on-the-universal-force-of-love_b_7949032.html). Which of course raises quite a few questions… Why pretend it was written by Einstein? Why is it necessary to add the weight of fame behind an idea for it to be accepted? What else on social media …

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When I can’t go there…
…one of my characters can!

As I said in my last post, my writing comes from both my life and experiences, and my imagination. One thing I love about the process is that I can have my characters visit my favourite places, even when I can’t… Monday morning dawned sunny and winter warm. Sam did not have any meetings scheduled for the morning, and nothing particularly urgent to attend to at the office. Once Patrick had left for work and the children had gone off to school, she decided to take herself for a walk along Cremorne Point. She needed to clear her head, and …

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Is she me?
Write what you know…

How do you decide what to write about? I don’t know how other people do it, but my stories are in a sense about me and my life. Just changed. Many of the elements come from who and what I know, and my own experiences. And then a lot comes straight from my imagination. For example, here is a scene from the story I am currently working on. Sam was due to meet Marius at half past twelve. Arriving at the beachfront early, with more than an hour to spare, she had plenty of time to explore. She parked her …

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Dogs are better than people
and here’s why…

Some of the most important people in my life are actually not people at all. I grew up with a dog and cats in the house. The odd bird, rabbit, hamster. A horse like many other teenage girls. But they were just animals. Animals I loved, but animals. Now, I have very special dogs in my life. Each has a distinct personality and individuality and a unique relationship with me. The most important is my eight year old, Chippy. Formally, he is Chippo, a highly pedigreed and properly trained German Shepherd. The odd thing is that I didn’t even want …

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So you want to be creative…
My belief about the nature of creativity

I never stopped to think about whether or not I was creative. Until people started saying things to me like “I wish I was creative like  you” or “I don’t have a creative bone in my body”. This was usually when they discovered I was a painter. Some people are probably innately more creative than others. But at the same time, if one wants to be creative, or develop one’s creativity, it can be done. Think of young children. When given coloured crayons and paper, they don’t stop to think about whether or not they can, they just draw. Then …

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To paint or write
The dilemma of having creative choices!

Last night I sat down at the table in my studio to write, page open where I had left off earlier, ready for the words to flow. There, on my left, was a huge canvas, taking up most of my studio space. The painting was particularly tempting because it was at a very interesting inbetween stage, starting to develop elements that were crying out for my attention. I needed to write, but last night I wanted to paint. It got me thinking. What is different between painting and writing? Both are forms of creative expression, but sometimes one form works …

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