Hyper or Creative?

In order to be successful, do we need to be static, rigid and keep going in the same direction, or can we deviate, over and over and enjoy the success of it all?

work in progress – authors own….

When I was a girl in school my art teacher told me that I was rubbish at paining. I had no reason to doubt her. I certainly was no picasso! I did like art class though. I’m not sure if it was because there was no real academia involved and it was more like a place to express rather than to ‘retain information’.

I actually really enjoyed school (until I was 15) which I know, is unusual for most. I wasn’t the most academic, I was middle of the road, average, but I enjoyed learning and seeing my friends.

Art and P.E were my favourite subjects. I quite liked English too because of the story telling more then the command and structure of the English language. I was a bit of a day dreamer when it came to other topics, like history, Geography or Maths. I did enough to get by and pass exams, but my interest in them was minimal.

There was a certain freedom in sports, art and English. A freedom to explore and do. It was practical, and allowed me to construct things in my own way. Everything we do, I guess, is down to effort, but also motivation.

Fast forward 40 0dd years and I find I still like to express myself or lose myself through art and writing. The only Physical exercise I do now is walking, but I love to do that, especially down at my local beach.

When I paint, I can get lost for hours just trying out new things. My art teacher would probably still tell me I am rubbish, but it is all subjective really. I am still no picasso, but I bet I get about as much enjoyment out of it as he did.

When we start out in our working lives, we are supposed to have a career in mind of what we would like to do/be. I certainly have had many jobs since leaving school. From bar maid to office worker. From paralegal to Beauty therapist and from volunteer to Social Care Worker. I changed ‘career’ many times.

The success of it all for me, was more about the getting there, rather than staying there. My personality is that I get bored easily. I have always enjoyed learning and I have always enjoyed ‘doing’. It is the ‘staying’ that I find hard to do.

The only thing I have ever stayed at long term is being a parent. It’s the hardest job in the world, but I have been a mother to 16 children over the last 32 years (not all of them were my biological children – I am also a foster carer)!

I am a flitter. I flit from this to that and I like it. I think it makes life interesting. So for the last couple of years I started to paint. I have done a few things that I even surprised myself, in that they were actually quite good. Good enough to hang on walls.

I have now moved onto painting furniture too and I am loving it, out in my workshop I paint. As I wait for a layer of paint to dry on a piece of furniture, I take a canvas and I paint a layer of paint of that and see what transpires. I flit between the two until I am happy that they are ‘ready’.

My friend jokes and tells me I am hyper. She is a mental health professional….. I laugh and tell her I am creative. It makes me wonder though, about how we view people. There are the great artists in the world, but can they keep house, boil an egg and hands on raise a family….. In order for them to be so brilliant it takes time and talent. Just look at Michelangelo, sculpter, painter, poet and architect. He had to dedicate all his time and efforts into those crafts to be so magnificent. He certainly was a genius with a talent.

The joe bloggs such as me, has neither the genius nor the talent or even the dedication to pursue a ‘career’ as an artist, but I do have the motivation to be creative in my own little way for as long as the joy of it allows, before the boredom sets in. I, nor God only knows how long it will last.

I also have another new creation which I am embarking on. I have married my photographs with names (Irish/gaelic) and made beautiful cards. You can find them at @taylormadecardcreations. I will post an example below.

Again, this is me being creative and going off in another direction. Am I hyper? I don’t think so, I think I am just not static. When I have ideas, I like to try them out. Whether they are good, bad or indifferent. Whether they are objective or subjective, the point is, I give it a go and while I am enjoying the journey of it, I keep going.

I say, it is OK to take a career and do it all of your life, if you enjoy it and it fulfills and satisfies your needs. I also say it is OK to deviate, move away, branch out, try something new, so long as you enjoy it and it satisfies and fulfills your needs….. and is legal!

I have met so many creative people who didn’t think they were creative or good enough. I am at the top of the queue, but then I realised, it is not about being good enough for other people to enjoy your work, it is about being good enough for you to enjoy your work first and if others like it, then that is a bonus.

So whether you are hyper or creative….. keep going and keep ‘doing’.

Pretty things….

volunteering in a charity shop feeds my addiction, but on the cheap. I’m a shopaholic….. apparently!

birds of a feather, flock together……

Photo – authors own…

Apparently I have an addiction. It is not really harming anyone. I don’t get violent or abusive. I don’t fall about the place, forget my name or sell my soul to the devil. I haven’t wanted to feed my addiction that badly……..yet!

I am a shopaholic, there, I have said it out loud. Well, I have merely repeated what my husband has said I am. Thankfully, he supports me in this addiction of mine, and often times, he joins me.

If anything, I am helping instead of harming. It all started with the little things, but predominantly, the pretty things.

I am a volunteer in my local Oxfam in Wexford town and proud of that. I have been there over 5 years now, sorting out the books and what a great book selection we have there – just saying, if you fancy popping in and picking up your next read!

At first, it started with the books, some for me, some for my children and others for my grandchildren. Fiction, non fiction, autobiographies, you name it i’ve bought it. Lots of them look great on my book cases. Lots of them I have not read yet, but will, one day, I promise.

At the end of my shift I then browse in the shop, or when I am taking photo’s for our instagram page (check it out @oxfamwexford). It is then that my addiction really kicks in and I can buy anything from a hair brooch, to a high end hand bag. Pottery to a pretty painting or a special vase to a sleek sari. You name it, if its pretty, I will most likely buy it. I am one of our best customers and no, I don’t get nor want a discount. It is for charity, after all!

It is not just in Oxfam that my addiction takes place, it is any shop at all. If I see something pretty I will get a ‘figary’ and buy it, whether I need it or not. I tell myself, it will look nice there, or I can use it for this or I can give it to so and so for a gift or I can paint this and use it as that.

I do it all, I buy it, use it, put it in a cupboard, give it away, upcycle it, sell it, replace it, donate it and so the cycle continues.

Everything in life is not black and white and thank god, but those colours are cetainly not ‘pretty’. They have their uses, of course they do, like a blackboard and a whiteboard are very useful, but they don’t have the word (board/bored) in there for no reason! I am not opposed to them at all, but sometimes a splash of colour, a shimmery sparkle, a sleek and soft texture, a hand painted or hand crafted piece of art, pottery or otherwise, is just something lovely to look at, admire or use. It can lift your spirits the same as a lovely colourful bouquet of flowers, freshly cut or shop bought, it doesn’t matter.

The point is, if something lifts your spirits, and no one comes to any harm in the process and in fact you are also helping a cause, can that really be a bad thing? I don’t think so.

The only time it becomes a bad thing is when I run out of places to store my stash because my other problem is hoarding stuff, not being able to let go easily, and I know I am not alone in this one. Most of my friends and family are the same. So in that case, isn’t hoarding like an addiction too?

Why do we get so emotionally attached to things? Its a strange cycle because we think, oh I can’t give that away, or, so and so gave it to me, or I wore it on our first date or it was a gift (but I hate it) so I must keep it. Like it is some sort of security blanket. Yet when we let go and give it away, clear it out, donate it, declutter, we feel better, not worse. I have some clothes in my wardrobe that are over 30 years old. I have college books and papers that are over 20 years old too, why do I keep them!

I am starting to get a little better at being ruthless and getting rid of, giving away or donating things and I always feel great when I do. But watch this space, because it won’t be empty for long, before I fill it up again.

Back to work tomorrow…. Oxfam, brace yourself!

Fundamentally…

My Book Club Prompts, which I have put together and decided to blog it too

Prompts:

extreme pacifist

Eating in eating out

How to grow roses

There are times when we have to decide exactly the type of person we are or hope to be.   It can be a truly conscious decision, but we may not realise that until we are faced with something that can fundamentally affect us.

As children we ‘just are’ until we are moulded and then we mimic.  We have our own nature and then we may or may not be nurtured, depending on the family that we grow up in.   As we continue to develop and mimic we then begin to make our own decisions and our nature may become more prevalent. 

What if we have a nature that is bad or evil can we decide to change that and decide to be or do good. 

What if our nature is good and saint like, can we do things which are bad even murderous?

It depends……

Like most things in life, whether to eat in or eat out, it’s a choice but depends on motivation, money and desire.  It depends on circumstance and context.

When I was younger, living at home as a teenager, I would do any amount of housework, but I hated gardening, with a passion.

Fast forward a few years later to buying and owning my own home and I suddenly want to learn how to grow roses and fill my garden with pretty things.  I buy books and I educate myself how to do things I never thought I had any interest in. 

As we grow, we build.  We build ourselves, our opinions, our knowledge, our wants and desires.  Sometimes though, we just conform to the social rules.  Conformity is good as it gives us social rules and so avoids chaos in a lot of situations, like traffic lights.  We know when to stop and when to go, otherwise we would be all crashing into each other, and that would not be good.

We conform to the rules at home, at school, at work, but what about conforming to orders?  What if conforming to orders goes against your beliefs.  Should a person’s sense of self and their beliefs matter more than conforming to orders?

If you were told you had to go to war and kill another person would you do it because you have been told to?  If it went against everything you believed in, would you do it?

Desmond Doss was such a man whose belief and faith in God was to not harm another person.  He was conscripted during world war II, but refused to kill anyone.  He was a conscientious objector and he was taunted and badly treated by his superiors and his peers, but still, he held true to his beliefs. 

He went into battle with not a gun or grenade, but a bible in his hand and faith in his heart.   He was awarded medals of Honour for his bravery for saving over 75 soldiers, who would have otherwise died.  Laying wounded on the battlefield he ran and picked them up, carried them and carried them down a ridge to safety.  Hacksaw Ride is a movie made about this man.  Some may say he was foolish, some may have called him a coward, but he was a hero.  He was an extreme pacifist and because of it, he saved many lives instead of taking them.

I guess we all have to choose how we live our lives the best we can, without denying our true beliefs, whilst at the same time, not causing any harm to others.   I am not saying we can go through life unharmed or without ever feeling hurt, or indeed without ever hurting anyone.  That is inevitable on a small scale, but the big fundamental things, we must hold true, so long as we are not wilfully or maliciously hurting anyone.

Fly

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Fly….

When they know best

Give the test, and let them fly

Know your limits

Don’t give in to it, just let them fly

It’s not neglect

But disrespect, so let them fly

It’s time to grow

Seeds to sow, let them fly

Rites of passage

Time to ravage, let them fly

Blame is the game

Burnt by the flame, still, let them fly

Time to go

You know it’s so, just let them fly

Try new things

Adventure rings, time to fly

Take no prisoners

People diss’n us, just let them fly

Open and honest

See the trees in the forest, and let them fly

Love is strong

Still holding on, but let them fly

Conflict and turmoil

In this crazy world, learn to fly

Hearts will sing

Spread your wings, and fly fly fly

©Carrie

Feeling like forgetting

The explorers……. photo – authors own

It’s time to go back outside

And begin some sort of normal

Go to town and buy some goods

But still we must be formal

But don’t shake hands or give a hug

It’s simply not the time

Feeling like forgetting

Well it would be quite the crime

We could still pass the virus

Quite unbeknown to us

If we become complacent

It would cause such a fuss

But how much longer must we wait

To get back where we were

I feel like I’m forgetting

It’s all become a blur

Embracing hugs and gentle kisses

Upon my grand kids heads

I feel they won’t remember

I don’t want them to forget

Or be afraid to go outside

And live with wild abandon

Discover the beauty of living free

Just do things, kind of random

I’m sure they feel like they’re forgetting

How to just  go out and play

Lets hope the time will be soon

But I’m afraid, it’s not today

The haunting

Genre :   Horror

Action :   Washing a car

Word   :   Fame

NYC 100 word microfiction challenge

The smell of sulphur filled the room and woke her up.  It was pitch black.  She hurriedly turned on the bedside lamp, knocking over the famed naked photo of herself washing a car.

The stench was putrid now.  She moved tentatively towards the closet, goosebumps pricked her skin. An ice cold breeze swept by her face.  ‘Ahhh’ she screamed as the door flung open slamming her to the floor.  Scrambling to get up, screaming and punching the air, she was silenced.  Cold hands around her throat, eyes bulging.

Mayday….

Mayday Mayday can you hear me

We are a nation in distress

We are being savaged by a virus and

We’re all just doing our best

Well some, more than others they

Show up time after time

They are the doctors and the nurses

Working on the front line

We are spared the horror

 and dread that they must face

safely locked away

 in our own special place

But there can lie another terror

One you may not see

The scars and wounds will

Long be etched in our memory

Some at home, are far from safe

Not just from the virus

Another fear may reside in the form of domestic violence

No escape, where can they go

To seek safe sanctuary

Mayday Mayday please, can you hear me

What about the clusters, in our nursing homes

Distanced from friends and families, feeling quite alone

The PPE, well where is it, to keep the staff all safe

Platitudes and promises won’t keep them from the grave

Businesses and mortgages spiralling out of control

The fear of death and the fear of debt, new commodities to own

We look to our world leaders and put in this request

Save us from this burden at humanities behest

Let us come together and strive to each help each other

No profit or loss should be accounted

For He aint heavy, he’s my brother

Mayday Mayday can you please hear me

We are a world in distress

We need an intervention to help clear up this mess

We shall learn to be kinder in treating our fellow man

And strip things back and start again before it all began

Let’s view with eyes that see despair and decide not to fight

Take hold of the power and use it best to set the world right

This virus has shown it doesn’t care if you are rich or poor

It can travel through any nation and any status at all

The graves we dig are all the same depth when it’s time to go

Followed by grief and loss and despair, hearts full of sorrow

Help ease those sad and fearful hearts and put in a better plan

Cos the world is just the world if it doesn’t have man

Let’s not destroy it or tear it apart for it is a beautiful place

The seas, the rivers the mountains and sky, all so full of grace

and when we finally get through this we need to show we care

By reflecting and by doing and by making the world fair

No more looking down or even feeling entitled 

Peace and power can go hand in hand 

With ambition that’s unbridled

To heal the world and fellow man and stop being so greedy

Take the wealth and hand it out and help  prop up the needy

Mayday Mayday,  are you listening,  can you help us out

If we don’t heed, what we’re doing

Then it was all for now’t

Breathe…

Breathe, said the river as it whispered to the sea
Something is happening, the cowslip is growing free
Bees are feasting on the broom, a delicious yellow delight
Happy in their busy dance, what a wondrous sight
Birds surveying the landscape in noisy melody
Observing all the changes as he flies from tree to tree
And the mountains echo as the hawk and eagle soar
The beasts, the deer’s the elephants, gave a triumphant roar
Breathe whispered the estuary as it washed into the sea
Look at the fishes dancing, oh so merrily
The crabs the sharks the jellyfish, maintain their habitat
No longer caught in the destruction of man, and all that came with that
but as the mist is lifting, like a bride to be’s veil
We see the glorious beauty, of a world that never fails
Just as mother nature, intended it to be
Her creation will provide enough for the likes of you and me
For a while she was raging and her arteries were blocked
Choking, coughing spewing and dying with toxic shock
So breathe said the wind, as it sent out clean fresh air
The people get the message and now they’re feeling scared
Let’s hope they remember the devastation caused
As they watch the planet breathe again, when they were put on pause

The Oscars…..

Not many of us expect to be talking about our ‘final wishes’ at a young age. That is usually for the very rich or the very old, who make provisions for what is to happen to them at ‘the end’. This pandemic may give us all a different view on that now.

I was thinking about the Oscars, I don’t know why, because I never watch them fully, but I do sometimes watch the edited highlights.  I watch as the camera pans to the celebrity that has been nominated, all of them tentatively smiling, looking coy or bashful, but hopeful that they will win the Oscar.  One of them will read the speech which they had prepared, in the hope that they might win.  So many potential speeches waiting to be read, full of thanks and praise for many, including their loved ones

We are currently going through a pandemic; this time it has the full attention of the world.  When it was the Bird Flu, or SARS or even Ebola, the whole world didn’t quite take note as they are now.  I myself, carried on as normal at that time, thinking ‘it won’t happen to me’ and I am sure there are many people who thought the way I did then.

This time it is a different story.  This time the virus is spreading like wildfire and like other viruses, it does not discriminate against age, sex, race, disability, marital status or religion.  This one is abiding by the Equality Act and each of us must take note.

We have all become accustomed, at this stage, to know what ‘Social distancing’ ‘wash your hands’ lockdown’ and PPE mean.   It has become part of our everyday dialect and vocabulary.  My 3-year-old beautiful grand-daughter calls it the ‘Virusy’ and wonders when it will go away so that she can give me a hug again.  How I long for it to be over now, so I can give her and my 3 other grandchildren a big squeezey hug.  I cannot answer her with certainty, no-one can.   Instead we have to ‘make do’ with the occasional ‘window visit’.

What I do know is that the longer people flout the rules and don’t engage in social distancing, washing hands, remaining in lockdown or having the required PPE, the longer this virus will dance with us and pick us off one by one and none of us will know for sure, if we will survive it. 

From healthcare workers to people on the street, Actors, models and even the UK Prime minster, young, old and in between people are contracting this virus and people are dying.  It’s like a lottery, people are chosen at random but there are no winners, only losers.  Sure lots of people will get over it and survive, but with what long lasting damage to their lungs?  Others, not so lucky to survive.

This brings me to the Oscars.  What if you get it?  You don’t know if you will survive it.   You have to be prepared.  You have to have your ‘speech’ ready.  You have to tell your loved ones, not only that you love them, that you will miss them, that you don’t want to leave them, you have to tell them what they have to do with you, if you do indeed, leave them. 

Some families only think about having to bury their elderly relatives, but this virus can take any of us and we need to let our families know, what and how we would like to happen to us at the end.  Whether that is to be cremated or buried.  Whether it is to be repatriated home if you live/work in another country or indeed which graveyard to be buried in.  Is this morbid, no I don’t think so.  It is necessary.  Not everyone has made a Will.  Talk to your loved ones, let them know what you would like to happen to you, ‘just in case’ you are the one. 

Write your closing speech.  Your speech of acceptance, in the event that it is you.  Write it in a letter.   Tell your parents, your siblings, your children, your grandchildren, your friends.  Tell whomever is dear to you, what they mean to you, in your closing speech.  Be prepared.  You may never get this virus and the letter will then never have to be read out, just like the nominees at the Oscars, they go home with their unread speeches if they didn’t win.  You get to keep your letter if you are lucky enough to not contract this virus.

In the meantime, follow the rules to slow the spread and flatten the curve.  Keep our Healthcare workers as safe as possible, by staying home.  Allow them to not to have to be crushed by an overwhelming workload, in these extraordinary circumstances, and often, without the proper PPE.   Give them some respect.  If you do not stay home and follow the rules you are risking their lives as well as your own.  They already have enough of a burden to bear, being in the midst of this pandemic and watching people suffer and die on a daily basis.  Please do not add to their burden unnecessarily.

Take care, stay safe, stay home and give your ‘speech’ some thought as well as your wishes.