Seeking


Sometimes one just has to start typing to get the words out, whatever they may be, even if that which appears is not what one was aiming for. Was getting at. A possible (familiar) slosh-sloshing of the mundane, a throwing-out-there of dampened-spirits thoughts about the low-ness of one’s mood contrasting with the ‘how high does it reach?’ bright blue-ness of the sky outside, or a slow spitting-out of the inability to write what you want to because your mind is awash with worry – a heavy, heart-weighing-down worry – and how you don’t know how to circle around it – light feet - without mentioning it. Without it being all that you mention.

Action does not always produce results.

A hive, this mind, of sudden rushes, and shrink-back-from loud noises, bang-banging with an urgency to grab one’s attention. To here. There. The silence of that which I want to share, but can’t find the words for echoing - drumming - loudest of all.


Community. I give time, and I make conversation, and I check in because those connections are what lift these wet-squib (at times) spirits. Are what breathe life-giving air into my sullied lungs, my aching bones, and replace my furrowed brow with split-my-face smiles.

You've heard it, I know, but it can never be spoken of enough.

I repeat, replay, rewind and go back over again and again because that is the message I wish to reverberate – with a golden hum – through the spread-across-the-oceans sky that we link our reach-out-through-our-screen hands below.

There is an underneath-my-eyelids life that flickers, in muted tones, playing back scenes of moments in which I give to my community something that benefits (all of us) in a way that I can’t quite grasp in my right-now mind. Not yet.

But, to start…

A collaboration. A reach-out and let’s do this together.

#talesofseptember


Her feet slice through the thick-with-children’s-excitement air

Head thrown back, a world topsy-turvys

The sky fading to brown, the earth a whited-d out expanse

And soft clouds fall at her feet, cushioning the afternoon.


AND NOW, TO YOU:

Let us catch up, my friends - share with me some thoughts about your days just gone by.


NEW: A weekly letter - TINY TALES - dedicated to all the words I didn't spill over here!

Words from this moment, Maria Popova, and about our weekend


I open the window because the inside-the-room air feels stale, and in need of a little pick-me-up after a night closed-in, but that which meets it is chilly, its personality lending itself to that of autumn mornings, brushing aside the fact that we’ve yet to – we never really do – have a proper (days and weeks of) summer. I inhale, doing my best to fill my stuffy nostrils with some of its fresh welcome. Outside a bus rumbles down the hill, the noise meeting my ears with a mechanical clunk, briefly overshadowing the steady hum of car-made whispers that sit atop the morning, steady and familiar. I watch him walk, flicking a cigarette. Shoulders a little hunched, his arms swing with an awareness that suggests discomfort. The clock, 7:42. I pick at a hitched nail. Another bus.


I struggle with the info I (often) read about how blogging about more than (one) thing is bad/not interesting/means I won't have an audience.
Because, that's not true. At least, I've found it not to be, via my own community (who supports and engages).
We must remember not all the advice offered is for everyone. If you're sharing to sell, sure. But if you're sharing to share, don't worry!
So, just start. Because if there's one thing I do agree with, it's that we need to face that fear, push through, and give what we want a go.
Oh, and I'm not suggesting we ignore all the advice, just that we need to filter it to find what is useful for us. Because, overwhelm!

My early morning thoughts, tweeted after I listened to something that made my ‘personal blogger of all the things’ insides sigh. Responses were offered with (at least, what felt like) nods, appreciating tones, and mutterings in agreement.

And then these words were found (with great thanks to Louise for sharing the interview with me), spoken by Maria Popova, about the advice she’d give to someone just starting a blog, now she knows all she does about doing so (and with 7 million readers a month, well, I’ll take what she has to say and bloody well run with it).

"Write for yourself. 
If you want to create something meaningful, and fulfilling, something that lasts, and speaks to people, the counter-intuitive but really, really necessary thing is that you must not write for people. The second you begin to write for or to a so-called audience – and this applies equally to podcasting, and filmmaking, and photography, and dance, and any field of creative endeavour – the second you start doing it for an audience you’ve lost the long game, because creating something that is rewarding and sustainable over the long run requires, most of all, keeping yourself excited about it, which in turn, of course, requires only doing things you yourself are interested in. That enthuse you.
...So, to distil, write for yourself. Stay interested. Don’t let yourself think of what you do as content, or be bullied into viewing it, much less treating it, as such. And lastly, perhaps the the best advice on writing ever given, which applies just as much to blogging, courtesy of Susan Sonntag –
"Love words, agonize over sentences. And pay attention to the world.”

Saturday we went outside (really outside, like, into the Peaks and that) and had what was one of the most rewarding experiences for quite some time (if not, of all time). I screen-grabbed instructions of a walk to follow, we parked up (albeit, at the 'end' of the walk, which meant looping down to the 'start' of it before we could begin) in the village of High Bradfield, the boy popped his wellies on (because we didn't think his brown brogues would stand up to the occasion), and we...stopped. Before we even began. Because the image you see way way up there is what we were greeted with. A vast (for miles) green expanse decorated with hills, dotted with sheep, against a backdrop of a blue-and-white sky, all tickled by a breeze topped with laughing, wedding-day voices.

You can't get much better.


And now, to you:

What do you think of the advice we're so often showered with nowadays - have you used it and found it to be of great help, or do you tend to shy away and share as and when, and what, you want? I'd love to hear your take on it!


NEW: A weekly letter - TINY TALES - dedicated to all the words I didn't spill over here!

An Escape

Birds Singing in the Morning

And with but only one day behind me, my mood altered.

The walls - albeit bigger, brighter (dotted with flashes of not-my-choice-in-paintings colour), and whiter than those I had often been stuck between over the past few months - seemed to fold and crumble on top of me, pushing the I-was-excited-yesterday air out of my lungs, and causing a light-headed-and-heavy-hearted collection of hours, and minutes, and slow-ticking-seconds to reach inside, deep into my bones, and aching ‘what’s happening here?’ joints, and pull out the energy that had breathed life into my being a mere 24-if-that hours before, throwing it’s gasping, 'you can do this' mass at my feet.

Unwanted torrents of flash-flood-my-body downpours threatened to soak me from the inside out...submerge my spirits. I became overwhelmed, drowning in a sea of thoughts so malicious-of-force that their dark waves knocked me off my feet, time and time again, dragging me further into the blackened by night-during-day silence that engulfed me…filling my ears with a thick, unforgiving sound of nothing-and-nowhere.


There is an emptiness that only one’s self-sabotaging, 'you aren’t fit for anything' thoughts can bring, and the feelings of loneliness that, too, can swell - pushing at the edges of one’s body and mind - all-too-easily paralyse with its bitter-to-your-tongue taste that spreads - like sweep-them-up-wildfires - through your veins, taking up space that only fear knows how to settle in.

One can either, in those dark, despair-riddled moments, give in to the cascades of slap-against-skin rivers or grapple, with all one’s might, to stop the spread before the grip becomes too tight to handle.

We try for the latter. I did what I could….I shared.

And, the response? It stopped it.


When the new day began – offering up match-my-heart-beat-flutters of sunshine-and-its-shadows pairings, that lit up the morning with their ‘things are going to be alright, my friend’ encouragement – a smile returned, stirring up a hunger for the outdoors that I greedily fed…

With wildflowers, and children’s play-in-the-park laughter. With prickle-my-skin heat and thirsty-work (uphill) walking. With yellow-stoned walls, and red-bricked buildings. With the bang-banging of my drum to the beat of my own, set-off-by-the-sunshine inner-rhythm, matched by my ever enthusiastic ‘let’s go over there!’ feet. With views of rolling hills, and industry-for-miles factories, and an (almost) unrivalled-in-beauty bright, blue-as-it-comes sky. With the smell of home-cooked grub, a stuffed-to-the-brim bap the size of my two fists, and a cold can of fizzy pop. With fluffy, larger-than-you’ve-ever-seen giant black rabbits, and leafy-green veg that made one daydream of land-owning, and garden-growing (with silver bells…).

It started with you, and it ended with Mother Nature. The most brilliant of combinations.


And now, to you:

Where do you escape to, if needs must?