Yes, I Can

A few interesting things happened today.

Firstly, there was an email from my Step-mum Jane in response to yesterday’s post reminding me to live in and enjoy the moment. And, to be honest, that was what I wasn’t doing. Especially the enjoyment part. I was rushing to get things finished so that I could go on to the next thing, allowing myself to be pulled here and there, and forgetting to enjoy the thing I was doing when I was doing it.

Yesterday, I was trying to paint a dinosaur claw emerging from a dinosaur egg. I just couldn’t get it right. It was too thick or too thin. It was the wrong shape. I did lots of them but nothing worked. So, this morning (while driving to work-shhh, don’t tell) I took a photo of my own hand with three fingers shaped like a claw. Then I got into work and forgot about it.

In the office, though, Vicky suggested, as part of her campaign to encourage me to meditate, that I listen to a podcast of an interview by Oprah Winfrey of Deepak Chopra. So, on my way to the stationers and on the way home for lunch, I did. I found it very interesting. Like a more sophisticated version of The Secret. And it reminded me that one of the things I tried out last year, for myself, in an effort to stay positive, was practice deliberate positive thinking. Saying to myself, for example, that I expect x to happen or that I will do y.

So, when I got home at lunchtime, I said to myself, I can draw a dinosaur claw emerging from an egg. I grabbed the nearest piece of paper and the nearest writing implement, took out the photo I had taken of my own hand, and drew the picture you see above. Not perfect but pretty well what I saw in my head and a lot better than anything I had done yesterday.

I’m in Letterkenny at the moment and on the way up I listened to a podcast called Start With This. Jane (again) suggested it to me on the strength of a write-up in the last edition of The Ticket. Although aimed at writers, the discussion could be applied to creativity in general. Some of the things I took from the episodes I listened to were the value of making creative practice a habit (which is what I’ve done with my resolution), that one improves with practice (self-evident, I think, but a useful thing to keep in mind when I find that something I’ve done is crap), and that one should try to execute as many of one’s ideas as one can (on the brainstorming principle that while an idea may be impractical or just not great, exploring it further may give rise to a better or more do-able one).

It’s now tomorrow and I have to be up early, so that’s it. For now.