Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Negotiating with the Muse: Sometimes I Say to a Poem

In an ideal world I would get up at 10, after a leisurely read in bed, scribbling notes in my journal as I read. Then after a lingering bath, I would paint naked with my hands and eat chocolate. A steamy shower would be required afterwards, which may or may not require the attendance of a dexterous lover. Before sleeping the afternoon away, a walk barefoot on the grass, a divine dinner, and then writing fuelled by the midnight oil from ten until 2, or 3am.

But now I am a mama, my creative territory looks a lot different, and my creativity must flow in more constrained circumstances.

I must negotiate with the muse.

One of the quotes that jumped out to me when compiling, The Rainbow Way (which I have just sent off to the publishers!) was Erin Darcy of Starving Artist Ink who referred to her creative muse as a hard mistress, who she had to renegotiate terms with as a mother and insist on no more late night ravaging! Something most of us creative parents can TOTALLY relate to.

I have recently fallen head over heels in love with the work of Hafiz, a thirteenth century Persian Sufi poet. I was reading his book, The Gift, this morning when I came across this poem all about negotiating with the muse, which made me belly laugh (and feel just like a laughing buddha!)

Laughing Buddha. Image from www.heidicries.com

Sometimes I Say to a Poem

Sometimes I say to a poem,
"Not now, 
Can't you see I am bathing!"
But the poem usually doesn't care
And quips,

"Too bad, Hafiz,
No getting lazy - 
You promised God you would help out
And He just came up with this 
New tune."

Sometimes I say to a poem
"I don't have the strength to wring another drop
Of the Sun."

And the poem will often 

By climbing onto a bar-room table: 

Then lifts its skirt, winks, 
Causing the whole sky to 

Sound familiar?!

How has your creative practice, and relationship with the muse had to change as kids, or work has come along? And how do you like to work, given an ideal world? Do share!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Joy Pockets

This week's pockets of joy in the midst of mundanity finds me sitting at the airport. No kids. A proper grown up, heading off to a professional conference in London, trips to galleries and museums, dinners with long-time friends and full nights sleep await me. Not to mention an iPad loaded with ebooks to keep me company. This weekend is one enormous joy pocket ( thank you Mr DA for holding the fort and letting me go xxxx).

More super endorsements for The Rainbow Way. And a VERY big one promised!
Looking forward to being "Lucy from Juno" rather than MUUUUUUUM
An impromptu West Cork holiday last weekend on a sleep over Under Rainbows.
My girls loving exploring the fort at Kinsale, I nearly didn't take them in cos I thought it was a "boys" thing
Merrily's phrase:"I'm true"
A hefty Amazon delivery of new books to devour
Seeds sprouting in the kitchen window sill
Warm sun
Getting excited about Lit Fest 
Submitting my book on Tues to the publishers

Friday, April 19, 2013

What if my life were a prayer?

What if my life were a prayer?

Those words floated into my mind this morning. The sun was streaming in the kitchen window over the greening trees and courting birds, and I felt my spirit rise to meet it.

What if my life is a prayer?

What would it be saying? What is it communicating?

Sometimes it is desperate, begging and pleading. Often it is bargaining. Quite often it is not giving thanks. Often it is spewing darkness and displeasure, angst and anger. What prayers to be emitting into the Universe.  Law of attraction-ists say that every thought, every word and deed brings call back in like-minded energy to us. Have I been praying darkness?

What if my life were a prayer?

I have spent so many years wondering to whom, whom am I praying any way? Who is the CEO of this god business or is there one at all? But despite my god or goddess being nameless, faceless and churchless, I have never, ever, ever doubted prayer. Ever. Prayer has continued, in grief and gratitude, in hope and blessing.

Prayer is. Prayer works. Whatever god you do or don't believe in. Whatever spirits or guides or angels or higher selves you choose to petition. We get so caught up in the what, which will never be able to prove any way. Or in form and formality.

Imagine if with every breath, every movement it was a prayer - of joy, of gratitude, of petition for guidance, of begging for forgiveness, of blessing, of petition for others. Every breath. Every movement. Every thought.


What if your life were a prayer?

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Here I am.

Inhaling. A quiet house, the wind whistling round the gables. I breathe. Deep into my belly. And apart from the whir of the fan on my laptop there is silence.

And me.

Here I am!

These weeks and months have been full of sickness and books and no-space-to-breathe-let-alone-think-or-write. Everything was obligation. My days filled end to end. Marinating in children and noise. My brain packed full of "what ifs" and "mustn't forgets" for the book.

There were dear women I hadn't seen for months, some for almost a year. Friends I don't have the time to call. Whilst I'm helping women unknown and unseen. It felt wrong. But it was also a passing phase. The Rainbow Way has been a big baby to birth. A true journey of the soul. It has, and will be, the making of me. But I feel, as I approach the date when I hand it over to the publisher, I am coming out from its spell. And life is opening up again before me.

Space. For me. To try things, to experiment, to play, to do some exciting commissions. To breathe.

The concept of wanting to turn up to the page here or in my journal, or for creative assignments in the courses I am signed up to, was foreign. What would I say? What would I draw? I had not a drop of juice left, let alone a word, to fall onto the page like a teardrop.


And it was good full. Great-ful. I am grateful. I cannot tell you the journey it has been this past few months. what transformations and shifts have been happening. But I found that my life was so public in my books and blogs, that all this shifting needed to go on quietly in the dark, unseen. Shifting. Good shifting. Great shifting.

I feel like Dorothy. I look down at my feet in my little ruby slippers, the storm winds dissipating, and I think, "I'm not in Kansas any more... (And look what lovely shoes I have!)"

The words, the words, they are my constant friends, my constant challengers, always there, wherever I am. And now I am here. Here I am!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Joy Pockets

My gratitudes for the week...

Sunshine and blue skies
Discovering lots of great new authors and books 
A plan for a new book !!!
Visiting Under Rainbows - always so precious, soul-time with a fellow traveller
Strawberry milkshake cupcakes for our cherry blossom picnic

Using Mr Dreaming Aloud's camera!
Two super toe-tingling endorsements for The Rainbow Way... so far!
Making homemade donuts (recipe here!)
Opening up my friendship circle on Facebook to include so many dynamic, creative, open-hearted women
My beautiful children
Being married to a dear friend 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Extract from The Rainbow Way: Cultivating Creativity in the Midst of Motherhood

I am so sorry things are so quiet round here - I am proofing The Rainbow Way for the final time before I send it off to the publishers to edit and proof all over again! It is currently out with a number of my heroines awaiting possible endorsements, so do keep your fingers crossed for me!

 So whilst I don't have the time or energy to be writing a post right now, I thought I could share some of my words from the book with you, as I know so many of you are dying to get your hands on it!

Summer Dreams - Lucy H Pearce

Catching Creativity 

Often inspiration comes at the most unlikely of times – when you are driving the kids to school or changing a nappy, making dinner or falling asleep. Creative mothers recall with a laugh, writing ideas down on the nearest thing to hand, old envelopes, shopping lists and even toilet paper, so that they did not disappear forever. That was certainly my experience in writing this book. This is because the conscious mind is not in charge of creativity – instead it emerges when the mind is relaxed and the body is engaged in a repetitive, habitual activity, or is deeply relaxed, so that the brain is ticking over, but not fully engaged.

Like falling in love or giving birth, the creative process has been described by thousands of voices over the years. But each of us can only touch on the memory of this elusive experience. We cannot transmit it to others through words alone. This is where the power of metaphor can help.

Catching creativity is like catching butterflies – fast-flying, bright coloured sparks darting here and there, it requires quick wits, good eyes and desire to net them. And once you have them, you need to act fast. An idea, like a butterfly doesn't last long: it is ephemeral. It is here, and now it is gone – so quick, grab your laptop, your pen and paper, your Dictaphone, your sketch pad, whatever your mode of expression or recording, swoop and catch.

Another metaphor – it is like spotting wild horses in the desert, all is quiet and calm on the horizon of the desert mind, a dust storm here, a vulture here, then suddenly over the horizon there thunders a herd of wild horses. Where they came from is not known, nor where they are going. If you spot them you can follow them on foot, running fast to keep up, you might get a sense of their size, their energy, their number and colour, and then they are gone, as quickly as they arrived. You are left with the bones, the bare bones in the desert. Your expression will never be the horses, it can never match them, it will be your impression of the horses. You will always be matching it up to that illusive, fleeting perfection of their vision when you saw and felt them. No one else saw them, so no one else can really know. Only your expression can, in some way, communicate these wild horses to the world. And if you choose not to chase them, because you're too busy, you didn't know how or you weren't ready, the image of these escaped horses may haunt you, lurking in your creative mind forever more – you will see other horses, other landscapes, but those horses, that desert, that day, are gone for good.

Catching creativity is like hearing the music of the carnival in the distance, carrying on the wind. It sounds enticing, though you cannot see it, you can imagine the colours, the smells, the energy of carnival. The wind changes direction and you lose the sound again. All you have is the impression, the memory. Without the sounds there to reawaken your sensory memory it's more challenging to recall it and recreate it, but when you do, the sounds waft closer, the carnival is alive in your mind.

Copyright Lucy H Pearce, this extract is from  The Rainbow Way: Cultivating Creativity in the Midst of Motherhood, out late 2013, published by SoulRocks.


The Rainbow Way…

  • o   Embraces the many different shades of creative mother and provides structure, support and possibility for your own unique journey.
  • o   Shares a lost feminine archetype, the Creative Rainbow Mother.
  • o   Integrates creative, personal and spiritual development.
  • o   Honours a creative mother’s dual soul yearnings in a practical way, offering a “road map” to creative motherhood which speaks to body, mind and soul.

Visioned as the guide and mentor that most creative women yearn for, but never find in their daily lives, The Rainbow Way explores the depths of the creative urge, from psychological, biological, spiritual and cultural perspectives. This positive, nurturing and practical book will help to empower you to unlock your creative potential within the constraints of your demanding life as a mother.

Featuring the words of over fifty creative mothers: artists, writers, film-makers, performers and crafters, including:
  • ·         Jennifer Louden (multiple best-selling author)
  • ·         Pam England (author , artist and founder Birthing From Within)
  • ·         Julie Daley (writer, photographer, dancer and creator of Unabashedly Female)
  • ·         Indigo Bacal (founder of WILDE Tribe)
  • ·         Foreword by Leonie Dawson, author, artist, entrepreneur and women’s business and creativity mentor).


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