I’ve spent some time thinking about a writing project to start the year with and I have decided to go with The Dig Tree Project that can be found at my friend Heather Blakeys website The Soul Food Cafe.
I chose to start here because of a book I’m reading- it’s called Halley’s Quest.
Edmond Halley is famous for accurately predicting the appearance of the comet that bears his mispronounced name but he was so much more.
Halley was once branded a heretic by the church, on his first voyage to chart the Seas he was nearly attacked by Pirates, his Second tried to take over his science and exploration vessel the Paramore and on his second voyage he saw penguins and Icebergs that in the fog and gloom were initially mistaken for Islands ( I’ve only got about halfway through the book ).
Halley was an explorer, an astronomer and he sailed the world in a science ship.
I am swept up in that adventure and I think it was an invitation of sorts to begin on my creative journey.
We are encouraged to remember that the creative spirit never evaporates- not even in the most hostile of circumstances.
I suffer from depression and it has got bad and I thought it had gotten the best of me at times.
But it didn’t, as Heather writes in this article creativity can be suspended until we find ourselves in more favorable circumstances. So I can say that in my experience it’s true because my writing is the best part of me and my illness did not get to it, it didn’t squash it or kill it.
It slept for a bit.
And by a bit I mean a month or sometimes two months at a time
So how did I wake it back up?
I wrote or took pictures every single day and then I set it aside. I didn’t judge it, I didn’t delete a word or an image. When I was having a good hour or so ( and those hours turned into days and it went up from there ) I would look at what I had done and…
I was proud of myself.
One of the things that I found myself doing was re-acquainting myself with the world around me because I had pretty much checked out of it.
I walked across the street one day, from where I work and discovered the little park on the corner was much more then granite blocks under some trees- the blocks told a story (you can see it HERE )
I took some trips alone and spent a lot of time with my dog.
My dog is one of the happiest creatures I have ever met in my life and I got him when he was about 12 weeks old- this was shortly after I started therapy and started to take medication for depression because this time around it was BAD.
Somehow I had managed when I was in my darkest hour to raise a puppy that had confidence, a healthy dose of curiosity, he was adventurous and outgoing.
I figured out that I was able to do that for him because I was able to put into practice all of those things that I had learned, but had not really done for myself.
I was inspired.
My life got better when I treated myself the same way I treated my beloved dog.
So in a way, Hamish helped me reawaken that creative part of me that I had let fall asleep while the drought withing me raged.
Photo A.M. Mocoso
One of the best things about becoming creative again is that I began to devour books again.
For Christmas my family loaded me up with gift cards and I used them on books- here are the books I’ll be reading after I finish my the book about Edmond Halley:
So this is how I fed my muses when I didn’t care about feeding myself, this is the road I stayed on when the urge to run somewhere as long as it was anywhere from myself. It wasn’t easy. But it was an adventure. And that made it worthwhile.
The Dig Tree – Activity#7