Mind over matter

I wrote this in a short burst in my writing group time in 2018. Now as I train to be a somatic coach, I recognise the beginnings of focusing and looking inwards. In the chapter – Writing as a practice, Goldberg talks about the need to practice whether you want to or not.

I’m taking this to heart and have built in a half an hour each day to write.

Only writing is writing.

Skandinavisk candle – Koto An old Finnish word for ‘home’.

Mind over matter

So many parts of me, all connected by sinew, tendon, cartilage, nerves and more. I ignore my body until it starts to hurt when it puts on the brakes and calls me out. Stop, stop, stop – a pounding migraine in my head, the throbbing pain in my neck and the sharp stabbing pain in my knee. Up until the pain arrives, I feel like I am invincible, bounding through time and space. Moving this way and that, tramping footpath, field and verge. I am oblivious to the stresses and strains I place on the tendons, nerves, cartilage and more. 

As the red lights flash, I know the time has come to stop, take stock and be aware of the parts of me which make me whole. To get back to green, I use my mind. 

It is a quiet pause in the day to slow down my breath, and be aware of everything around me – a chance to still my thoughts and focus on the senses which help navigate the days and nights. 

My sight moves into the foreground, focussing on my palms, noticing the lines on the creases in my fingers, the curve of my nail and the joints in my hands.  

My ears tune out the immediate sounds all around, hearing once again in the distance the blackbird on the fence as he calls to his mate, urging her to take care.  

The smell of the washing as it hangs on the landing mingles with the fragrance of shower gel and deodorant … the morning smells of get up and go. And the taste of toothpaste in my mouth; the minty freshness which I inhale as I breathe deeply.  

And my sixth sense suddenly switches on. I am aware of the energy surrounding me and in me which is all powerful and awe-inspiring.  

As my body stills and quietens, I begin to listen to the shouts and calls from within. The knots in my shoulder begin to unwind as each breath loosens the tendons, relaxing the clenched muscles which in turn take oxygen to my furrowed brow.  

I  straighten and lengthen my calf, allowing my knee to relax and slip back into a more comfortable easy state. The release of pain cheers my brain and my breath quickens. As I bring myself back into the here and now, I use the sinew, tendon, cartilage, nerves and more and take a step forward into the day.

By Samantha Jayasuriya 

Write until the ideas stop

I added this photo to my insta page today and thought that it also needed to be here.

To remind me just to get on and write.

To write because I enjoy it and to stop worrying about what other people think or like.

One of the challenges of writing for me is letting go of the editing pen. I have to consciously make myself leave it in the box. Sometimes I have to wrestle it out of my hand.

Joining a writing class has helped me lose the editing pen. In timed conditions I can let my mind go and just write.

Now, I am trying to get this as a daily practise and scribbling down half formed ideas that can be fleshed out into fully formed poems or prose at a later stage.

Earlier this week, I started a story that had been rumbling about in my head for months. It will be worked on over the next few months and as the ideas come, I’m just going to get them down.

Today, I’m putting aside an afternoon to write and if the weather is nice, I’m off to a cafe to drink tea, eat cannoli’s and write.

Beginner’s Mind, Pen and Paper

I have read and re-read ‘Writing down the bones,’ many times but have decided to work my way through the book again.

My aim is to revisit the wonderful ideas that Natalie Goldberg offered when she first wrote the book in 1986.

Pen and Paper – the key implements to help a writer capture their thoughts.

I love to write in pen, but choose to use a rollerball parker pen as my ink. The pen I love to use is slightly weighty in my hands. It was a Christmas gift many years ago from my youngest son.

I prefer to write in black ink and use a medium rollerball. I hate the feel of fine pens on paper and much prefer lots of ink to come out, marking the words as they go.

Paper is very much down to what comes to hand. In order for me to be able to capture my thoughts, I mostly use small notebooks. I try not to use my bullet journal, as you can see in the photo. I prefer to use notebooks which are just for creative writing.

The blue scuffed notebook you can see was started in 2017. I wanted to share this with you as my notes whilst talking to my mum have been scribbled inside. These notes were to write her story down. She was keen to tell her tale and I am so glad I asked her when I did as her memories became more fleeting over the years.

Now she has passed away, they are precious, more precious than the objects she may have willed me to have.

In 1986, people may not have had the computers that they have today. Voice recorders definitely existed, but the ease with which we can record on our phones was not accessible to all.

I still prefer to write stories by pen, capturing my ideas on paper. As Natalie writes –

“You want to be able to feel the connection and texture of the pen and paper.”

Roses in June

I pressed my nose and inhaled deeply

The scent filled my head and made me swoon. 

Heady fragrant but with notes almost fleeting, 

Reminders of times gone by 

My fingers traced the velvet curve of petals edge, 

Each one nestled into the other with a centre hidden   

Sharp thorns protecting the soft downy beauty a the end of each

slender stem 

My eyes flicked over the bloom entranced by the last drop of dew 

Slowly evaporating in the morning light. 

Colours diluted at the tips, saturated in the centre. 

A bee buzzed, attracted by the heady scent and promise of sweetness 

Deep inside 

Thwarted by the tightly furled petals it moved to 

Nearby blousy blooms, 

Already past their glory to revel in the nectar of 

Roses in June 

So I begin again

https://unsplash.com/@oddityandgrace

After a long hiatus, I have decided to bring back the blog.

The image I chose to restart my blog made me smile. Fear really holds back my writing, but I’m letting go of fear now.

Over the years, I have written more and more and want to share it with the world.

My plan is to share some of the ways in which I try to find the best routine for writing. I might share some of my work, I might share some of my drafts.

Over the past 6 years, I have periodically joined a writing group where the sole purpose is to put pen to paper and write.

I have really enjoyed the way of writing, it helps me be less critical of my stories and poems. Some of these I have entered into competitions. I have had two poems published which I will share with you in later weeks.

So for any of you who might not know me, who am I and why do I write?

My name is Samantha Jayasuriya and as the blog title says, I truly love my home. It is where my heart lies. But from my desk just like my role models in my life, I can travel the world.

We all do this when we pick up a book and open the cover. A writer can do this too when they pick up a pen. I may not have been in the places that I write about but I can use my imagination.

I have used the work of Natalie Goldberg to kick start my writing when I get stuck for ideas. Her wonderful book http://Writing down the bone makes me smile each time I read it and give me hope for a new idea.

In her preface, she says

“Trust in what you love, continue to do it, and it will take you where you need to go.”

I’m trusting in my pen to lead the way.

Beginnings …..

Beginnings  –   I thought about this word over the week starting with a trip down memory lane reading old blog posts. The ties that linked the posts were about creativity and being inspired to make or create in the garden, through knitting,  sewing or sharing ideas.

Over the past week, I have made the most of my last week of spring break by creating again, making a dress, finishing a cardigan and planting with a frenzy in my garden.   As I came in from the garden for a welcome cup of tea, I passed by one of my most favourite prints hanging in my house.  Created by John Furnival his wonderful print of the Petit Prince has one of my top favourite quotes of all time. IMG_6579

When I first read the book in 1984 as an adult whilst training to be a teacher I was immediately struck by that particular quote and on my old copy I wrote a little note to myself on the inside cover, to remember the quote and read it whenever I felt down or low.

Fast forward thirty years on and I read this without thinking every day as I pass the print on my way around the house.

Creativity is invisible, it comes from the heart, the outcomes are wonderful however big or small.

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Connecting again developing a new community

I’m taking up the challenge posed by A Playful Day and posting to my forgotten blog.

A Playful Day

This year as last year, the wonderful word of Serendipity has popped into my head many times.   It was serendipitous to find the wonderful podcast – A playful Day, whilst recovering from minor surgery.  From listening to Kate’s musing, I revisited the art of letter writing and connected with a fellow knitter across the ocean.  Again from the podcast, I took a leap and joined the first Muse Connection talk which inspired me to think about colour and how it makes me feel.  Thinking about colour has reawakened my love of gardening and my front garden has benefitted from a redesign and lots of new planting.

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One podcast inevitably led to another and I found the Pom Pom Quarterly which makes me very happy when listening. There is joy and happiness in the voices of the presenters which is infectious.  Reading many of the blogs featured this week, got me … finally to get onto pinterest

All of the above has kickstarted me to make sure I widen my community and soak up the happy vibes from so many creative thinkers.   And to finish, one of my most favourite colours and flowers and one which needs planting!

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Ruby Slippers

Well everyone needs a pair or two.  I am still cursing the day I walked away from the most beautiful Ruby Slippers I have ever seen.  I have searched high and low for a pair of these shoes seen and tried on in Russell and Bromley of all places.

 

Still I now have a pair of something even better – Ruby Slipper socks.

Comfy and for wearing around the house when I get home from work and I am home.

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