“Awaken your spirit to adventure
Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk.”
‘For a New Beginning’ – by John O’Donohue
Awakening the heart and spirit to adventure is an apt metaphor which captures my experience of excitement and intrigue on discovering Jole’s inspirational work and unique facilitative style over the past few years. On reflection, I can see clearly how my yearning for such a way of engaging with creativity, an inside-out explorative, playful experience drew me to her work. In fact, stepping into the Sanctuary in Stoneybatter for ‘The Sky Within’ day workshop, little did I realise the journey I was embarking on!! Within a truly beautiful setting, surrounded by a cacophony of stimuli, we were taken on a fascinating inner journey of exploration, tracing the movement of the planets and capturing our inner landscapes. As I write this, I am recalling the meditative nature of the experience and the supportive environment, the stunning jug overflowing with fresh rosemary, and one of my creations, crafted with modelling clay -‘Snakita’, a snake created with interwoven colours, symbolising life, death and birth.
This is it
There is no other
Moment to celebrate
In the wild and heady mists of this new day
Than in the sweet delicious sound
Of robin and golden finch
This is it
You are alive! 12.9.14
As that new beginning in Springtime quietly took shape over the following months, it was not
until the Autumn that I enquired about the new ‘Dreamlands’ course, facilitated at The Ark
in Temple Bar. I remember being fascinated by the ideas underpinning it: namely Joseph Campbell’s passionate work on comparative mythology and the concept of ‘the double’ coupled with the belief that art is first and foremost an act of manifestation and transformation and that it enables us to access places and spaces otherwise ‘hidden’ to us!!
Through engaging with the experience of the ‘Dreamlands’ and ‘Personal Maps’ courses, a
gradual realisation emerged within me that creating art, whether music, movement, poetry or visual art is originality, springing from the source, expressing itself in what has not been seen or done before. As I gained courage, whether in simply exploring different new materials or going with an idea as it emerged, I experienced this almost tangible excitement of being right in the heart of creating, with an emotional connection to what was emerging….a magical ease and flow. It’s hard to put into words but that evening at the Ark in Nov ‘13, I had ventured on ‘a journey in the dark’ from Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings and it was powerful!!
Connecting with the self as creator fuels the air with fresh innovation, excitement and equally can be somewhat unnerving as it opens us up, potentially revealing our vulnerability and hidden depths. As such, it actively invites me to be radically and fully me, often coaxing me from my place of comfort, whispering words of encouragement and waving the hero’s flag!
Interestingly, this period in my life has also been a milestone in terms of work transition and I am amazed at how I have been called back to realise my creative potential and to be at home in this personal creative space…..through engaging with art, voice work, a 5 rhythms movement practice and without hardly realising it, some poignant poems! This call to be at home within my creative space speaks of trusting and believing in myself, ‘turning up’ in the words of Julia Cameron even when I don’t feel like I’ve any offerings…and just as I write at this moment, I am hearing yet again the call to honour my creative self…
After all, it’s been for me a journey back to the heart, back home to myself, discovering what really matters and how this guides my life. I remember in one of the ongoing dance practice groups saying out loud that ‘I dreamed of meeting my hearts longing’. My feeling of deep gratitude is now woven into my heart’s tapestry with those beautiful words ‘Welcome Home’.
This beautiful poem by Derek Walcott is shared to mark an epiphany on my journey and is read by the inspirational Kim Rosen on
Love after Love
The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,
and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you
all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,
the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.