This is Warning, written by Kerri Smith, and which I have up on the wall in front of my desk:
Failure to participate in the following activities may result in loss of artistic inspiration and cause dissatisfaction and general malaise.
1. Going outside – time spent in nature.
2. Regular movement of body – limbs, blood, etc.
4. Wandering aimlessly.
5. Social activities.
6. Intellectual stimulation.
7. Artist dates*.
8. Time spent doing nothing.
9. Personal work.
10. Eating healthy food.
* My interpretation of the term “artist dates” is akin to that of Julia Cameron: something which feeds and nourishes my creativity. Reading, going to the cinema, laying on the river wall and watching the clouds drift by above me, laying on the floor and listening to Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony – all of these are artist dates.
As with anything that you see daily, I tend to ignore this notice most of the time. But it caught my eye today, and I found myself reading it as though for the first time. And I was reminded again of my determination to have 2014 be my year of care.
Things have been pretty busy recently – demanding, in my face, and there’s been very little downtime and a lot of important things have fallen off the radar: creativity, spirituality, even this blog. I’ve skipped meals or eaten them at weird but convenient times; I’ve forgotten to message friends who I deeply value; I’ve allowed some of the vital frivolities of life – those things that actually feed my creativity – to take second place to the items on my to-do list, those necessary things which help me to keep my job and pay my bills. And while I’m doing my best, and I’m keeping my head above water, there’s very little care in all of that.
So it’s time to re-heed the warning. And, actually, Lent is a good time to do that: a reminder of the importance of stripping back, of returning again to simplicity, of holding on only to those things that are important, that feed me and allow me to be the person I was created to be. That allow me to reflect the beauty and the love of the Creator, rather than the busyness of the life I’ve created for myself.
So after two and a half months, how’s the year of care going? Hmm…time to heed the Warning I usually ignore.