from ‘Milk and Honey’ by Rupi Kaur
is not about how many people
like your work
if your heart likes your work
if your soul likes your work
it’s about how honest
you are with yourself
– to all you young poets
from ‘To Bless the Space Between Us’ by John Odonohue
For the Artist at the Start of Day
May morning be astir with the harvest of night;
Your mind quickening to the eros of a new question,
Your eyes seduced by some unintended glimpse
That cut right through the surface to a source.
May this be a morning of innocent beginning,
When the gift within you slips clear
Of the sticky web of the personal
With its hurt and its hauntings,
And fixed fortress corners,
A Morning when you become a pure vessel
For what wants to ascend from silence,
May your imagination know
The grace of perfect danger,
To reach beyond imitation,
And the wheel of repetition,
Deep into the call of all
The unfinished and unsolved
Until the veil of the unknown yields
And something original begins
To stir toward your senses
And grow stronger in your heart
In order to come to birth
In a clean line of form,
That claims from time
A rhythm not yet heard,
That calls space to
A different shape.
May it be its own force field
And dwell uniquely
Between the heart and the light
To surprise the hungry eye
By how deftly it fits
About its secret loss.
by Mary Oliver
“The most regretful people on earth are those who felt the call to creative work, who felt their own creative power restive and uprising, and gave to it neither power nor time.”
Are you a maker? Are you an artist? Elizabeth Gilbert would argue each one of us is a part of the creative community in our own unique ways, and I think so too. Whether you are a maker at home, or in a big, glass building, or a maker in a studio, or out in nature, these words are for you. They are for us all. Let them wash over you and inspire you to keep following that soul of yours.
Deanna - Hi Amanda! Your writings and journey are such an inspiration to me – a new Mama. I’m wondering if you’ve heard of The Cageless Birds? I think you would love their written work “Cultivate”. Especially their new one out called “Creativity Unlocked”. Here is a link to their site https://shop.cagelessbirds.com/products/cultivate-vol-iv-creativity-unlocked
I’m looking into getting it and thought it would be something up your ally as well.
Peace & Love.
admin - Deanna, this is all new to me! What a beautiful new door you’ve opened, thank you 🙂 Amanda
Carolyn - Such wise words. I love most of Mary Oliver’s work, but my problem with this one particular poem is that if you are already someone who feels the draw to create but currently has little time or energy to put towards that (hello toddlerhood!) reading these words heightens that sense of anxiety I already feel in myself. Do you feel that too? It’s like she’s verified that yes, if I fail to create then I will be regretful! So I am trying to think about the other ways I’m creating in my day to day life right now, besides writing and taking pictures (my main form of artistic expression). Creating a home environment, for example, or a family rhythm, or a garden. I’m trying to expand my definition of creativity.
admin - Carolyn, I absolutely understand. This is a pull I feel DAILY and am learning to keep leaning into and listening to. Mary does create a sense of urgency with her words and even though I am someone prone to feeling anxious, I love them. I went to hear Anne Lamott speak here in Kansas City a few weeks ago and someone in the crowd asked her about finding the courage or time or patience or whatever it is we are looking for before we carve out time create and pour our soul into something and she said, “Just start and start NOW. We don’t have time to waste.” It was very convicting. I am in the middle of crazy toddlerhood as well and it’s only getting crazier. I think expanding your definition of creativity is a beautiful interpretation of these words – it’s all about how we see things. Doing the dishes can be a creative process if we listen to a podcast or new music and add a few drops of essential oils to the water and use the time to be grateful for our day. I think motherhood is full of these moments and while it can become easy to fall into resentment because of the limitations caring for young ones can put on us. Thanks for sharing your thoughts lovely! x Amanda
Heidi - Thanks for sharing these inspiring words – I was very moved…
Roshnee - So so pretty! That bird is too much! Sorry to bother you but that that woven basket? It looks like seagrass? On the 2nd shelf? Could you share where it’s from? It’s perfect for snipping (sneaking?) blooms and foliage 🙊🙊
admin - Roshnee, it’s a garden trug my mama got me for my birthday last year. She got several sizes – I cannot recall where from but if you search for “small garden trug” you’ll find many options! It’s a sweet size. x Amanda
Steve Palmer - Hi Amanda,
I shared your blog on The elegance and memory of John O’Donohue Facebook page.
Hoping this is appropriate.