Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Following the Birds

Those of you that have been reading my blog for awhile will know that it started out as a writing blog. A place I could share my experiences as a writer and any tips and tricks I came across along the way.

However, in the last little while, it's slowly become a creative blog. A place where I can share my experiences as a creative person.

I'm hoping since no one has abandoned ship, that it means you're all enjoying the transition. I know I am! It's fun being able to combine my love of writing, reading, music and art all in one space.

So in the spirit of creative transition, I wanted to tell you a little bit about how I started to follow the birds.

A year ago I began reading Julia Cameron's novel, The Artist's Way. I was immediately drawn in to her words. Often I found myself wondering if she had secretly crept into my mind, stole my thoughts and wrote a book just for me. I sometimes feel this way when I find something I truly love. Like it's all for ME! It's a fabulous feeling.

If you haven't read her book, well you must! It's life changing, and I don't say that lightly. Whether you're a writer, artist, doctor or office clerk - this book is guaranteed to lure your creative side out into the open.

Anyhow, like any good creative trying to find their way, I began my morning pages. I normally journal fairly often anyway, so three daily pages wasn't such a daunting task. The challenge resided in the morning part. I am not what you'd call, a morning person. In theory I like the idea of getting up early, but in practice, I often fail. I have this strict belief that one should not rise before the sun. Period. Without exception.

Alas, in winter (when I began this journey) the sun does not make an appearance until well after I'm at work, therefore leaving me to get up in the 'middle' of the night. At least it feels that way. So when I embarked on this morning pages task, I needed to get up 30 minutes earlier than usual. The annoying buzz of my alarm going off at 5:00 AM did nothing but set me in a foul mood, and often my pages started off in much the same way...

It's so dark. I'm so tired. I HATE mornings!

And so on and so forth. But slowly I would shift from complaining (maybe after a page) and begin noticing other things. The glowing moon, the silence and then the birds.

Their chirping began in spring and I found it hard not to write about them. Their constant chatter kept me company and often changed the tone in my pages. I found myself zoning out and just listening to them instead of writing.

Around this time I began noticing that my thoughts kept going back to art - painting, sketching etc. The first rule in The Artist's Way is never go back and read your pages until closer to the end of the twelve week program. Even still, I noticed that it kept coming up.

I took a chance and began buying art supplies to indulge my new found desires. I even signed up for an art class, but was thoroughly disappointed when I received news it had been cancelled. I let my art supplies deplete and focused on my writing. End of.

Flash forward to this year. February 18. I receive an early morning call bringing me terrible news that my step-brother had been in head-on collision and did not survive. Grief gripped me and I felt lost. I wanted to write, but I just couldn't. The pain was much too fresh. It was in this sorrow that something inside whispered...


I grabbed what was left of my abandoned art supplies and followed the whispers. At first it felt strange. I didn't know what to do, then, I drew a bird. The rest is history.

Looking back I see that the answers were there all along. Birds. Art. Create. It just took a year for me to connect the dots.

Now my art focuses on the birds that once changed my early morning bitterness, into moments of quiet reflection. Each bird I create helps heal my battle wounds. Helps realign my Self.

I am forever indebted to those early morning birds.

Forever, following the birds.


Jo-Anne Teal (jtvancouver) said...

Beautiful post Angie. Thank you so much for sharing your creative journey with us. It is wonderful seeing you take steps to a more complete version of yourself. I admire you :))

Currie Silver said...

Lovely, Angie. I, too, am healing through writing, making art, and generally living in Today, no longer staring in disgust at what's past nor waiting for "something better" somewhere BEyond Now.

Angie Richmond said...

Thank you both for the lovely comments! Good luck on your own journeys :)

Lisa Shambrook said...

I'm really enjoying your creativity...and you're inspiring me to become better at embracing my creativity in many forms!

Angie Richmond said...

Wow! Thanks Lisa! I'm so glad I've inspired you :) Creativity is my most favourite topic.

Donna B. McNicol said...

I love hearing the story behind the birds..and I love that your blog is more than just writing.

[from another non-morning person]

Angie Richmond said...

Thanks Donna!

Lillie McFerrin said...

This literally made me cry! I'm so excited for you :) How wonderful that you started something, in the middle of the night no less, to make you smile each day and help you grow creatively. Well done Angie!!! You inspire me.

Angie Richmond said...

Thanks so much Lillie. You inspire me!

Unknown said...

I love your birds! They make ms so happy <3

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