Saturday, 20 October 2012

the poeming has begun

There could be no better way to kickstart my writing practice than to dive into Liz Lameroux's More Poem It Out course. Here is my first offering, in which I attempt to capture my passion for the beginning of a new day, a time that is mine alone.


knistering flames stretch eagerly into the still frigid air
where each breath is framed for an instant
as the radiators rattle to life.
tendrils of luminescence, the spices of sunrise unfurl,
their gutsy scent an invitation.
i sit at the worn oak of my desk, my north,
with each indentation, scratch and stain
a crooked, rooted truth.
distracted for a moment by a feline engine,
i allow satin bristles to gather between my fingers
and a sandpaper tongue rasps reply.
i cradle a scolding mouthful of smoked, golden elixir
and wait as it breathes vigour into a shattered self,
depleted by standing firmly in this life.
left from the morning before, a pen of silver lining,
a chalice able to turn frantic scribbly thoughts
into strong, inked lines and curves,
rests, signposting the potential of an unmarked sheet.
it is time.

Friday, 12 October 2012

A new home...

Dear Friends,

Gosh, here it is, my new blog home.Freshly painted and organised, I think I am going to love it here at This Life. My intention is to look at the stories of my life through words, art and photography, in more depth than I have committed to before and also with regular practice. I tend to be a jack of all trades and master of none in the creative sphere, dipping in here and there but never really focusing my whole attention for any substantial time. I intend for this to change, for this space to be a simple way of exploring my storyteller self. Stories are my roots, they are ways of finding truth, beauty and understanding and they are a most powerful means of connection to each other, to the world around us. Will you join my on this new path of my journey? I hope so from the bottom of my heart.

Milena xxx

Friday, 14 September 2012

Back to the connection

Sometimes I find that it is best to just hold up your hands and admit that life got in the way of a project, that it is time to let that project go, instead of letting that unfinishedness turn into taunting - another endless item on the to do list. I fully intended to follow through the August Break Project, in fact I do have the photos for the last weeks but never got round to the haiku and the posting. It has been a bit of a rocky summer (understatement), one that I would rather move on from into my beloved autumn, and because of this I had to put aside a few creative hats for a while.  

And of course, the longer I've stayed away from blogging, the more intimidating that return post has become for me, an affliction I am sure many of you are also acquainted with. So I choose to begin again, without reproach and should haves, it simply is what it is. I will however share a few of the left over photos with you, just because I like them and wish to put them out there into the world.

In the last days of August I...

managed a few moments of self care...

felt the grass between my toes...

tended to my garden sanctuary...

welcomed the small moments of light...

explored nourishing comfort food...

finally purchased that reading chair...

created a foxy canvas bag, a present to myself...

and finally, travelled to see a kindred spirit.

Monday, 20 August 2012

August Break. 12th-19th.

Day 12.
ethereal beacon.
companion of the sleepless.
jewel of solitude.

Day 13.
the clatter of shattered nerves
bewilder all thought.

Day 14.
two hearts wide open.
fierce understanding connects.
together we heal.

Day 15.
uncertain black lines
appear with difficulty
a strong will persists.

Day 16.
oh to be an aunt!
roaring, delightful spirits
have stolen my heart.

Day 17.
worn threadbare today.
head and heart lay crestfallen.
aloof fog presides.

Day 18.
crumbled into jars,
the heady scent of lavender
remains reachable.

Day 19.
her ruby wings sing
be present in this moment
such beauty surrounds.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

August Break. Days 6 to 11.

Day 6.

proud and with much grace,
pink dancing ballerinas
weave in soft ruffles.

Day 7.

reminders surround.
speak the words out loud.
let them nest inside.

Day 8.

strung sequins reach out
into a day of dull clouds.
my footsteps guide me.

Day 9.

a long time ago
the story housed in my mind
spoke, "you cannot bake."

Day 10.

glance in the mirror.
confident layers of purple.
a stranger stares back.

Day 11.

vision and spirit.
intense woman of colours.
storyweaver soul.

(about Frida Kahlo)

Monday, 6 August 2012

August Break. Days 3, 4 and 5

Day 3.

strong, fierce, passionate.
finder of wondrous items,
turns world upside down.

Day 4.

myself reflected.
bold fortress of rich beauty.
roots spread deep and wide.

Day 5.

just me this early,
savouring spoons full of light.
time to breathe deeply.

Friday, 3 August 2012

August Break. Day 2.

still. unassuming.
an orb of glowing amber
melts away edges.

August Break. Day 1

It is that time of year again and I can't wait to begin! For the month of August I shall be taking a photo or two a day to record the day to day of my summer break. Taking part in this project is a wonderful way of keeping grounded, keeping my senses wide open and making mindfulness a regular practice. Usually I try and pair up my photos with a quotation that I love, however this year I am aiming for a haiku a day to accompany my images. So here it goes:

rich and earthy pods
ignite. create dancing fire.
now I can begin.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Poetry and more poetry

Two blog posts in one week- spot the person on her summer break! I've literally just finished writing a poem, once again prompted by Inner Excavation, this time my goal being to connect more with my physical body. I chose to explore my shoulders as I they are are pretty good indicators of my state of wellbeing, both physically and mentally. How often do I notice in a stressful moment how constricted my shoulders feel and how often do I sigh as lay against my pillow at night when my shoulders finally drop for the day. And when I give myself  permission to dance, my shoulders literally unlock the rest of me in their movement. By noticing them I notice myself in this moment.

These shoulders

Raised so high
That they reach my ears,
Whispering feverishly.
Wound tightly,
At snapping point.

Carrying stories
For myself
And for others.

Into a defeated
Invisible heap,
When the sky
Has fallen down.

Cradling the past
Ebb and flow
With each deep breath.

To the beat,
Shaking awake
Rigid bones
Of an introvert.

At twilight,
Sinking back
Into the creases
Of dreams.

A little something to leave you with; another shared piece of much loved poetry:

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Inner Excavation goodness

Blimey, the last few weeks have flown by and although I had lots of blog ideas in my head, very few of them even made it into note form onto my laptop. However, as I am practicing being kinder to myself, forgiving myself for the actions I deem to ‘not be enough’, I shan’t start with an apology of my rubbishness. Instead I will share with you a couple of pieces of art journaling I have been working on. Both pieces came into being through the work I have been delving into as part of Liz Lamoreux’s Inner Excavation read along. Seriously, there are so many treasures in each chapter that I shall be busy for quite some time ( she rubs her hands with glee). The first piece relates to the idea of being in this moment, stopping and taking stock, capturing the moment you find yourself in and seeing the layers. For me, too many moments recently have involved rain. In fact I have never experienced a summer like it before! It is easy to joke on a sunny day like today - and oh how much have I neeeeeeded this light and warmth- but the cold, dull and incredibly wet days have really affected me. I’ve felt limited, frustrated and just down right unwell. 

Therefore my initial intention was to create that atmosphere in a picture, to give my emotions some closure. But as so often, the piece I created took me on a different path and what I actually ended up with I found quite beautiful really. I created the background using wordle,  using a thesaurus for all those rain related words. Just by exploring words and fonts my frown eased a little. And the raindrops, which I wanted to make overpowering, turned out strangely soothing, with a comforting air of completeness about them. Of course I didn’t have a bird on my umbrella in reality but a bird needed to be drawn and totally by accident it looks like it is sighting land ahead, beyond the droplets. I am not a character artist by nature and in fact I stay well away, thinking that my attempts are rather childlike creations, but the mini me peering out from underneath the umbrella appealed to  me with her glowing cheeks and seeing eyes. 

And so I have learned yet again, that I have many layers, that even frustrating moments can lead to beauty and that I like drawing birds ;)

My second piece came into being by mixture of the prompt to create a self portrait and a recent blog post by Liz, in which she talks of seeing your characteristics as super powers, even the ones you may at first see in a slightly more negative light. And so my heroine alter ego made it onto paper. I love the idea of owning my serious nature, by which I understand that I am taking my life seriously. I have always found humour difficult and struggle to see things in a lighthearted way and until now have thought of this as some kind of failure within myself. But actually it is my serious nature that helps me to follow through on hopes and dreams, it supports and develops my relationships. It means I appreciate things instead of taking them for granted. And so it is in fact a hidden super power.

Sunday, 17 June 2012

i begin; i am

Today I am finally giving myself the time to immerse myself in the first week of Liz Lameroux's Inner Excavate-along,  a free read along project in line with her gorgeous book Inner Excavation, where each week holds a new chapter on exploring yourself through photography, poetry and mixed media. Liz has  prepared many juicy extras online, I can't believe how hard this lady works, and is excavating her own dig site along side us, therefore this feels like a really personal and authentic exploration. 

Of course I was always going to start with the poetry prompt (she types winking).

i am {a poem list}
clunking typewriter keys
kirsch soaked cherries
a determined flicker
an unlikely heroin
careful plaits
a hidden Charleston
black and white film
ebb and flow 
a tortoise shell
embroidered pride 
camomile infusions
folded edge pages
a cluttered sky 
patched scars
creases and wrinkles 
whispering frontiers
an island home
scribbles in margins
mending tape
isolated coastlines
shadow and reflection
academic embers
a pair of binoculars
forged words

Friday, 15 June 2012

niece wisdom

Five pieces of niece wisdom gathered at a family party recently:

1. Tables are great for hiding under to eat stolen strawberries. 

I need to sit under tables more often, what a change of perspective! Also strawberries definitely taste better when you are not sitting at the table properly. Whilst joining my niece Summer under the said table, I was taken back to a wish I had when I was little, to build secret houses under tables. I wanted to use blankets and table clothes and fill my new space with a multitude of cushions and cuddly toys. For some reason I never did. I can’t say that I was ever stopped from doing so but neither did anyone want to help me build a table house. I may well have to make my own den under our dining room table and have a poetry reading for one in there. This may sound just a little crazy but don’t we all secretly want to make cosy hide aways to cocoon ourselves in? I dare you to join me.

2. You can never have too many strawberries and they must be devoured immediately. 

Summer is, as you can tell, strawberry mad and eats them with such delight, such passion. She is fully in the moment with those juicy berries, not thinking about later on when the strawberries have gone, or what her mum will say when she has indeed eaten the whole lot whilst leaving her sandwiches. When joy presents itself, dive in my friends!

3. Some pieces fit straight away when you are doing a puzzle, others you have to keep turning and some pieces you may have to swap completely. Trying to bang the wrong piece into the hole doesn’t work.

I watched Casey for ages as she figured out the puzzle by herself at the grand old age of two. I like the idea of learning to see situations as puzzles to work out instead of as crises or feeling an utter loss of control in a situation. Patience and perseverance and a willingness to change things - oh yes, more of this please.
4. Trust takes time. 

Casey has taken some time to warm up to me. Whilst Summer flings her arms around me with abandon, Casey peaks nervously from behind her mother’s legs. She just isn’t quite sure what to make of me. She used to, in fact, cry each time she saw me. Often this made me feel sad as I love that little girl to pieces. But I knew I couldn’t give in, for I take auntiehood most seriously. And it finally paid off at the party, when she actively chose to spend time with me, handing me puzzle pieces and pointing to her board. This week, as soon as she saw me she brought a book over and placed herself in my lap, looking at me expectantly. My heart melted.
5. When the Summer of 69 plays you must get up and dance. 

Summer grabbed my hands and pulled me forwards as soon as the first notes had aired, her body already in beat with the guitar. Self conscious she was not! Self conscious I was, bearing in mind that until this point there had been nobody on the dance floor and that I am a complete introvert when it comes to these kinds of things. But you know what, what does it actually matter what others may be thinking, when the cheesy rock is  fabulous and you have a little girl turning herself into a rock chick :) I need to work on that sense of humour a little and learn to shrug my shoulders.

Friday, 1 June 2012

Bittersweet poetry

Another poetry offering for you today my lovely friends. When I read this poem for the first time, I knew I needed to share it with you, especially with the stationary addicts out there. It is such a truthful exploration of the awesome beauty and potential that crisp, new stationary has, and how this simply can't last - that special magic burns away a little, use by use. Things change. Of course the crayons in this poem could be a metaphor for many things, the poem has taken me onto paths that I am navigating step by step. Isn't it better to enjoy those 'crayons' for what they are instead of admiring from a far? Doesn't the feel of creating have much more depth? Isn't it possible to appreciate the new and the journey? That delicious  initial potential makes my heart beat faster, why don't I feel that way more often - what makes me so afraid?  However, taken literally, I love this poem for speaking to my stationary loving soul.