Places of ordinary magic

There are spots along a path near my house where you can see the rocks in the river, and the overarching trees and the sight always makes my heart happy.

Ordinary magic is just as valuable as fancy magic.

A photo of a small stream and the trees/shrubs on both banks.
Image description: a view of a section of a stream at the bottom of a short slope. There are some bare tree branches, some evergreen branches, shrubs, and brown leaves and dirt on either bank of the river. Variously sized rocks are partially submerged in the water.

A Pattern of Practice

I’m testing for my 4th degree black belt in two weeks and my brain is a jumble of theory, movements, pattern sequences, and exercises.

Luckily, it is finally starting to coalesce into something that feels doable, something I am building on because it has been several months of inching forward and my brain is not a fan of increments.

In fact, my brain would prefer it if I could spend a whole day learning everything and keep it permanently in my head.

If only that would work, one day of overload but then I’d know everything.

A GIF of a skull with flashing images where the brain should be.?
A GIF of a skull with flashing images where the brain should be.

Index Card A Day 2022

I’m doing the Index Card a Day challenge front June 1- July 31 again this year. Even though it is only 3 days in, I feel invigorated by the process of relating to the prompts and figuring out what I can draw in response.

Yesterday’s prompt was peony and at first I felt a bit stuck because I couldn’t even remember what a peony looked like. Once I googled it, I had no idea how to draw it.

However, I decided to abandon all hope of doing it well and just aim for giving the impression of a peony with my drawing.

I think it worked out ok. 🙂

An index card drawing of three peonies surrounded by a Robertson Davies quote in green text.

Image description: an index card drawing of three pink peonies with a quote written in green in the spaces between the flowers, giving a slight suggestion of leaves. The quote reads “The little boy nodded at the peony and the peony seemed to nod back. The little boy was neat, clean and pretty. The peony was unchaste, dishevelled as peonies must be, and at the height of its beauty.(…) Every hour is filled with such moments, big with significance for someone.
Robertson Davies, What’s Bred in the Bone”

Thursday, hmm?

‘This must be Thursday,’ said Arthur to himself, sinking low over his beer. ‘I never could get the hang of Thursdays.’

Douglas Adams, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Is it boring to write about the day of the week? Probably.

Am I doing it anyway? Yep.

Well, kinda.

Thursdays are always a bit weird for me. A kind of reckoning about how well my to do list matched my capacity this week and then a reset of priorities for Friday.

Not an exciting thing to talk about and it would definitely be a short post.

A boring and short post.

BUT!

Sometimes you have to let yourself be boring so you can build a habit.

Creative practices, like drawing or writing or blogging get easier the more frequently you do them.

If you stop for a while, you tend to fall into the trap of thinking that you need to create something good or interesting in order to make the practice worthwhile.

The truth is, though, that if you take away the pressure to be good or interesting, you are more likely to be able to create often. When you create often, it is easier (as I mentioned above) and, oddly enough, you are more likely to create something interesting or good.

For an interesting story (stories) about that fact, visit Austin Kleon’s blog.

So, since I want this kind of writing to be easier, and (eventually) interesting, I’m going to just plug away at it, even if I’m boring sometimes.

GIF of a kid lying across an office chair idly spinning around.
Image description: GIF of a kid lying face down across an office chair, spinning idly. The chair is in an open plan kitchen/living room area with a wooden floor. The space looks lived-in and cluttered but in an ordinary living sort of way not a overwhelmingly messy way.

One thing at a time, right?

It’s funny how my brain keeps insisting that if I can’t do ALL of the things then there’s no point in doing any of the things.

Time after time, I have proven my brain wrong on this. I have shown it that the only way to get things done is bit by bit. Yet, it insists that I have to be working on everything all the time or nothing at all.

This brain muddle results in me feeling like I am trapped in a weird time zone where I have lots of time to putter around yet I simultaneously have too much to do.

I am somehow busily unbusy.

And the thing that would give me peace of mind – working slowly away at my projects in the ample time I have available – is the one thing that my brain resists doing.

Luckily, once I become aware of the feeling of busy unbusyness, I can take steps to stop it. Unfortunately, it can take me a while to become aware of what’s bothering me.

ADHD is quite annoying that way (and in many other ways.)