I’ve been trying to tap into my creativity more recently. I lost my way creatively a bit this year, due in large part to stopping my old blog I think. It was certainly the right decision but it’s taking me a while to find my groove creatively, which is probably normal, but no less frustrating. Anyway, so I’ve been diarising “creative dates” for myself, setting aside time to finally watch that TED talk I’ve been meaning to, or listen to that podcast. And the one I listened to today was from Alyssa Monks an artist, on how loss affected her art, and also on dealing with the death of a parent.
I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty fed up with supermarket shopping. I know I have to do it, but visiting supermarkets is not a pleasurable experience for me. I would do anything to avoid it really. In fact, it was this article I read recently which really got me thinking about the role supermarkets play in South Africa, a country where millions are malnourished because they can’t afford healthy food, where farmers are so badly paid for their produce that they cannot afford to be in business any more, and where farm workers are some of the worst off out of everyone.
What a few weeks. I’ve been walking around like a zombie, with bouts of sobbing thrown in, flashes of fear, lots of anxiety-fuelled conversations, and thoughts racing like a bird trapped in a room. I don’t want to write about those moments though, as I’m still processing them, and I don’t have a lot of value to add right now.
What I do want to write about instead, is a general feeling I’m getting about the world. A world that is damaged and topsy-turvy. There are not many safe havens left. Very few places where you can escape to, where everything is blissful and stable. We’re in a state of turmoil, whichever side you look, both in our country and then further ashore as well.
I thought it was high time for a blog post explaining all my recent activities, because training to become a surf lifeguard at the grand old age of 40 could be seen as a very obscure thing to do. Even more so for me, because I am a creature who loves her little comfort zone. It’s cosy in my shell and warm – everything is safe here. But here’s why I took the plunge recently and trained to become a lifeguard:
It’s been a whirlwind few weeks. I finally feel like the dust has settled a bit, so I can return to my online space and pause, reflect and write. I know travel stories are not always interesting to people who are not planning on visiting the same place, so I won’t dwell on what we did or what we saw, but rather on what my trip to Greece taught me – because there was a lot to learn.
That’s what makes travel of this sort so valuable actually…the time to simply think about things, away from daily demands or people (lovely as they are) who require your attention. It’s the ultimate luxury, time to think. Anyway, this is what I learned while on holiday in Greece for 10 days:
I read something recently by writer Liz Gilbert on the joy of sitting at a restaurant alone, enjoying a meal, and simply observing the life around you. It really resonated, especially yesterday – as I sat at a sidewalk cafe under an Athens sky flinging the odd rain drop on to my head, and sipped on my beer, and lazily ate my salad. I noticed the couple at the table next to me exchange a sexy glance. I saw the waitress and waiter giggle about something behind their fists. I glimpsed a bird wheeling above. My sister had already headed back home to England so I asked for a table for one, ate my lunch alone, and it was WONDERFUL. Some people get lonely. I get energised.