Creative ways forward…

Thought I would share a few ideas for things we can do to stay connected whilst self-isolating…

  1. BIRDSONG -Open windows or sit outside and listen to the beautiful birdsong, currently building to its height. Maybe learn some of these songs? Here are some online resources: https://www.british-birdsongs.uk

2) Join in? What would YOUR birdsong be? What do you have to add to the soundscape?

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Also, HOT OFF THE PRESS!: here is a beautiful short film made by my friend Ben Porter on his travels in the Azures – replete with incredible birdsong.


3) TREE TALK – Sit with your back to a tree. Breathe deeply. Imagine your own roots growing down. Be open to the tree’s message to you.

4) Following on from this, let your breathing turn into sounding with your voice – allow a simple hum or long tone turn into a phrase, perhaps repeating this like a mantra or allowing it to evolve into a song.

5) SOUNDMAPPING (see recent post )

Draw/write/squiggle/otherwise depict your favourite sounds from the wild soundscape. Make into your own ‘map’ or post them here/send them to me to become part of a large, accumulating communal soundmap. (If you are in the Dyfi Biosphere, you can also post them on the ‘Wild Notes Dyfi’ FB page.)

6) SIT SPOT Cultivate a relationship with a ‘sit-spot’ near to you, outdoors in nature, if you can. Find a tree/stream/somewhere you can connect with and return to, spending time each day – however short – observing Spring in action, and writing/drawing/singing/sounding/meditating or simply listening.

If you are housebound, make a corner of your space a sacred space by putting down a nice cloth, a candle, other special objects. Give yourself time to be still or write here each day, or do whatever practice is your thing.

7) PLANT SEEDS Plant seeds – physically or metaphorically. What are you intending to grow this Spring? Even if we have to self-isolate and even stay indoors most of the time, thinking positively about the future is really important. Let’s not let our spring energy stagnate. If you feel that happening, which is understandable, let some fresh air in, open a window, do something you wouldn’t normally do to shift the energy.

8) SHIFTING ENERGY Here are some ways I do that…

In the mornings especially, shaking my body, standing with loose knees, and allowing any sounds to come to help release and warm up for the day.

Free-dancing! I have just started a personal daily practice of doing this (where no-one can see me haha), allowing movement and sound to roll into one another, letting my body move where it wants to, and letting my voice follow or lead the way. This feels liberating – but it helps to have a space where no-one else will be so you can feel super-free – OR – why not do it together with the people you are at home with, if you want to?

Burning herbs to cleanse your space. Thinking sage, rosemary, mugwort, cedar, lavender… Or simply open the windows to circulate fresh air.

Freewriting/’morning pages’ to let creative energy flow (and I recommend the Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron for so many more ways to engage your creativity if you can get hold of a copy).

Listening to beautiful music – put on a favourite album or ask your friends for recommendations of things you may have never heard and may love! Currently I am loving my Joanna Newsom triple cassette version of ‘Have One on Me’, and Anoushka Shankar’s album ‘Love Letters’ on Spotify.

9) Get to know your local folk tales & stories of your land. Here in the Dyfi Valley, I can recommend: Ceredigion Folk Tales by Peter Stevenson. If Women Rose Rooted by Sharon Blackie (a mixture of tales with Celtic Roots). There are so many out there, get delving!

I’ll keep growing this list as I feel, and let you know of some new online creative offerings which are bubbling away in my Caudron of Creative Regeneration…

However strange and scary these times get, stay strong and remember your inner wildness and boundless creativity.

Oh, one more thing – the wild garlic / ramsons is out, and it’s super-healthy. If you can find some without making unnecessary social contact, go for it!!! I’ve been making pesto, and it’s mega-potent. (make sure you know how to ID it properly, obviously)

Big love and stay well,

Ai XXX

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© 2017 Ailsa Mair Hughes

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