Monday, 28 April 2008

Ploughing the Ground

I drew this picture a few years ago and it seemed an apt illustration for this blog.

Perhaps it is because it is Spring that I am feeling restless, and sitting in a hot airless office all day long doesn't help. I feel as though I am struggling to plough the ground for something. The plough feels heavy and hard to pull. I am not sure what I am going to plant or what will happen to the land. I want to put energy into the ploughing, but it feels bl**dy hard work and I barely know where to start. I just want to plough, to see the land turn, to smell the fresh earth, to see what I will uncover, to see what seeds I can find and what will grow. I can't even see or imagine what the field will look like at harvest time.

Sometimes I feel I am stuck in the prison of low self-confidence, other times I feel as if I could fly. I can't retrace my life path, I can only go forwards and I just seem to be unsettled in wondering how to proceed. I am happy with the greetings card company, on the whole, but need to try and maintain a bigger life picture of where I want to go and not loose touch of where we, as a family, should be.

Here are a few areas that I am exploring:
  • Design and illustration: I enjoy doing what I do but, perhaps like many creatives, inspiration can be hard and it is always tempting to feel that everyone is better than you when you think about the professional context. Somehow I feel I have lost my personal freedom of expression because of work and family commitments. I would like to develop some more topical environmentally based illustration work and I chip away at it in my sketchbook from time to time.

  • Environmental Work: My desire to revisit my environmental training is very strong now that I have a made a personal connection between myself and the earth beneath my feet. I am doing off bits of voluntary work (National Trust Holiday, Luton Hoo Walled Garden Project, Rhythms of the World Festival) and I am looking for new leads. I need to build connections with people in that area. And you know what? It's hard work finding the time!

  • Green Philosophy and Spirituality: Trying to build up ideas in philosophy, politics and holistic spirituality from scratch isn't easy. I am not a great conversationalist, but I can think through ideas given a bit of time, quiet and a couple of chocolate biscuits. Sometimes I feel that even a 'spiritual' life is like hitting your head against a brick wall. Many people don't make sense in many parts of their spiritual thinking, from my perspective that is. When the News is full of racial and religious hatred or idealism I feel a deep sense of depspair. That's why a more holistic view is more appealing to me. The wind in the trees is about belonging, about breathing, about living, about space, about freedom, about sound, about peace, about strength, about indwelling, about something earthly, mystical and full of the unknown. Entering the world of green politics is just another huge learning curve.

  • Confidence: I do have a very strong sense of self-belief, but almost feel as though society and people are there to undermine it. My faith had enabled me to dig deep and build stronger foundations now.

  • Comunication and Networks:As work is so isolating, I have only my personal interests with which to use as sources for communication and networking. I have to offer design skills or volunteering skills. If I am to move on I feel the need to somehow find more organisations or individuals with whom I can build bridges.

  • Why bother?: Or why not just sit back, enjoy what I do and just let the Universe sort it all out for me? After all, I found a job last year when I needed one and I am now in a new place. Perhaps I am seeking too much. I can't do everything, I am just me. But we all need dreams and things to inspire and motivate us and I know I am driven by finding interest in the earth around me. Complacency is not a companion I now sit comfortably with.

This is why I feel as though I am ploughing the ground.


Tammy said...

I think it just takes time to sort through all of these new ideas that run through your mind. When I first started on a new spiritual path, it was exciting but also frustrating. I wanted things to change as quickly as my mind was racing. I remember feeling so frazzled at times, ecspecially in trying to achieve a sense of balance. Balance between spiritual things, and the physical world. Just be patient with yourself, and it will all even itself out.

Stacy said...

I love reading your posts. Thank you for your thoughtful ruminations. I connect with your thought process regarding the earth, and God, and NOT fitting in to Christian stereotypes. I think one of the biggest obstacles to knowing God is the Western "Church" ie the establishment. I'm happy to say I don't fit in to that category. I too feel a deep draw to God's creation, namely the earth that He created. Man's primary and only responsibility when he was created was to tend the garden and husband the animals. Then when Eve came, his next responsibility was marriage, and eventually family. By way of the "fall" of mankind, he was banished from that perfect garden, and told that the work would be loads harder, that he would now sweat, and he has ever since. I feel like the western christian culture is still trying to keep us out of the garden, telling us we have no place there, or somehow if we strive to be caretakers of this earth, somehow we have crossed the line into the "new age" movement. I do not see anywhere in scripture a basis for their justifications.