Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Bluebells, Cuckoo flowers, and Free Range Arts and Crafts

Under a benign sky, the bluebells have claimed a stake on the gardens and verges. It is also the season of the cuckoo flower, so named, I discovered, because it appears in April when the cuckoo arrives, or used to. At any rate, May is when it makes its present felt with its four-petaled, pink-whitey-purpley flowers. Bluebells and cuckooflowers are linked not just because they are both blooming now and are beautiful but also because they evoke powerful memories.

I am re-learning the names of flowers here as part of my acculturation. I walked down to the sea with my friend and her dog and my friend was delighted to discover the cuckoo flowers along the way to the sea. For her the cuckoo flowers and violets nestled into the grass were a reminder of her childhood summers spent here in Caithness.

For me, as I breathed in the fragrance of a stalk of bluebells, I was reminded of my daughter and a clarinet duet. She and a classmate played "The Bluebells of Scotland" on their clarinets. It was good remembering but made me a bit wistful all the same. She is too far away.

I have been working hard on my writing, including dithering about how or whether to accept a writing assignment. Mostly I have been avoiding a decision on it all the while letting it rumble around in the back of my mind.

For two days I set all such thoughts aside and joined artists for two days of creativity at Castle Hill Heritage Centre. Having pinned all my angst on my writing, I was free to be creative and un-intimidated by being around real artists.

Because there was no formal workshop, no constraints imposed by funding, or any formal agenda, I dubbed the weekend free range arts and crafts.

I came with a tool box full of projects needing just a bit of this or that to finish them. I sat cheerful as a bug watching the others with their easels and their sketchbooks while I pottered with strings and papers and beads and such.

I took my camera for a walk and took some photos for ideas for other projects and enjoyed sitting in the sun in good company. The second day I learned about silk painting from one of the artists and hand spinning from another, so I came home with a little more knowledge and a great deal more enthusiasm for all the other tasks at hand. I also discovered that I had come up with a decision about the writing project, too.

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At 7:12 PM, Blogger TerriRainer said...

Writing project? Do tell! You left us all hanging, you WILL do it won't you????

:) Terri

At 1:05 PM, Anonymous ampiggy said...

I'm with terrirainer.

You're being so very creative, you're just "bustin' out all over" before June.

At 9:43 AM, Blogger landgirl said...

Hi, oh the particular writing project that had me fretting is writing an organizational history of a local community association where I have done some teaching and work. The project was losing focus, so I decided to get back to re-visioning it before jumping in with proposal and outline and all such.
I have been so busy working on fiction and creative writing that I almost overlooked my tech writerly traditions of defining purpose and audience before starting to write.

At 9:46 AM, Blogger landgirl said...

Hee, hee ampiggy, you would have loved yesterday--silk painting with new artist friend. I still have vermillion stains on my left hand as I experimented with some new colourways--I am usually a blue-purple kinda person, so I tried yellow and vermillion. Fun.

At 9:24 PM, Blogger Hayden said...

Specific flowers are so deep in my childhood lore that it has been a constant loss to be without them...but they require a thorough winter chill that I can't provide here. A few years I struggled against nature by purchasing bags of ice and pouring them on the feet of my lilacs, but - too little to have a real impact.

Sounds like a lovely two days!


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