There is a spider on our front porch who has taken over the mail box. All day long she throws her webs, eternal optimist, laying the groundwork to thrive. Her labors call out Create, Create, Create!
Last week I began a one year sabbatical break from full-time teaching at the University and a time of deep focus on my creative work and community. To support and savor this time, I am starting a 52 Week Challenge to center creativity every day this year and share something from that process every week @nzshaw. I'll be sharing gleanings, thoughts, videos, sound, images, and other creative actions on healing and renewing mind/body/spirit and planet and creating livable futures.
An important part of this process already has been my renewed practice of taking long aimless walks through the ravines and neighborhoods near my house. I call these journeys "derives" after Guy Debord and the Situationists' notion of unplanned wandering and discovery and I enjoy documenting them as instagram stories @nzshaw and @livablefuturesnow.
The Burr Oak and Sumac trees in the local ravine offered kind support to me this week. I hope they too benefited from my touch. I think it was #KhalilGibran who said “the earth delights to feel your bare feet,” I hope he was right.
And I encountered the work of Denise Levertov while browsing at the library. I give thanks at least once a week for the oasis that is our local public library where I regularly encounter unexpected wisdom. Here are a few lines I am savoring from Levertov's poem An Ancient Tree:
Can’t get that tune
out of my head,
Can’t get that tree
Some place in me.
Who are your creative allies and where are they showing up? Who’s work do you seek out and who drops into your lap as you flip through a magazine or slides into focus on a long walk?
This week it was Levertov for me and the illustrator Valeriya Volkova, her surreal illustrations bring humane absurdity and color into these often dark and precarious times.
Who are you reading, viewing, loving these days? Always happy to receive your good wisdom here or by other channels.