I’m back from my walk, this morning’s a bracing one amidst leaf-strewn pathways as the days shorten and autumn draws in. I love this season of change (although I have to admit, not the one ahead).

Some mornings I listen to classical music, others to professionally-oriented talks, sometimes to subjects entirely unfamiliar – I like being challenged with new material. Today I listened to an episode of This Cultural Life, an opportunity to hear from those active in the creative arts, from ceramicists to playwrights to music producers, a rich range of original thought and action. I am mostly in awe. I reflect on the opportunity I had in the eighties to study Film and Literature at Warwick University, wondering how my life would have evolved had I chosen that route (which doesn’t bring a regretful mood, more a curious one).

I’m guessing I’m not alone when I acknowledge I do a lot of comparison at these times, my less-than coulda-shoulda-woulda has to be well managed as I plod the bridleways. I had to stop listening to Dr. Brené Brown for long periods of time, feeling so inferior as to interfere with even hearing her wise words let alone relax in to the enjoyment of being in nature. Listening to Matthew Bourne this morning was a joy. Such an accomplished creative spirit, not driven by excess ego or undue humility, simply secure (it would seem) in pursuing the love of his life – movement, story-telling, sound, imagery, music. (Another favourite episode is George the Poet).

I met someone for the first time yesterday who declared, within minutes of putting on the kettle for a cup of tea, that they’d read my book. It’s always quite a shock (as well as a heart-swelling privilege) when someone says that. My word, that was a creative endeavour. Gruelling at times, repetitive at others, yet one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done. I suppose that’s where I identify with other creatives in the public eye, acknowledging I have neither their talent or drive, and nevertheless engaging with what makes me happy. (And in case you were wondering, the photo is of a silk scarf I painted, another creative joy of mine).

If there are any wise words to share from this meander through walking, podcasts and creativity, I’d say give it a try. Whatever your creative pleasure may be, it can be kept private, no-one else having an opinion, no comparing, just you and whatever it is communing together. Or maybe it’s something you’d like to share more widely, in which case I’d say go for it, put it out in to the world. Who knows what treasure there may be, whether held close or given freedom to fly, have a go….

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