Monthly Archives: January 2018

Courting the Creative Spirit

Over 52 weeks I will be learning all about how to live and work creatively. My teachers are Aussie birds and animals. It is week one and the creative force has produced the Superb Blue Wren to provide some lessons!

Of all the facts about the Superb Fairy-wren’s life that have been discovered over the years, none is more charming than one small detail of the male’s courtship behaviour. While wooing a potential mate, either in his territory or in somebody else’s, a male Superb Fairy-wren will pluck petals from a flower and present them to the female as a kind of bouquet.

Males are also known for the ‘seahorse flight’, named for its seahorse-like undulations, during which the male—with his neck extended and his head feathers erect—tilts his body from horizontal to vertical, and descends slowly and springs upwards by rapidly beating his wings after alighting on the ground. The ‘face fan’ display is also noted as a part of sexual display behaviours; it involves the flaring of the blue ear tufts by erecting the feathers.

Whether this increases his chances of mating or not is hard to know; but it’s hard not to smile at the thought of this tiny, colourful bird carrying such an offering.

Artists who court the muse want to tap into that mysterious source of artistic inspiration all creative people seek. They search for a more knowing, more spiritual inner wisdom – something inside or even outside themselves that will inspire and inform their art. That inspirational, essential wisdom points the way inward, toward the emotions, the psyche, the soul. It calls upon us to cultivate a healthy relationship with the deep well of creative mystery that lies within.

What ritualistic displays might you devise to court and nurture the creative spirit? How will you use the reflective faculty we have within?

“Discipline is very important. I think we’re creative all day long. We have to have an appointment to have that work out on the page. Because the creative part of us gets tired of waiting, or just gets tired.” — Mary Oliver

“If Romeo and Juliet had made their appointments to meet, in the moonlight-swept orchard, in all the peril and sweetness of conspiracy, and then more often than not failed to meet — one or the other lagging, or afraid, or busy elsewhere — there would have been no romance, no passion, none of the drama for which we remember and celebrate them. Writing a poem is not so different—it is a kind of possible love affair between something like the heart (that courageous but also shy factory of emotion) and the learned skills of the conscious mind. They make appointments with each other, and keep them, and something begins to happen. Or, they make appointments with each other but are casual and often fail to keep them: count on it, nothing happens.

The part of the psyche that works in concert with consciousness and supplies a necessary part of the poem — the heart of the star as opposed to the shape of a star, let us say — exists in a mysterious, unmapped zone: not unconscious, not subconscious, but cautious. It learns quickly what sort of courtship it is going to be. Say you promise to be at your desk in the evenings, from seven to nine. It waits, it watches. If you are reliably there, it begins to show itself — soon it begins to arrive when you do. But if you are only there sometimes and are frequently late or inattentive, it will appear fleetingly, or it will not appear at all.” Mary Oliver

♥ Make an appointment with the creative spirit today! It is enough to just hang out together!

♥ Visit Contemporary Aboriginal Artist, Mirree and learn about how Wren Dreaming can help nurture your creative spirit. Perhaps you will treat the creative spirit to some of Mirree’s beautiful Oracle Cards and her Dreamtime Colouring Book. I use a deck like this to determine who will be the next animal to enter my space and insist that their voice be heard.

Singing Over Our Creative Eggs

Over 52 weeks I will be learning all about how to live and work creatively. My teachers are Aussie birds and animals. It is week one and the creative force has produced the Superb Blue Wren to provide some lessons!

Mothers usually set about teaching their offspring the moment they’re born. But the females of this  Australian bird can’t wait that long. Researchers discovered, by accident, while recording at fairy-wren domed nests, that female fairy-wren were singing to their eggs.

The females of superb fairy-wren (Malurus cyaneus) start singing to their unhatched eggs in order to teach the embryo a “password,” a single unique note, which nestlings must later incorporate into their begging calls in order to get fed. This trick allows fairy-wren parents to distinguish between their own offspring and those of cuckoo species that invade their nests. The females also teach the pass-note to their mates. This has the potential of opening up new lines of inquiry into prenatal learning systems.

In her book, Women Who Run With the Wolves, Clarissa Pinkola Estes talks about singing over the bones to feed the creative spirit. As an artistic midwife I am familiar with the creative birthing process, but until the blue wren flitted into my world I had not thought of encouraging creatives to “sing over their eggs’

What is your Creative Niche?

Over 52 weeks I will be learning all about how to live and work creatively. My teachers are Aussie birds and animals. It is week one and the creative force has produced the Superb Blue Wren to provide some lessons!

Superb-fairy-wren

Andrew Katsis, who spent two years of a Masters studying the fairy-wren, reveals that there is much more to this striking bird than meets the eye. He explains that they live in cooperative family groups (in which sons – but not daughters – hang around to help raise their younger siblings), learn vocalisations from their mother while still inside the egg, and boast perhaps the highest rate of adultery in the bird kingdom.

One intriguing finding of a Geelong study was that being more exploratory affected a bird’s survival chances. Fast- explorers were less likely to be present in the population a year later, most likely because they had died. The researchers speculated that fast- explorers are perhaps less wary of potential threats and more likely to stray into the sights of predators.

One cannot help but ask why this variation exist at all?  You might think that natural selection would quickly weed out all the fast- explorers? This is a question the research group are working on. One possible explanation is that birds with different personalities facilitate each other by performing different social roles (known as social niche specialisation). Fast- explorers may be filling a separate social niche that achieves equal reproductive fitness despite their shorter lifespan.

Today the fairy-wren encourages us to consider how we work, to consider our creative niche specialisation! Fairy-wren asks us to consider how we pace ourselves? Fast- exploring animals tend to form routines more quickly, and therefore thrive in consistent environments. Slow- exploring animals are better able to respond to changes in their environment, which may be beneficial in a fluctuating habitat.

Take the time to consider your social niche specialisation and the routine that works best for you!

A Sensory Aussie Bird Garden

When I bought my home in Castlemaine, seven years ago, the backyard had a few established plants but it was a harsh, unwelcoming environment. A new home was being built directly behind me and, being on a rise, my new deck overlooked theirs. I laughed and told them not to worry because I would soon obscure the view. I announced that soon there would be a woodland out there. Everyone was sceptical, but the woodland has materialized, and it is the home to many birds. I have created a green corridor!

Adjoining neighbours have both thanked me for creating this leafy space because they have both noticed the appearance of the superb fairy blue wrens, a bird that as ‘Birds Backyards’ says, needs protecting.

It is not actually easy being blue because the wren has to spend a lot of time watching for predators. However, the superb Blue Wren is at home where ever they are. They are charismatic songbirds who live in groups. They move about jauntily foraging for insects and larvae while maintaining their territories and use the energy of their little community to protect their territory and be aware of any danger. They teach you in how to be resourceful, let go and use flexibility when faced with intrusion or find opposition in life. They ask you, is it time to shift the way you are thinking and allow a change of perspective. (Source: Peacespace)

The Twelve Days of Christmas featuring Australian birds and animals is just one of my ways of helping Aussie birds and animals! Over the coming year, I am planning to spend more time playing, observing and raising awareness of the wisdom they have to offer the creative person.

Over 52 weeks I will be learning all about how to live and work creatively. My teachers are  Aussie birds and animals. This week the creative force has produced the Superb Blue Wren to provide some lessons!

What can you do to help native bird life?

The Twelve Days of An Australian Christmas

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love (the creative spirit) sent to me:
Twelve Penguins Diving
Eleven Koalas Climbing
Ten Snakes Slithering
Nine Sulphur Crested Cockatoos Squawking
Eight Green Turtles Ambling
Seven Platypus Swimming
Six Numbats Digging
Five Satin Bowerbirds Decorating
Four Australian Fur Seals Frolicking
Three Tasmanian Tigers Barking
Two Superb Lyrebirds Mimicking
and a Kookaburra up a Gum Tree

Wild Play – Who Will I Be Today?

I have it on good authority that 12 Fairy Penguins are coming on the twelfth day of Christmas to invite everyone to play.

It is important to remember that we are here to work at living not, as some do, live to work. I sometimes think there is another life I might have lived!

After spending a month, thinking up creative activities as a part of the While Waiting for Godot Advent-ure calendar, I am thinking that perhaps I will take the radical step of doing some of the activities I have suggested.

I am thinking that, while I go on waiting for Godot to reveal what I am supposed to be doing, I will ask the creative force how we should play. We might just find some wild, playful activities!  Anita  Marie Moscoso engaged in some wild play with her family and they all appear to have had a lot of fun!

One day at a time! To begin, all I need to do is decide who I will be today! How will the creative spirit and I play today?

After trawling my Flickr file I am reminded that I have many aspects! I have been many people! Will I be a pirate, a belly dancer, a traveller arriving at the City of Ladies or a Ferry Woman preparing to take people to the Isle of Ancestors? Will I read my tarot or slip through a portal, travel the Dak road and find a secret cottage to stay in?

Decisions! Decisions! Ellen Uma Bard who goes Wherever the Wind Takes Her offers 99 suggestions about how to play. How will you play today? Who will your be?

Towards a New Shore

Turtle symbolizes both new beginnings and endings. It is the ending of something that allows space for something new to arise. This ending may be an outer circumstance or a change or shift that occurs within ourselves. There may be a sense of loss or even grief over what has passed and yet it is through the energy of Turtle who is very long-lived and thus very wise, that we can come to understand why something did need to leave our lives. Turtle can help lead us to that space where we can finally move on, to let go of what has been, celebrate it for the gifts it gave us and finally to turn and head for a new shore.

I found it no surprise that as 2018 dawned Green Turtles swam into my life to affirm that a shift has taken place and it is time to leave the past behind.

These drawings depict some aspects of who I have been. I have been an Enchantress, Sibyl Riversleigh and Ebony Wilder, the Riversleigh housekeeper who comes out as a pirate, and leads adventures around the Lemurian Archipelago. I have been the spirit of a volcano, an Abbess presiding over the Lemurian Abbey and the keeper of the alluvial mine.

Now I am simply Heather, artistic midwife, purveyor of creative stimuli! I am happy to travel alone but delighted to find companions as I travel. It is not particularly important where I finally come ashore.

I am reminded of the much-loved poem, Ithaka! It is the journey that is important. For now, I am looking at where I am right now. From a creative point of view, right now I have established a virtual base in an Artistic Almshouse and I am doing some Dak Bungalow hopping.

As you set out for Ithaka
hope the voyage is a long one,
full of adventure, full of discovery.
Laistrygonians and Cyclops,
angry Poseidon—don’t be afraid of them:
you’ll never find things like that on your way
as long as you keep your thoughts raised high,
as long as a rare excitement
stirs your spirit and your body.
Laistrygonians and Cyclops,
wild Poseidon—you won’t encounter them
unless you bring them along inside your soul,
unless your soul sets them up in front of you.

Hope the voyage is a long one.
May there be many a summer morning when,
with what pleasure, what joy,
you come into harbors seen for the first time;
may you stop at Phoenician trading stations
to buy fine things,
mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
sensual perfume of every kind—
as many sensual perfumes as you can;
and may you visit many Egyptian cities
to gather stores of knowledge from their scholars.

Keep Ithaka always in your mind.
Arriving there is what you are destined for.
But do not hurry the journey at all.
Better if it lasts for years,
so you are old by the time you reach the island,
wealthy with all you have gained on the way,
not expecting Ithaka to make you rich.

Ithaka gave you the marvelous journey.
Without her you would not have set out.
She has nothing left to give you now.

And if you find her poor, Ithaka won’t have fooled you.
Wise as you will have become, so full of experience,
you will have understood by then what these Ithakas mean.

Recent Entries »