Telescopic Lens

He looked at his own Soul
with a Telescope. What seemed
all irregular, he saw and
shewed to be beautiful
Constellations: and he added
to the Consciousness hidden
worlds within worlds
Coleridge, Notebooks

Working with the rope is a bit like seeing through a telescope. What I see, as I work, are fragments.
I remember, for example, the way I played and contemplate how that contributed to the constellation that is me.
Carl Jung describes in his Memories, Dreams, Reflections how he went outdoors and almost each day would gather from a lake a series of stones to stack. Stacking stones led to desire. He built a village made of stones, complete with cottages, castle, and cathedral. It was only much later that he recognized the significance of this daily habit. He speaks of how, “when we are old, we are drawn back, both from within and from without, to the memories of youth.”
Yesterday I sought chalk.
Chalk, tied in, will remind me of hours spent in the ‘Nanny’s old room’ teaching an assorted collection of dolls and my teddy. It was in there that I created a world of phantasy that defined who I would become.

Containing Memory

The sleepy basket girl
walks through the pink Lemurian mist
each early morning,
singing out, in a sweet alto voice,
“Dreams for sale!
Look in my basket,
full of pretty dreams!
Pick any one you like!
Only cost you a quick kindness,
don’t cost nothin’ to look!
Old dreams, new dreams,
anything you can dream of!
Anything can happen today
in the City of Ladies!
Come on, now, my dears,
you beautiful Lemurian dreamers,
Try one of my fresh dreams right now –
today could be amazing!
And where she walks she leaves a magic trail
of pink and purple glittering pixie dust,
a few sand dollars, some pretty shells,
the heavy, sweet scent of longing
for what could have been,
and just a hint of what may yet be
by Kerry Vincent (c) 2008

Ball

The thing about the story of the hero, as Ursula Le Guin points out in The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction, is that it is ‘his’ story and not ours. More worryingly, we have primarily heard about “the sticks and spear sand swords, the things to bash and poke and hit with, the long, hard things and in the process stories about the minutiae of daily life have been lost.

One of the special things about the work that was done within Lemuria was that it grew to become a place filled with stories about people rather than stories about great battles. In this environment you could write, quite simply, as Kerry Vincent did, about glittering pixie dust, pretty shells, sand dollars and the scent of longing.

If it is human to fill baskets, and every other imaginable container, with things that you want, or want to remember, and then, leave them and pull these things out when you need them then, like Le Guin, I am human.

As my ball grows, it will become like an intricately woven net that captures moments in time.When unwoven, at some time, it might be found to contain little more than a note, a photo, a pebble. To many these things may appear worthless, and the ball may be discarded as a bundle of rags.

No matter!

What matters is that I know what memories, potential stories to be told, lie within it.

Oblique Strategies

Oblique

An Oblique Strategy. It is true! Errors can be a very real positive.

Today, in the Textiles course I am doing at Castlemaine Continuing Ed, it was clear that it was ‘hump’ day. Even after lunch it was all too evident that most of us were tired after taking in so much creative stimuli. Even Anastasia was quiet as I struggled to do some basic weaving.

Anastasia and I went limp. Once again we were facing the specter that rises and prods and pokes and says, in a very harsh voice, that it is NOT enough to take one bird at a time and sit making dots or lines for the sake of making dots and lines. Worse! It sneers and makes pointed comments about never being able to achieve the standard of art we have been shown or anything to match what others in the class are doing. Enough to silence the toughest!

Neither Anastasia or I are very good at handling this dark, oppressive critic, who hovers like the grim reaper. However, Anastasia’s silence did not mean she had given way to this force. Rather she is one to bide her time and wait for the moment to confront that critic.

Sensing the general lull Ilka encouraged us to make some cards and asked us to write simple suggestions on them. A card might simply say ‘make some dots’ or ‘make dots using the color turquoise’ or ‘use wire’ etc. The idea is to use them as wild cards and use them to get yourself going to do a task. Then she introduced us to Oblique Strategies which offer suggestions or directions to apply when you hit a creative block.

As a writer I have used this sort of divination technique. I like my Raven Cards and I have found that it has helped to draw one and think like a raven.

A card I will sit near me will say ‘honor your limitations’, ‘take one bird at a time’.

Try drawing an Oblicard to help push through the block.

Use the automated cards online or make some of your own.

And please! Add suggestions for more cards in the comment box.