On Wednesday, I had my fifth session of therapy. It was a good one, I found myself laughing and smiling, and a bubble of happiness carried me through until the end of the day. I felt more alive than I’d felt for a little while. It helped to go for a walk with my sister in a local park afterwards too, to talk things through, to have a mini-adventure.
We spotted a cat in the bushes near the woods. And saw what we thought might have been an egret, a small white bird with a long beak and a bobbing gait. Someone fed the ravens at the top of the hill when we were sitting on a bench – they flocked from across the park. Last time we went, we spotted a heron, a stately, alien creature perching on one of the willow trees.
Something has shifted a little in this last week. It was helpful for me to write down all the things that I’d been carrying with me for some time to share with my therapist. She’d suggested it because I’d been having trouble knowing what to focus on in some of our previous sessions. I’ve had so much on my mind for so long that it’s been hard to know how to unpick the trailing threads.
In part because the heavier things have convoluted and become one big mass. It helps to see clearly, and to know what you want to focus on. And writing them all down one by one helped me to let go, just a little. There’s a lot of work to do, but I have this gratitude and maybe, just maybe, a spark of something coming to settle in my heart again.
My sister, Sarah, wrote a lovely post about photography this evening. It made me think about this year and how I was sad that I believed I hadn’t recorded some of the better moments. But then I scrolled through my camera roll and realised that actually, I had taken quite a lot of photos. A handful of the more joyful moments.
Socially-distanced garden visits from Sarah and Matt (her partner and fiancé). Mum chatting in the garden too. The only banana bread (so far), of the year. New plants. Many of the cat, and some quieter moments with books and tea. Lately, things we’ve seen in the park – the leaves scattered like jewels, the trailing leaves of the weeping willows.
I’m allowing moments of joy back again, and through that, small flickers of creativity. Going for those walks with our phones and stopping to take photos, has reminded me that creativity doesn’t need to be a big commitment. It can be small, spontaneous acts. Photography lends itself well to this. It’s the same with small bits of writing – a scrap of a poem, maybe just a sentence or two.
There’s a lot to be said for taking up a hobby or craft with no pressure attached to it. It doesn’t need to be expensive. I’m tentatively reading more. In this way, I’m finding my way back in small awakenings. Like leaves gently falling to the ground.
‘Imperfection inspires invention, imagination, creativity. It stimulates. The more I feel imperfect, the more I feel alive.’– Jhumpa Lahiri, In Other Words.