Sunday, January 15, 2012

Take A Walk

Today was "artist's date" day
I didnt plan it but suddenly the opportunity opened up, and off I went.
The Artist's Way asks it's readers to undertake these weekly -
This is how author Julia Cameron describes them:

"An artist's date is a block of time, perhaps 2 hours weekly, especially set aside and committed to nurturing your creative consciousness, your inner artist. . . . . . .  (it) is an excursion, a play date that you preplan and defend against all interlopers.
You do not take anyone on this artist date  but you and your inner artist, a.k.a. your creative child."

When I first read this, I felt intimidated.
I didnt even know who my inner artist was or how to locate it.
Or if I even possesed such a thing!
It seemed too highflown for me - and I was tempted to just waive it.
She, however, was one step ahead of me: next lines in the book:
"If you think this sounds stupid . . . identify that reaction as resistance. You cannot afford not to to find time for artist's dates."
Well, ok then.

So - off to Kalk Bay - the sea is an extraordinary turquoise today.
I stop my brisk walk and lean against the railings to drink it in.
I look straight down -
Dirty abandoned station, rusted rails, broken bottles, plastic of all kinds, rags and mess.
But just a lift of the gaze and brilliant ultramarine sea, shiny brown kelp, and skudding yachts.

This is the closest to the real colour of the sea that day!
Kalk bay is home to many quaint shops - endless places to browse
Antiques, old books, prints, crafts and paintings abound.
Usually I have to walk wistfully past those shops, because the people I'm with don't share my interest in them.
Today, I can go in.
And stay as long as I like.
In a dusty musty murky old book shop I find a copy of Winnie the Pooh in Latin!
No kidding.
With the beautiful original drawings and everything - but Latin!

I write a passage out of another old book while the white haired lady behind the till (and a mountain of old books and papers) watches me suspiciously over her specs.
But it is worth it because - listen to this:

"My dear fellow, I must be going in a moment, but first let me tell you a litle thing I learned recently . . .
To be yourself, just yourself, is a great thing.
And how does one do it, how does one bring it about?
Ah, thats the most difficult trick of all.
Its difficult just because it involves no effort. You try neither to be one thing nor another, neither great nor small, neither clever nor maladroit . . . you follow me?
You do whatever comes to hand. You do it with good grace, bien entendu.
Because nothing is unimportant.
Nothing."  from The Smile at the Foot of the Ladder by Henry Miller.

I find that so thought provoking . . .
Being just yourself
Does anyone do that?
Can anyone?


MelB said...


I was *just* pondering that this weekend. This whole concept of being who you are...and all that that entails juxtapositioned against all you want to be / should be/ could be / have to be within any given set of circumstances.

I think i would have BOUGHT THAT BOOK! :-)

Anonymous said...

Winnie the Pooh in Latin! "Obscurus obscura ..." what's that gorgeous saying? just guessing here. I feel a google coming on, may reappear shortly. Sha-ness

I'm so not a blogger said...

I love Kalk Bay, it is one of my favourite places to go by myself and wander. In fact, after reading your post, I think I may book myself a day off and do just that.

allie. said...

@ Mel - Such interesting thoughts! And made the more so because you can't really come to any hard and fast conclusions, can you?!

I did just that, by the way! I went back and bought the book on the way home!

@ Shaness- do come back after yout googling :-)

@ ISNB - you won't be sorry. Its a rich experience. Enjoy!!

Gill said...

You write beautifully, Allie, you should write a book! I also love Kalk Bay, watched 6 dolphins playing near the harbour some time ago. Entrancing!

ANNE said...

enjoy your inner artist! the posts

Lynette said...

I love this...and though I am not by any means an artist...I am finding that I want to play with paint and get real messy.

I would love to walk the streets of Kalk Bay with you and spend times in the shops that my DH has no interest in. Maybe next time?

cat said...

Oh wow, I would love to do it! My soul yearns for it.