Dear Creative Spirit

Dear Creative Spirit,

Thank you for the gift of creativity.
For the ability to read and write
May I learn to trust Write,
to gain confidence that my words matter.

Thank you for placing these gifts in my hands.
Let the faith you show in me
give me belief in my own ability

Thank you for my precious imagination,
A world without is incomprehensible.
Let it run free and wild.

Give me strength to let loose the reins,
to overcome my many fears and worries
that bind and shackle me.

I see my spirit floating freely
As creativity is unleashed

I imagine these moments of epiphany
I will find you, I will find infinity.

I know there is nothing I cannot do
Thank you for letting me know.

May my words help others, be a support;
May they find enjoyment, humour and
the spirits of their own
lifted within my words.
Giving hope.

My heart is full of joy and excitement
at the thought of my creative capabilities.

©Annika Perry

‘Dear Creative Spirit’ is one of the first exercises set by Julia Cameron in her ‘The Artist’s Way’ and after my initial hesitation of what to write, I found myself inspired as I addressed my own Creative Spirit.

I came across a rough draft of this recently and since have edited it to this final version here – I hope it gives others the ability to trust in their gift. Confidence in one’s capabilities is often the hindrance to even start writing and sharing one’s work.

Clearing out is a task I throw myself at with glee! For some this is a chore, understandably so, whilst for myself, the opportunity to revisit past items, letters, papers is an act of time travel!

Amongst the haul, I unearthed a calendar beneath a desk, papers were strewn on top, dust neatly and evenly covering the surface. I cleaned down the pretty cover and flipped through the images.

The artist is Erkers Marie Persson and for many years she painted for the Swedish Calendar. In her paintings, she tries to capture the wonder of bygone eras when generations mixed easily with each other. The pictures included in my post are taken from this delightful calendar which our company gave away to customers! Thankfully, I retained one as well!

Over Easter, I will be enjoying a ‘home-holiday’ and taking a mini-blogging break, popping in now and then. I wish you all a peaceful and relaxing holiday time!

“A childhood without books — that would be no childhood. That would be like being shut out from the enchanted place where you can go and find the rarest kind of joy.” Astrid Lindgren

MESMERISING MARBLES

Marbles hold a fascination for us all! From the early childhood games, the trick to winning more becomes an obsession and soon one small leather pouch of marbles is just not enough!

However, they quickly become a fleeting memory for most of us but for one Swedish musician his interest in marbles and particularly marble machines only deepened.

During a visit to the Speelklok Museum (self-playing musical instruments) in Utrecht, Martin Molin from Gothenburg was inspired to combine his passion for marble machines, gears and self-playing machines into the most audacious project.

After all, why content oneself with playing a conventional musical instrument when one can build a contraption that uses 2,000 marbles to create an unique and melodic tune.

Each part was hand-crafted, beautifully carved and engineered with tracks, pulleys and funnels collecting and rerouting the marbles. It is a labour of love and a stunning work of art!

Originally Martin Molin, a member of the Swedish folktronica (comprising elements of folk music and electronica) band Wintergatan, thought the project would take two months. Sixteen months later the Marble Machine was ready.

He had created a music box as never seen before!

Marble Machine

The sheer energy is noticeable even before the music is heard as Martin powers up the machine using a hand crank. As the marbles are fed into the multiple feeders they are cleverly released from height via programmable gates, thereby falling and striking various instruments.

The array of instruments is astonishing and include vibraphone, bass guitar, cymbal and emulated kick drum, high hat and snare drum sounds using contact microphones.

The musician felt that “marble machines always make music, but I was thinking maybe I can make a programmable marble machine, that doesn’t make chaos but is actually controllable in the sounds it makes.” He achieves just such control through a music score which is stored on two programmable wheels utilising Lego Technic beams and stud connectors to trigger armatures to release the marbles which even allows for key changes.

The artist’s ingenuity for music and engineering is extraordinary, a whimsical notion resulting in the ultimate marble music machine.

Luckily his passion for the art is flourishing and he has built a new and hugely ambitious Marble Machine X which utilises 50,000 marbles!

For now, the original Marble Machine is on display and partially operating at the museum which inspired him so much and I for one look forward to visiting Utrecht in the future to see it in person!

Marble Machine X

Sources: Google, wikipedia, wired magazine & BBC Radio 3

Young Creators!

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It’s been a wonderfully inspiring morning! Whilst preparing breakfasts, packed lunch, loading the washing machine I had the joy and honour of listening to the winning entries of this year’s BBC 500 Words short-story writing competition for children. The finale of the contest, which saw over a staggering 135,000 entries, was held at Hampton Court Palace and the Honorary judge was Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall.

Wow!

The ability and inventiveness of the children in their stories is astonishing. Their creativity, lyricism and themes were both heart-warming and funny. The Gold Winners in the 5-9 age category and the 10-13 age category were both stories I’d read from the short-list; both enthralling, very different but brilliantly written stories. These youngsters have so much to teach us all.  Below is the winning entry for the 10 – 13 age group. Enjoy.

Dancing on the Streets by Sadhbh Inman

Tai ya tai hi

 

Tai ya tai hi…

On a noisy, dusty road, a child’s bare brown feet are hardly noticed as she weaves in and out of the traffic, dodging cattle and halting at taxis. She presses her nose against the windows of vehicles carrying crowds of tourists. “Tissues ma’am, tissues sir, only ten rupees for a box”. Sita is small for a seven year old, but then seven year olds from the slums in Ahmedabad are often smaller than other children.

Tai ya tai hi

Tai ya tai hi…

The Bharata Natyam rhythm encourages her to dance, from car to lorry, lorry to rickshaw. On Sita’s tiny face a smile begins to form. She is so engrossed in the rhythm that she never misses a beat. A lady in a rickshaw spots her quick-footed movements and starts rummaging through her purse to find twenty rupees, “ten rupees for the tissues and ten for your dancing”.

Tai ya tai hi

Tai ya tai hi…

Sita is delighted about receiving that much money, and dances off to the tailor’s to get her Bharata Natyam dress made and her dream fulfilled. The tailor’s fingers work quickly with the silky, emerald fabric. The gleaming needle punctures the soft cotton cloth, creating neat rows of stitches. Sita watches as the dress is completed. Sita takes the dress, her eyes wide with excitement, her mouth open in anticipation. “That’s one hundred rupees child” the tailor says kindly. Sita carefully unfolds the notes she has been saving for over a year and with a hopeful sigh, hands them over.

“I’ll have that!” a voice booms. Sita stands, her back to the stranger. She strongly smells rum. “Oh! It can’t be” she murmurs. A dark shadow and fiery breath indicate his presence…”Uncle!” His eyes narrow menacingly, sending a shiver down Sita’s spine. “I’ll have that!” he booms again. Uncle takes the money off Sita. He turns around and slams the door behind him.

Sita knows it will be the end of her happiness. It feels like a part of her body is gone, fatally gone forever. Sita also knows that she should have given the money to Uncle, but it didn’t seem fair that he sent her to get money, to make him a rich man.

Tai ya tai hi

Tai ya tai hi…

On a noisy, dusty road, a child’s bare brown feet are hardly noticed as she weaves in and out of the traffic, dodging cattle and halting at taxis.

“Tissues ma’am, tissues sir …only ten rupees for a box”.

The 500 Words short-story writing competition for children contest started eight years ago and was originally created by Chris Evans, a Radio 2 presenter, and supported by the BBC, as well as this year by Oxford University Press and a multitude of volunteer readers. It is a competition that fosters not only the love of reading, but as evident here, the absolute joy of imagination and writing! To listen and read to all or some of the top 50 entries in both categories click here.

500

OUR PATHS

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Our lives are a series of journeys – traversing various paths along the way, some straight and clearly signposted, others winding, confusing. We stumble over obstacles, the cracks in life. What matters is we move forward – time is never still, nor is life. 

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We might not be sure what is at the end of a certain road…but that is no reason not to explore, examine in detail. Take a risk, walk on. 

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Be aware how those oft travelled roads change form with the seasons. For a day or two a busy car-laden highway becomes a mystical wintry snow grotto where only the odd car passes. 

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The norm is never just that…a new angle, emotion is required to see the road in a new light…to see the view ahead in a manner transformed. 

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That doesn’t mean we should charge through life obliviously – take time to notice, be aware of the surroundings. They will raise a smile, ignite creative thoughts, inspire stories, poems, art. 

Along the way we stop for nourishment, sharing a meal with friends and family.

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Here we not only satiate our physical hunger but that of the soul as well; the location often setting the ambience and mood for the occasion. 

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Birds and their flight of freedom never fail to grab our imagination; their elegant effortless glide into the skies, their expanisve wings stretched to the full.

How often don’t we dream of just that – stretching out, soaring away. But then again, perhaps we already do – every moment of our lives…unconscious of the mystical flight of living. 

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Finally, I would like to wish each and everyone of you a wonderful celebration on New Year’s Eve and may 2018 be a peaceful year filled with joy and creativity.

As I’m hosting a New Year’s Eve dinner party, I’ve been busy preparing a menu which I would like to share with you. 

New Year's Eve Menu 2017