Perilous Paralysis

18 04 2012

I don’t know if I would call today a good day or not.  It was one of those days when all I can think about is a cup of coffee and a little nap under my feather duvet.  

Now, I’m supposed to be an artist.  You know, an original thinker, a fount of imagination and of all things unusual   But not today.  The creativity switch just won’t turn on.  Instead, I go to click the on button of my $15.00 Sally Ann stereo with a spastic volume dial that can unexpectedly jump up to full volume (over 50) if jiggled. 

It happened once to poor Harry.  At the time, I was in the bathroom at the opposite end of the building, a whole timber frame shop away.  Suddenly, above the scream of the planers and tablesaws,  I heard CBC radio host, Julie Nazralla, belt out, in her usual enthusiastic and gushy way, “Welcome to your symphonic hour of power.”  

I raced through the shop, back to my studio, where the other members of my book club stood, frozen in the overwhelming volume, and Harry was frantically spinning the useless volume dial while Beethoven’s symphony ripped.  Julie wasn’t kidding when t\she said this was our hour of power.   

 I chuckle at the memory, then decide that I will have silence today.  I pull up a chair to the window and look to Tower Hill for help. “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills from whence cometh my help“,  I chant encouragingly.   Today, no help cometh.  

Coffee time.  Better take some to the guys in the shop, too.  Back in my chair, coffee mug in hand,  I watch sharp little spears of snow punish the garden that I just planted on Saturday and involuntarily pull the portable heater closer to me. 

About an hour into this non-creative crisis,  I am definitely feeling the need of a nap.  But the bed is a long, snowy, bike ride away..  So, I sit, practicing my yoga breath, and meditating.   And that, cyber friends, is how I spent my whole morning in the studio.  It sure doesn’t feel like I accomplished anything today. 

I did, however, notice how exquisite, how nourishing, the silence was. 







5 responses

18 04 2012
Cath Francis

Thought you might like quote from Terri Windling’s blog:

“The creative act is a letting down of the net of human imagination into the ocean of chaos on which we are suspended, and the attempt to bring out of it ideas. It is the night sea journey, the lone fisherman on a tropical sea with his nets, and you let these nets down – sometimes, something tears through them that leaves them in shreds and you just row for shore, and put your head under your bed and pray.

“At other times what slips through are the minutiae, the minnows of this ichthyological metaphor of idea chasing. But, sometimes, you can actually bring home something that is food, food for the human community that we can sustain ourselves on and go forward.” – Terence McKenna

Enjoy your silence and your noisy radio, there is room for both.

18 04 2012

Dear Cathy,   Thanks for your wonderful quote.  All aritistic endeavour must be an ebb and a flow,  a fecund time and a dry time.  The older I get, the more welcoming I am of these dry times, because they play an important role in the long run.  It’s just that we tend to be so production oriented today and feel bad when we can’t produce something tangible.   Hope you are well. Drop by any time.   

Elizabeth Johnson Website:


19 04 2012

Then perhaps I can blame my dislike of dry times on my young age 🙂 I hate not having a steady flow of ideas. It makes me feel like a failure as a writer, but inevitably, once I take some time and space away, and find something else to distract me for awhile, there’s always an idea that comes to mind.

20 04 2012

yes, there is something the be said for the sound of silence……at times!
i hope your garden works out despite the snowy covering………..
cheers, allison

26 04 2012

It took be a while to realize that it was you, Allison. Great to hear from you. I am enjoying your blog now, too. I didn’t know you liked writing. Your Niko is adorable. Thanks so much for your comment. See you this summer.

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