Today I'm flying low and I'm
not saying a word
I'm letting all the voodoos of ambition sleep.
—Mary Oliver, Today
As we approach the gentle stillness of the equinox, I’m sending you good wishes from my hillside in Wales. May the coming days be reflective and peaceful ones for you.
It’s been another six months since I wrote you a Go Gently Letter. I’d love to say that this is the first in a more regular series, but I’m not sure if that will be the case or not. Time will tell.
It's September and autumn has arrived here in Wales. Warm, gentle days that are getting darker at both ends. That means I can get up a little later in the mornings to let the chickens out and that they go to bed a little earlier.
Hardly moving, but still travelling to a better place
When I last wrote to you, I was slowly emerging from a rather difficult place. A not-knowing place and a place that had largely become untenable. I was still trying to sit where I was and trust that things would continue to improve and the way forward continue to reveal itself. I'm happy to say that that does seem to have been the case.
Oddly, my life and work don't look so very different than they did before things became difficult. I've hardly moved at all, although much has shifted. The view from where I've travelled to is clearer, more open. It is certainly a relief to be here.
Audio podcasting again
A year ago I thought that I might have stopped making my audio podcast, One Thing Today. Six months ago I still thought that might be the case. If you don't know, I'm happy to report that I've been back recording episodes since June and recently sent out the 1500th episode.
The podcast has changed a little. Most importantly I don't hold myself to a specific schedule (though interestingly, most weeks I still tend to send out three or four episodes).
It has been lovely to be back talking (and sometimes walking), encouraging listeners (and myself!) to go gently, and to pick one small thing to do each day to move our creative lives on a little. It is good to feel that there is just that tiny momentum in my life again.
Crocheting a stitch at a time
Creatively I'm still crocheting rather than drawing. Although I have noticed my eyes wondering to my pens again of late.
Crocheting is very good creative act for me at the moment. Making something one stitch at a time is a very good metaphor for gently moving along one small step at a time, enjoying the process and eventually finding that something has been made. A sock, a blanket or a gently lived month.
Quiet work on Patreon
Financially things are improving too. Since closing the company that I was trying to run, cutting back on my growing expenses and reducing what I was offering in the world, Patreon has become the place where I work and is providing me with an income. I am VERY grateful.
Over the last few months I've been shifting and adapting what I offering on Patreon a little. The focus is now on supporting my podcasts.
I'm offering patrons early access to One Thing Today and the Go Gently video podcast (which seems to have been on a summer break!), Podcast Extras, weekly twenty-minute work sessions, vlog posts and personal podcasts.
This is quiet work. Gentle work. Work that feels sustainable. If you would like to join me there, it would be lovely to have you.
Still flying low, but...
The Mary Oliver poem that I opened this letter with has been a comfort and good companion to me over the last few months. I've been learning it by heart so that I have with me all the time (it even popped up in a dream a few nights ago!).
I love the image of flying low and not saying a word. Of hardly moving at all, but still travelling a great distance. Of letting go of ambition.
Whilst I'm still flying low, I am happy that I'm starting to say one or two things again. The voodoos of ambition, meanwhile, are still largely sleeping...