Soul searching, Steel

‘Freedom of Speech’

I am having a bit of a block, writers block, thinkers block, life block. Not really ‘a bit’ then is it, it’s a block. Full stop. I am mostly blaming the clocks going back this week. It’s a clock block. The darkness seems to have enveloped everything, not that I am wanting to sound depressing. I quite like the cosy cuddle up, stay warm inside, hibernating time. However, the clocks do seem to be playing tricks on me and my two boys. They are waking up ridiculously early and I feel like the time has been extended in the morning and then compressed at night, literally overnight. Which, to all intense and purposes is what ‘the clocks going back’ is all about. Anyway, I am not intending on talking about clocks and herein lies my problem. I feel I have lost my thread a little bit. I feel I am unsure about where my voice lies.

My husband has always said he doesn’t like visiting galleries, which can be a little frustrating but I am starting to understand. I didn’t think writers would feel the same as artists. Reading is inspirational. However, the more blogs I read the more I get a little bit bewildered as to where I am going with my own. I end up reading and not writing. I am also approaching the 2 year blog mark which is a scary thought, where has the time gone? I am back to the clocks again.

‘Freedom of Speech’

For me writing is way of having free-flowing speech, without interruption from within and outside. Sometimes I hinder myself by almost choking on my own words. When I do speak I feel they hover in speech bubbles hanging on for dear life, just outside of the corners of my mouth. Or they just don’t get out because it takes too long for me to get to the point succinctly and so the other person just carries on speaking. I am not complaining about that, I like listening. I am a better listener than a speaker, not going to be running for election in the near future. So writing has that gift of being able to go back, change, alter, pause, think and then in this case click. Publish.

‘Freedom of Speech’

Writing is a way of unlocking. I have captured some quiet time and just sitting and writing has unblocked me ‘a bit’. For all of my babbling about my own selfish pursuits. I do not mean to detract from the purpose behind these pieces titled. “Freedom of Speech”, we used this title on one of our joint paintings, ‘Freedom of Speech, blind to the truth’. These three pieces are three blocks. So very symbolic of where I am at the moment. A block with a lock, a bolt and a key (hole). Sometimes we can speak, talk, write but we are unaware of what we are seeing right in front of us, around us or globally. We have the gift of being able to sit and write and publish but others do not have a voice or a means of expression for whatever social, political, economic reason. We must take the time to think, to write, to express. We have the time.

The Art of Listening

Beautiful Bronze, Philosophy, Relationships, Soul searching, Steel
'The Thinker'

'The Thinker'


Contemplating the difference between networking and friendship, I wonder if, listening is a fundamental difference. I am not one for blowing my own trumpet but I would put listening high on my list of skills. Although, being silent whilst another person speaks does not always mean ‘good listening’.

I have become increasingly aware that having three male voices to listen to in my house, quite often all at the same time, I may add; I have developed an art of appearing to be listening whilst often thinking a million and one other things at the same time. Isn’t that what most of us do, really, if we are honest ?

It is quite rare I think for a man to be verbally descriptive about what happens in their day. However, even in his second language my husband vividly describes every detail of what happens in his eventful days. Which is fantastic. I can almost imagine I am was there with him. So, on his return from London the story he told me of the Debut Contemporary Exhibition opening was as colourful as his sculptures. It can be hard to concentrate and to properly listen, something I am not doing too well at the moment, but if we do we can reap the benefit.

Joel Kramer, “The Passionate Mind” describes ‘the art of listening’ brilliantly. I have often looked at this to remind me of how to take on board new information.

“Ordinarily what we do when we think we are listening is to take in the words, translate them into something we know or are familiar with,and then agree or disagree.

If the words fit our structures, our beliefs, the things we feel comfortable with, the things we know then the speaker is a wise man and we agree.

If the words do not please us, do not fit our structures and beliefs, do not give us pleasure, then the speaker is a fool and we disagree.

That is what most of us do and call it listening.

But if we are either agreeing or disagreeing, then we are not listening.

For to listen there must be an openness, an innocence, a putting away of old ideas, so that possible the fresh can come in.

If you are busily involved in either agreeing or disagreeing, and you can watch yourself doing this by the way you nod your head as you listen, then what you are doing is not listening at all,

and the new, which is the fount of growth and learning, does not come in.