I am struggling.
Struggling with the distraction that is my iPhone.
My fingers are on autopilot. I pick up my phone to do a task, and subconsciously open the Facebook app, or Instagram, or Pinterest. And I scroll, mindlessly, until I'm awoken from my stupor and reminded of what it was I was supposed to be doing.
And the thing is, none of it breeds creativity.
I would have thought Instagram, at least, with its gorgeous vignettes, and amazing far-away landscapes, and the creations of people so dedicated to their craft; I would have thought it would inspire.
Instead it all seems to suck me dry of inspiration, and leave me devoid of any desire to create. It leaves me empty.
And the last two days, as I've had my head buried in The Invention of Wings, and been transported to another time and place, by the ebb and flow of another's words, I have realised how shallow and draining social media can be.
Curled up, holding a book, thumbing the pages as I read, before I turn them; the smell, the sound. And though I'm transported, I am more present than I am when scrolling absently through Facebook.
And I listed in my mind the things that spark inspiration, and genuine conversation, and creativity;
books; the Bible (especially the Message, where everything I read seems to be brand new), novels, the children's books I've been reading with my smalls - holding them and turning their pages, and being drawn in, down deep. cook books with their stories, and their recipes and their amazing photography, and the inspiration to create something new in the kitchen.
magazines; the glossy ones with photos of food and recipes to drool over, the papery ones with the articles about fair trade and make-it-yourself, and the arty ones with the tear-out pages, and beautiful images.
gardening; with it's hope of poppies, and harvests
running; always with a podcast, spurring me on in my spirit, as well as my legs that eventually quit begging me to stop, and run with a rhythm I'd always hoped to have; running with it's sunsets over oceans and never-the-same-twice skies.
writing; it's scribbles and quotes, it's thankful lists and journal entries, and blogs
capturing pictures with my real camera, and my phone, and giving stories the visual words that spark ideas and say what my words alone cannot.
tea. the solitary, quiet ones that allow me to slow my thoughts. The ones joined by little girls who delight in drinking milky sweet tea with me and feeling grown up. The ones shared with friends, over cake and chocolate. It draws out thoughts and ideas flow out.
autumn; autumn and it's lovely rain, and the grey light it casts through my kitchen, creating moody shadows. Autumn and it's mustards and greys, it's scarves and it's leaves. It's need to crochet, and curl up and read, and drink tea: it supports all my creative endeavours.
this. This and so much more. These are the places I find inspiration.
Organic and raw and real. These are the places I find myself. Without comparison, without an anxious measuring-up. There are no 'like' buttons. No one to double tap till a heart explodes. Just me; content to explore who I am, and what makes my heart beat faster.
Tomorrow, I just need to put down the iPhone.