I was on a roll. My days had a rhythm to them. Writing, gardening, photography and volunteer work. Habits that I’d consciously worked on over the past couple of years. Patterns I’d established in adjusting to life with a cardiac condition.
And then, out of nowhere I encounter another kind of ‘roll’ – an unfortunate one – a simple mis-step that has tipped life off balance … AGAIN. My foot is injured such that I have not been able to weight bear on it for some time. Even the simplest of tasks takes so long to do with a disability, so gardening and photography are very challenging. And I am dismayed and frustrated. Rhythms have gone astray. I’m stalled on my ‘Reading Between the Tiles’ memoir, unable to focus.
But this post is not a grizzle about how life sucks.
I’ve been trawling through photography archives (leg up on my sofa) and came across images from ages ago when I was a quilter. One of my creative projects was called ‘Thinking Outside the Square’. Here I would take squares of fabric and manipulate them in ways new to me. I’d ask myself ‘How can I do something different here?’ ‘What if I tried this?’ ‘I wonder how this material behaves when I do this?’ ‘How can I add spaces to my design?’
I did not know what the outcome of this curiosity would be. Then I just wanted to improve my quilting skills but now I realise that those learned creative ways of thinking subconsciously permeate other aspects of life.
I can view the ‘dark space’ I’m in now with frustration or I can think outside the square and find alternate ways to hang in there. At the moment I’m the little red square just clinging on but I tell myself this experience is part of a bigger picture, I just don’t know how it all comes together yet.