So much beauty

 

 

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If I were wild

If I were wild

I would jump on the back of a motorbike and ride with a man along the coastal roads and into the towns and villages of the cote d’Azur

I would make love on tables and in the sea

I would chant with my sisters on the threshing floor in front of a sacred mountain in Andalucia

I would tell people what I really feel, with no fear of judgment

I would deliberately take the unexpected turning and drive through the mountains, and lose myself

If I were wild, I would dance with abandon

I would sing a long folk song in front of an audience in a summer pub garden

I would occasionally drink too much wine

If I were wild, I would laugh with tears pouring down my face

I would play music that makes me cry and paint pictures to soothe myself

I would tell people how much I love them

I would march in the streets of London against injustice and shout at the top of my lungs outside Downing Street

If I were wild I would walk barefoot on the earth

All these things I have done.

If I were wilder I would move to Spain

And paint.

If I were wilder, I would jump into the blue.

 

 

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Rainbow over the sea

I was sitting in my favourite spot above the sea in Pett Level.  It had been the hottest day on record in the UK and I had finished lessons with my student, completed a painting and the heat had rendered most people inactive.  I had also checked in with my Mum who was sitting with the curtains drawn, fan whirring and we ate strawberries. There was a promised thunderstorm approaching so I walked up to the cliff’s edge to welcome it and watch it over the sea. I watched forked lightning for some time and chatted with neighbours who had arrived with wine to enjoy the same. They left when the rain started.  I stayed, relishing the experience. After a little while I sensed a golden flash before me and looked up. There was a double rainbow over the sea. It was like a beautiful portal. It stayed around an hour. Hot gusts of wind interspersed with cool gusts. I stayed with the rainbow. The colours grew and pulsed in intensity and I watched in awe. I took some photos although they don’t represent the immensity of its beauty. It felt like the most beautiful announcement.  A fanfare.

 

 

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The Sunflower Room.

An original painting on canvas. 40 cm by 40 cm. Painted on the hottest day on record in the UK.

All works are copyrighted.

Do not use without permission or payment.

Available in my etsy shop.  Link here:  https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/710149348/the-sunflower-room?ref=shop_home_active_1

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Clay Head. Woman and Bird.

I am enjoying the process of clay so much, it may become my new obsession. Of course i will always paint but i find the medium of clay so soothing and time just doesn’t exist while doing it. Luckily my mother has a fully equipped pottery studio. What a joy. Next is the glazing and firing once this has dried further.

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Red Flower.

Acrylic on paper.

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Learning English in a creative environment

I am an artist / art teacher and Native English EFL /ESOL/ EAL /TEFL teacher. If your child is creative and wants to learn English alongside art in a creative environment, look no further. Today my Belarusian student and I enjoyed English lessons in the morning and a clay workshop in the afternoon. Below are some photos of some of my students I have taught this summer. Also some photos of the room and some nearby views, day trips and walks in coastal East Sussex. Cost is £600 GBP per week per person, including 15 hours of English tuition, usually 3 hours each morning, all meals, two afternoon trips to local sights, and one full day trip to London, your own huge room with double bed and beautiful garden and arts and crafts activities. The house is situated on a private lane near the cliff top with incredibly beautiful coastal walks and beaches. Adult learners welcome. I also teach business English at all levels.

Email: alicejulietmason@gmail.com.

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Gaia and the Elements

In my etsy shop:

All paintings on this blog are my copyright.  Do not use without permission or payment.

https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/705673508/gaia-and-the-elements?ref=shop_home_active_1

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Small Acts of Liberation

SMALL ACTS OF LIBERATION.  Alain de Botton

It’s not necessarily a well-flagged problem: we tend to situate the risks to our happiness elsewhere – but for a proportion of us, the greatest obstacle to our flourishing lies in a high and persistent degree of inhibition. We are, in a range of areas, painfully hesitant about saying what we deeply want, appreciating where we are talented and pursuing our objectives in the world with a decent amount of tenacity, strategy and courage. It can look as if we might be simply well-mannered and quiet but we are something more pernicious and self-harming: ashamed of what we seek and, in the largest sense, of who we are.

Part of the reason we stay meek for too long is that we imagine a more forthright life in unhelpfully dramatic terms. We picture it involving radical large-scale moves and major upsets of people we care about, and therefore understandably withdraw from the prospect of unleashing offence and chaos. But this isn’t what directness invariably has to mean. We could come to view the business of speaking up in more modest terms, as an evolution rather than a revolution; and go in for a few confidence-building measures that nevertheless stand a chance of slowly wearing away at our unhelpful timidity.

We might consider a range of everyday moves that point the way to a more liberated way of living.

1. Taking pleasure in our accomplishments
The timid tend to live – paradoxically – in terror of being accused of boasting. So whatever they have accomplished, they take great care to hide. If something has gone well, they publicly put it down to luck and privately assume that far worse is soon to come. But there might be an opportunity, every now and then, to acknowledge what has gone well. One might try, on occasion, to stop putting oneself down and open up about a success one has been involved in. It could feel as dangerous as shoplifting, yet there might be genuine benefit in taking the measure of, and a little pride in, one’s strengths and virtues.

2. Walk into rather than away from a fear
We are used to taking our fears as reliable alarm bells. If we don’t want to go to the party, it must be because gatherings are dangerous. If we don’t want to start a new initiative, it must be because the risk is untenable. But some alarms may be going off for no good reason at all, simply because we’ve grown up feeling suspicious of ourselves. Fear, which is in principle there to help us take care of our interests, may be shielding us from being properly alive. We might – at selected points – need to hear an alarm, ignore it completely and walk on.

3. Cause problems for someone else
Our impulse is always to accommodate other people. We laugh at their jokes, go along with their plans and try never to ruffle their feathers. But inside, we may also be very angry, have a legitimate grievance and something important we need to say or do that bucks the trend. And therefore, we could at moments radically inconvenience someone, not to be bloody minded, but because there is an important principle at stake which we don’t this time want to give up on. We might learn the subtle art of being, where it really counts, a pain.

4. Flirt
To be inhibited is to assume that it would be unwelcome and a little shocking to show anyone else that we liked them and might be likeable in turn. We would never dare to pay compliments or allow ourselves to be overt in our enthusiasms. After all, other people always have partners; we’re never their type and we’re anyway a bit disgusting. Except that none of that may be remotely true. There is a loneliness in almost everyone that we may be able to provide a hugely fitting answer to.

5. Stay in bed a bit longer
We are terrified of being deemed lazy and defend ourselves against feelings of unworthiness through heroic work schedules and iron self-discipline. It feels more bearable to be permanently busy and in pain. But we might dare to push against our masochism and try, in a minor way, to try out something we’ve never dared: a bit of insurrection. We might go home early or take a morning off, we might accept that a bit of self-indulgence, a bit of not-caring-what-they-will-say, belongs within the economy of any well-lived life.

6. Treat yourself
Part of our innate shame is likely to manifest itself in an inner austerity. It might always feel better to sidestep pleasure but we might, in the name of mental health, throw the habit of a lifetime away and sometimes, without guilt, simply daydream for a few hours, buy ourselves an expensive piece of clothing (preferably in a bold colour) or step into a bakery and ask for a large slice of blueberry cake or a Portuguese custard tart (or two).

7. You are (a bit) amazing
You are – whatever your flaws, which we’ve heard quite enough about already – part of cosmic creation, an extraordinarily original and vibrant witness to the universe, partaking of the same sort of biological matter that wrote Paradise Lost and sent rockets to Jupiter – and possessed of your own unique moments of lyricism, insight and brilliance.

A deeply heretical set of thoughts rears its head: perhaps you deserve to be here. Perhaps you are not inherently shameful. Perhaps you are allowed love and, every now and then, to be loved in return. Perhaps you can be at ease with who you are, with what you want and with all the mistakes and embarrassments you have (like all of us) generated. Perhaps no one would complain if you took a few baby steps to freedom.

 

the doves

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Small Acts of Liberation

It’s not necessarily a well-flagged problem: we tend to situate the risks to our happiness elsewhere – but for a proportion of us, the greatest obstacle to our flourishing lies in a high and persistent degree of inhibition. We are, in a range of areas, painfully hesitant about saying what we deeply want, appreciating where we are talented and pursuing our objectives in the world with a decent amount of tenacity, strategy and courage. It can look as if we might be simply well-mannered and quiet but we are something more pernicious and self-harming: ashamed of what we seek and, in the largest sense, of who we are.

Part of the reason we stay meek for too long is that we imagine a more forthright life in unhelpfully dramatic terms. We picture it involving radical large-scale moves and major upsets of people we care about, and therefore understandably withdraw from the prospect of unleashing offence and chaos. But this isn’t what directness invariably has to mean. We could come to view the business of speaking up in more modest terms, as an evolution rather than a revolution; and go in for a few confidence-building measures that nevertheless stand a chance of slowly wearing away at our unhelpful timidity.

We might consider a range of everyday moves that point the way to a more liberated way of living.

1. Taking pleasure in our accomplishments
The timid tend to live – paradoxically – in terror of being accused of boasting. So whatever they have accomplished, they take great care to hide. If something has gone well, they publicly put it down to luck and privately assume that far worse is soon to come. But there might be an opportunity, every now and then, to acknowledge what has gone well. One might try, on occasion, to stop putting oneself down and open up about a success one has been involved in. It could feel as dangerous as shoplifting, yet there might be genuine benefit in taking the measure of, and a little pride in, one’s strengths and virtues.

2. Walk into rather than away from a fear
We are used to taking our fears as reliable alarm bells. If we don’t want to go to the party, it must be because gatherings are dangerous. If we don’t want to start a new initiative, it must be because the risk is untenable. But some alarms may be going off for no good reason at all, simply because we’ve grown up feeling suspicious of ourselves. Fear, which is in principle there to help us take care of our interests, may be shielding us from being properly alive. We might – at selected points – need to hear an alarm, ignore it completely and walk on.

3. Cause problems for someone else
Our impulse is always to accommodate other people. We laugh at their jokes, go along with their plans and try never to ruffle their feathers. But inside, we may also be very angry, have a legitimate grievance and something important we need to say or do that bucks the trend. And therefore, we could at moments radically inconvenience someone, not to be bloody minded, but because there is an important principle at stake which we don’t this time want to give up on. We might learn the subtle art of being, where it really counts, a pain.

4. Flirt
To be inhibited is to assume that it would be unwelcome and a little shocking to show anyone else that we liked them and might be likeable in turn. We would never dare to pay compliments or allow ourselves to be overt in our enthusiasms. After all, other people always have partners; we’re never their type. Except that none of that may be remotely true. There is a loneliness in almost everyone that we may be able to provide a hugely fitting answer to.

5. Stay in bed a bit longer
We are terrified of being deemed lazy and defend ourselves against feelings of unworthiness through heroic work schedules and iron self-discipline. It feels more bearable to be permanently busy and in pain. But we might dare to push against our masochism and try, in a minor way, to try out something we’ve never dared: a bit of insurrection. We might go home early or take a morning off, we might accept that a bit of self-indulgence, a bit of not-caring-what-they-will-say, belongs within the economy of any well-lived life.

6. Treat yourself
Part of our innate shame is likely to manifest itself in an inner austerity. It might always feel better to sidestep pleasure but we might, in the name of mental health, throw the habit of a lifetime away and sometimes, without guilt, simply daydream for a few hours, buy ourselves an expensive piece of clothing (preferably in a bold colour) or step into a bakery and ask for a large slice of blueberry cake or a Portuguese custard tart (or two).

7. You are (a bit) amazing
You are – whatever your flaws, which we’ve heard quite enough about already – part of cosmic creation, an extraordinarily original and vibrant witness to the universe, partaking of the same sort of biological matter that wrote Paradise Lost and sent rockets to Jupiter – and possessed of your own unique moments of lyricism, insight and brilliance.

A deeply heretical set of thoughts rears its head: perhaps you deserve to be here. Perhaps you are not inherently shameful. Perhaps you are allowed love and, every now and then, to be loved in return. Perhaps you can be at ease with who you are, with what you want and with all the mistakes and embarrassments you have (like all of us) generated. Perhaps no one would complain if you took a few baby steps to freedom.

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