Question of the day.

Do you do anything artistic/creative?

My answer:

I consider myself quite a creative person, but not necessarily artistic at the same time. I do write a lot, but these days it’s mostly non-fiction – either journalling or blogging. – I still write some short stories, mostly in Polish, and occasionally in English, and when they’re in English I usually post them on here as well if I think they are reasonably good, but I wrote a lot more of that kind of stuff when I was a teenager. Still, if we consider that only things that have some kind of audience cann be called art, most of my short stories from that time were no art because I would usually delete them shortly after writing or rip them into pieces and throw into the bin because I didn’t want to realise after a week or a year that what I wrote and originally really enjoyed writing it and thought it was good, is in fact super cringey. 😀 People would often be very surprised when I mentioned to them that I was writing something, and they’d be all like: “Show me! Show me!” and then learn that I deleted it right away. 😀

I also still have that whole Jack Hamilton novel which I’ve been writing since like fourth grade in primary school, but now it’s less about writing and more about just having a continuous connection with Jack who has been my great friend for years and I just owe him a lot, and besides it’s always felt more like he wrote it himself – I’d have some idea how to develop something but in the end it would go totally differently because, well, I guess he just had completely different ideas on how he wants to live his life than I did, and because it’s his life, and he’s quite a stubborn character, I didn’t have a say about that. 😀 – But it was more interesting this way.

I have two other novel ideas lying and collecting dust (well not really, they’re on my Braille-Sense so dust isn’t a problem) which are mostly just drafts even if quite detailed and well-developed ones. One of them I don’t think I’ll ever come back to writing seriously, because we originally started writing it with Jacek from Helsinki, then Jacek passed away and after a long time I picked it up again and wrote some more, but eventually realised that it doesn’t make sense without Jacek, who made up all the conlangs (constructed languages) that people in various worlds of this book spoke in, he came up with the idea first. It was no longer as much fun either. The other novel idea I am planning on developing and publishing under a pen name if ever I find myself in a more difficult financial situation, although I honestly have no idea how “publishable” it would be and if I could seriously make any money from something like this.

Also, I still try to translate some poems of Cornelis Vreeswijk into Polish whenever my creative juices are overflowing, which I’ve started doing when I was 17 and originally had a very idealistic dream of publishing them. Now I’m not so sure I would ever do that, even though part of me would still love to do it. There are many reasons for why not. The most important one is probably simply that I haven’t translated many poems in their entirety so far, and it’s even less when you don’t count the ones that I think still could be improved and I think I will be improving them over time. It’s always so that when I start to translate something, have some idea how it could be done, I get stuck at some point and I have a fair few translations that I think are really pretty good but there are either gaps or they aren’t finished because I don’t know how to translate something in a way that flows right or find some other problem along the way that I don’t know how to solve. Also I still feel incredibly self-conscious about the whole thing, if I’m honest. Another problem is something I had doubts about ever since I’ve started doing this – how well these poems could actually be received here. – Whether it wouldn’t be a bit as if, like I often say, I were trying to plant bananas in Poland, or something like that. A lot of his poems and lyrics are very Swedish and I can see some real Scandinavophiles being happy about such a translation, but not really beyond this niche. And lastly, over time, as I’ve been getting to know Cornelis better, and also forming my own views and beliefs, I’ve figured that, as much as I like him and a lot of his music and a lot of his writing, as much as I feel a lot of some kind of soul kinship or what you may call it with him, and find a lot of what he wrote relatable, we also do not agree at all about A WHOLE LOT of things. A lot of what he wrote is more or less political, and his views on most sociopolitical things are vastly different than mine, I am more than sure that I wouldn’t want to be associated with this and make an impression that I support his way of thinking, and I think that impression would be very strong to people. It would be as if I kind of betrayed myself or something. Of course, I could just translate the ones that do not touch on topics about which I strongly disagree with him, which is what I do, but as his views were quite naturally a strong part of him and his style, I feel like that wouldn’t be fully fair and wouldn’t give people a full picture. Which makes you wonder whether I’m seriously the right person to do this, as I originallyy thought and was told by some. Still, I can just translate his poems and lyrics for myself, and develop both my Swedish and general writing skills, especially that it’s quite a demanding kind of writing, to be able to reproduce someone’s writing style and what they have to say in another language, especially if you’re neither a poet nor a songwriter yourself. But I pretend I can do it. 😀

Something that I do that you could perhaps call some form of art ’cause it’s creative and it has an audience, is storytelling. Since Sofi was little, I’ve been making up stories for her about a creature called Jim. Jim is a so called Jimosaurus, which I don’t even know myself what exactly it means, other than he’s most definitely not a human, despite he looks exactly like one, and that being a Jimosaurus makes him immortal, and always looking very young (he always looks the same age as Sofi so you could say that his appearance is aging with her). Another difference that it makes is that, while he can eat normal, human food and really enjoys it, it is not life-sustaining for him. What is, is helping people, or any other living beings. He lives in a forest in Australia and is its king. His best friends and helpers are Zofijka the Bee – who is very practical, down-to-earth, chatty and sociable, a bit rough sometimes but very caring, and she’s something like a healer or a doctor, so Jim often takes her on his helping escapades – and a bear (I know there are no bears in Australia but Sofi doesn’t care either way, and I feel like it’s not a proper bedtime story if there are no bears, as I loved bears when I was a little child) who is very clumsy, makes an impression as if he’s always asleep or confused about where he is and what he’s doing, and wherever he is, something must go wrong, because he’s so forgetful and scatterbrained, but he has a heart of gold, and is a good listener if he isn’t too sleepy. Because he’s Jim’s best friend, Jim usually chooses him to replace him as the king whenever he goes to help someone, which is quite often. The Bear doesn’t like it but he likes Jim so he always agrees.

Jim has a little cottage in the forest, and whenever he’s feeling hungry, he takes his leather wings and his magical torch and sits on top of his roof, dangling his legs, and looks around the whole world to see who needs help most. When he finds someone, he puts on his leather wings, calls Zofijka if she’s needed and the Bear to let him know that he’s the king now, and anyone else who may be useful, and flies speedily to wherever his help is needed, and helps, always effectively.

Sometimes he helps people, sometimes animals or plants, sometimes it’s people Sofi knows or some random people, and sometimes they end up being friends and Jim takes them to the forest with himself, especially if the help they need is a change of surroundings because they live with mean people or something. Sometimes he helps with really trivial things that anyone could help with, while other times they’re proper miraculous interventions. Most of the time though he helps children all over the world in all sorts of situations, from a very difficult homework to dealing with life after a child’s mum was diagnosed with cancer.

Sofi really likes Jim and always when she has a problem she says she’d like if he could see her and come and wants him to be real. Who wouldn’t. I always tell her these stories before sleep – well not as in every time she goes to sleep but whenever I tell them to her, it’s at bedtime. – I really like them as well. My friend once said I could actually write them for more people and I thought it could be cool, but Sofi really hated the idea because it’s her personal Jim and I totally get that.

So yeah, that’s as artistic as it gets with me. 😀 I used to do music a lot at school but, as I’ve said many times, it was quite stressful and not all that fullfilling so in the end I decided I feel better as a listener than performer, although I do appreciate having that experience as I believe it makes me a slightly better listener/judge than I could be otherwise. A lot of people remember me from my early childhood when I was singing a lot, also in competitions and such, and I was considered to sing well (I don’t know, as far as I am concerned, when I listen to some old recordings of myself that my parents have I don’t think I sang any better than most children at my age then but okay), feel disappointed that I no longer do it (part of why I don’t is because that was the only thing some people seemed to like me for 😀 ), and when they say so I say that I simply switched to a different kind of music, which is languages. Because I do think that language is a form of music and that some musical skills are helpful with picking up honetics, although people have divided opinions on that and it’s not difficult to find very good singers who are crap at other languages than their native. 😀 So if you consider language learning an art, well, then I’m most definitely very artistic! The only audience for my singing these days though is Misha, who seems to like being sung to.

How about you? 🙂

My core strengths.

A while back, I wrote about

my core values

using Hannah Braime’s book The Year of You as an inspiration. Today, I thought I’d publicly tackle the very next prompt from the same book, which is very similar and asks about “What are your core strengths? (…)”.

The author suggests using the

Via Strengths Survey

for those who are not familiar with the concept.

I did this prompt in my diary before, and was not familiar with the strengths thing, so I did the test, and if you haven’t so far and would like to know about your strengths and share them in the comments – give it a go. 🙂 – Unlike many other personality tests, it seems to be quite reasonable or at least my results make a lot of sense to me. So here’s what Via Character thinks to be my core/signature strengths and what I think about it, join in and let me know about yours and how you feel about them. 🙂

      Perspective.

Perspective is definitely something important for me. I like to look at things from different perspectives and angles, think out of the box, put myself in others’ shoes. Via Characters says that if your core strength is perspective, it means that people come to you for counsel and advice. Well yeah, a lot of people do and I sometimes wonder why because I’m not that very experienced in life at all. It especially makes me laugh how a lot of people, including my own mother, come to me to rant or ask for advice when they have problems in their relationships with their significant others. It’s funny because I’ve always been single and people ask me sometimes as if I was some couple therapist or something. It’s funny and sometimes I find it challenging because if a person has come to me with this they expect some sort of help and I’m always worried that I won’t be able to do that so I try my best to empathise with them and imagine myself in the same situation even if it’s very abstractive because I never experienced anything like it. But if people ask me so often, I figure I must be good at it, after all. No idea if that’s true though. 😀 I like to imagine how it must be to be other people, which helps me to be more empathetic. I think I am more empathetic because of my imagination than because of actual ability to feel the same things as others do. I like my often broad way of thinking. But I must say it was a surprise for me that perspective is my #1 strength.

   Kindness.

This was another sort of surprise for me, because, yeah, I do try to be kind and helpful to people, but I somehow wouldn’t think of it to be as strong a trait in me to be considered a core strength. On the other hand a lot of people tell me that I’m kind, and my Mum is always extremely kind to people and goes out of her way to help them so I may have it after her to an extend. I often find it difficult though to be as kind to people as I’d like to be and express my kindness fully, because of my struggles with human interactions and expressing emotions, so to some people I come across as icy and not particularly kind.

   Humour.

This is a trait I feel really grateful to have. It is one of my most helpful and most used coping skills. I think if I didn’t have a sense of humour and a distance to things my life would be much more difficult. As it is, things can still be difficult, but I can find funny/absurd things to it anyway and I don’t have to put an effort into finding them which would be difficult when you’re depressed, I just notice them anyway. I believe it must be so much worse to have depression in particular when you have no sense of humour to help you out, not even the most cynical and dark one. Actually after some thinking I realised that what I just wrote sounded like cynical or dark humour is worse than any other but in fact I think it’s far more superior and practical in life. 😀

   Creativity.

I’m no artsy type, or as Sofi hilariously calls it “plast plast” (as in plasticine, there was a TV programme years ago called “Plastelinek I Przyjaciele” (Plastelinek And Friends), where Plastelinek was a sort of creature made of plasticine and he encouraged kids to do art and visited schools and when he was excited about something he exclaimed “Plast plast!) Sofi is very plast plast, but I never was and never even particularly wanted to be. I used to do some music but was very mediocre at it, perhaps except for singing judging from people’s reactions but I didn’t particularly enjoy in the long-term any of the ways of making music that I tried, and decided that I feel much better as a listener and observer of it rather than a performer. I’ve done some creative writing but have always felt very self-conscious about it and don’t think it’s particularly good, and now I do much less of it. Yet I still consider myself very creative because of how I think. I have lots of ideas, I am a synaesthete and I love to play around with words. I have weird associations with things, even beyond the synaesthesia, which enable me to see things differently than most people may. I have (or at least used to have, as I’m still in a very painful limbo) fazas, which have always been a huge boost for my creativity. And I’m very imaginative. I think it’s enough to have the right to call oneself creative.

   Judgment.

I consider myself a good judge of character indeed. Other people seem to agree with that a lot too. I think it’s a very useful trait to have. I like to observe people and think what they might be like. I also have the whole name and personality theory that you know about if you’re a regular reader, and if you don’t, better don’t get me started as I can’t go on about this for ages. 😀 I used to trust in this ability of mine a bit too much though, usually without even realising it, and instead of thinking that the person might be as I think they should be given my observations/any other evidence for that that I may have, I readily assumed that they must be how I imagined them to be. A lot of the time, I was right, but I had to have a few strong reality checks before I realised what I was actually doing and that I didn’t have to always be right because people can seriously be so complicated. I still love to figure out people’s characters and play around with the name characterisations but it’s not like I start out with the assumption that it has to be how I think, it’s more like a help for me with what I can possibly expect from a person but I don’t form my opinion about people based on what I imagine they must be like. It’s also a good coping skill for me which is why I used it to such an extend. I like to know what someone may be like, their reactions to things etc. in advance, it feels safer. This judgment thing also prevent me from disliking people. A lot of people who are socially anxious or struggling with similar things say they don’t like people and I can very well understand it. But while mingling with people is an awful chore for me, I love to analyse their behaviours, observe people, they can be so very fascinating! So I just can’t say I don’t like or hate people! I am also very careful when making any more important decisions, and careful with everything really, and have to consider everything when making a decision. Like yesterday, I was facing a potentially at least somewhat life-changing decision and I’m still digging deep into it, learning about all pros and cons and still haven’t made the final, actual decision.

In conclusion, overall I think this was pretty accurate, and I feel very grateful for these strengths I have and that I can make use of them.

Now you tell me about yours. 🙂

 

 

About creativity.

Hi people! 🙂

I don’t have a question of the day for you today, but I decided to answer another question asked by Carol Anne of

Therapy Bits

and of course you can too, either under her or my post or in your own.

A recent question of hers that I’ve chosen to answer is this:

do you think you are creative?

Yes, I think I am, and a lot of people have told me I am, so there must be something in it I suppose. At some times less than at others, and perhaps not always in a very conventional and obvious way, but I think I definitely am. I think the way I think is very creative to begin with, because of my synaesthesia and other such things. I like to play around with language and with words and the more creatively, the better. I am very imaginative, and it has helped me through many hard things and is one of my most effective coping skills. I make up tons of strange games to play with Sofi. I used to use a lot of my creativity in creative writing for years, now I do much less for it, simply because at this point I just find journalling and the like more enjoyable, but there was a point in my life where I would write a story almost every day. Sometimes I get that intense flow of very creative ideas and that’s really cool. Also my creativity is always stronger when I for example had little to no sleep. On one hand your attention span and memory and such things are much worse when you don’t sleep well, but in my experience, at the same time, it opens up some creative and more intuitive parts of your brain, suddenly you are able to figure out things you couldn’t when well rested, or have a solution for something you couldn’t solve previously, which is usually quite out of the box an dmaybe even a bit odd at a first glance. Besides, I think night time always increases creativity and out of the box thinking for me, whether I’ve had enough sleep or not. Sometimes I stay up at night voluntarily when I am able to just to be able to do something creative. My crushes spark my creativity in a big way, which I can feel especially these days when there’s no dominant crush around. I really like the creative part of my brain, so I still desperately hope that I’ll come across some new faza/crush in the very near feature?

How is it for you? In what ways are you creative, if you thinks you are, how does it manifest? What sparks your creativity? 🙂

 

Music Monday Care & Love – Enya – Paint The Sky With Stars.

Hi guys. 🙂

So today again I’m participating in Bee’s Music Monday Care & Love. 

Since this week, Bee is following Julia Cameron’s book “The Artist’s Way” as a prompt for Music Monday Care & Love. In this book Julia Cameron writes about creativity, how many of us don’t use their creative potential and don’t have enough space for creativity in their lives, as there are so many important things we have to do in life and not everyone finds the time to be creative. It seems like her idea of creativity or being an artist is pretty similar to mine – I talked about it in the past in one of my question of the day posts where I asked you whether you consider yourselves artistic. I think that art is generally quite a narrow idea – the way that many people look at it – so that it only includes those generally accepted so to say creative arts, or even just visual arts. For me though, art is something aesthetic, beautiful. Creative or artistic people are those who are sensitive to beauty, and in general. They don’t have to do any of the common creative arts, they can do anything – but in their own way, with a lot of enthusiasm, and wholeheartedly, withh a lot of dedication. That’s an artist to me.

And I also agree with what THE Bee said, that being creative, doing creative things, can be a way of self care, a very good and helpful one in my opinion.

Because it helps us to find some point in our life, because being creative we can do what we love, and because via our creative activities we can let out emotions, so it’s generally therapeutic. And it simply gives us something to do and focus on.

I like Julia Cameron’s ideas of “morning PAGES” and “artist’s date” – I send you to Bee’s blog if you’d like to read more about those things.

I always liked journaling and writing and it was always greatly helpful to me in understanding, figuring and letting out my emotions, which, particularly that last thing, can be often very tricky for me, therefore Julia cameron’s idea of writing 3 pages as first thing every morning and letting out spontaneously what’s on your mind without any editing kind of spoke to me. I can’t do it this way, because morning is usually part of the day when there’s the most hassle around and I have the most to do, and it was always hard for me to establish some consistent, more sophisticated morning routine, plus sometimes with my messed up sleep cycle it is hard to figure out when morning actually is, as I can wake up pracctically any time. 😀 And of course handwriting isn’t doable as I’m blind.

Still though, I do journal every day, or even if not, I always catch up on my journal if I miss a day or two, and my diary is incredibly important for me. And who knows, maybe if I counted it, many of my entries would turn out to be 3 pages long or even longer. 😀

And I love the conception of artist date, to do something you’ve never allowed yourself doing, but always wanted to, and that sounds fun. Something that will awake your creativity and allow your inner creative child to play.

At first, I had some difficulty though to choose something that I could do as an artist’s date. There are many things that are really fun and that I love and that I’ve always dreamed about doing, but they’re not always manageable to do just whenever you want.

And then I thought – but hey, there are so many creative and fun things you already do, about which you dreamed for so long and finally you can do them!

And that’s true. There are so many things. If you told me like four years ago, or earlier, that I’ll be doing them, I’d probably just laugh in your face and think you’re foolish and unhealthily optimistic or something. But now I do them.

I can learn my languages. I can horse ride. I can write how much I want and no one can tell me I can’t. Moreover, as for my languages, I’m learning those that I’d almost accepted that are out of my reach because of accessibility – or lack of it – like Welsh!

SO I decided I won’t be trying to come up with something new, at least not this week. I’ll rather try to appreciate those things thaT I can do, and that are creative, even more, and have fun doing them, so that they would be even more pleasurable and not just a part of my routine.

So both yesterday and today, I was doing my Welsh, and was having A LOT of fun with it – with learning new words, with all my small successes and all – and I hope I’m gonna do some of it every day.

And a special thing this week – which I’m gonna treat as my artist’s date – will be tomorrow, because tomorrow at 10 AM I’m going horse riding. I just hope I’m gonna feel good afterwards, and not as crappy as last week hahaha. Then all will be great!

So that’s my self care plan for this week.

The milkshake about which I was writing in last week MusIC Monday post, didn’t work out, but I still have tons of kefir in the house to comfort myself with. 😀 I think overall, on a daily basis, kefir is much better than milk shakes hahaha.

OK, so as for the music, Bee suggests us to choose some music from the year we were born.

I was born in 1997. Most of my music is either on my Spotify, or on my SD cards, and if I’m honest – apart from my music crushes – I’m not always oriented from which album which song comes and when it was released (as numbers have little to no value for me), so I wondered for quite a while as for what to choose. Enya has released a compillation in 1997, but it’s just a compillation, so… I wasn’t really sure. I filtered my whole Spotify library to find all the stuff in it that has been released in 1997, meanwhile making lots of interesting discoveries as I didn’t know that many songs that I listened to and loved and had in my Spotify library were released in the same year when I was born, but I still hesitated, and then I realised that this Enya’s compilation that I mentioned, it has two tracks that haven’t been released before. One is “Only If”, and another is just as the compillation’s title “Paint The Sky With Stars”.

I think many many people may know “Only If”, as this song has been quite popular, and if I’m honest, although Enya is my music crush and I like almost everything from her, in my opinion “Only If” isn’t as haunting and beautiful as most of her pieces, though it’s still beautiful and very positive overall.

So I thought “Paint The Sky With Stars” would be a perfect choice. This is such a beautiful song, isn’t it?And again, like last week, I’m sharing with you something from one of my music crushes. As some of you may remember, Enya is my very first one.