“To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not, rich; to listen to stars and birds, babes and sages, with open heart; to study hard; to think quietly, act frankly, talk gently, await occasions, hurry never; in a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common–this is my symphony.”
William Henry Channing
When I received the programme for the Druid Gorsedd I was a bit dumbfounded to read that on the first night each of us had five minutes to talk to the others about how our (druidic) lives were going, and what gifts and talents we could offer to the community.
There is something about the word talent that sends my mood plummeting. We’re all supposed to have something that we are really really good at, some lucky people have lots of things they can turn their hand to. Drumming, poetry, healing, singing, playing an instrument, etc. Other people like me are moderately proficient at a few things, and in my case not really things that you can offer to others. What, I said to Mr Stoatie, could I offer as my talent. After a long pause he said … “well you do know a lot about minimalism you could tell them about that.” *sigh*
So I was really pleased when I came across this quote yesterday from W H Channing, (who was a 19th Century Unitarian Minister and philosopher). It completely sums up what I decided quite a few years ago now, when I was working through the Bardic Grade.
Bards of course are hugely creative and it seemed to me, very talented folks, and I was beating myself up because I felt I wasn’t really arty enough. I was also pushed for time, and short of money, with the kids turning into teenagers, Mr Stoatie waiting for and then getting his transplant, etc etc, and I couldn’t attend a lot of the workshops and courses that I thought might help. Then, in an inspired moment, I decided that concentrating on the hearth and home, living a loving and attentive, simple life, centred on family and friends, was just as much a creative process as making or performing something, and I cut myself a bit of slack.
This quote reminds me where my Awen expresses itself. How my symphony is created and performed.
fantastic photo from Alex Nail