Almost twenty-two months ago, when I first moved to Glastonbury, I had recently completed a creative writing course with the OU (Open University), which I had undertaken to hone my writing skills. As a child, I never wanted to be a train driver, fireman or doctor; my mother always wanted me to join the R.A.F like her father, but I was a child of Imagination. I’ve always wanted to be a writer and musician.
Over the years I amassed note books crammed with ideas: backgrounds and characters and plot lines for a number of books that I would write. The trouble was, turning those notes into actual writing was something I never quite seemed to get around to, life being a distraction… but eventually, with some welcome and appreciated encouragement, I decided to try my hand at writing short stories so I could actually write and finish something. The creative writing course was the perfect disciplinary measure to get myself into the habit.
Out of these sessions came a number of stories which explored a certain theme that I was drawn to: ordinary people finding themselves in extraordinary situations and ultimately being challenged to face, realise and express their “shadow-selves”.
Four stories in particular stood out for me, and I had the idea of self-publishing them as a little collection called ‘CREEPS,’ a title I chose for the potential double meaning of the word. I would then use the internet to self-publicise myself and attempt to gain a modest following that might stand me in good stead when approaching an agent with my first novel, which started out as a short story but currently stands at a little over 75,000 words…
Well- that was almost twenty-two months ago. In my defence, all I can plea is that old, well known adage: “Glastonbury Happens!”
Glastonbury, equated with the mystical Isle of Avalon from Celtic Mythology, is a world-renowned place of pilgrimage. Seekers are drawn here for spiritual discovery, transformation, a sense of community, and freedom of expression. No matter one’s individual beliefs, (and I personally intuit the shedding of belief and expectation to be spiritually liberating and fulfilling for me), there is something undeniably conducive to personal transformation energetically ingrained into the landscape that transcends the many generations of people that have travelled here in search of self-realisation.
The period of upheaval and transformation which often occurs to people who choose to live here is locally recognised and labelled as ‘The Glastonbury Experience.’ We are synchronistically drawn here with a desire for self-realisation, then find that events unfold that facilitate such transformation and challenge us to embrace the process, no matter the cost.
My own ‘Glastonbury Experience’ has certainly brought me many unexpected surprises, but I am now more me than I was before, or ever have been. Sometimes transformation is as much about undoing change that has occurred within us, as it is about embracing it. Intent is key, and with it the realisation that intent sometimes manifests in our unconscious before we become quite aware of it. It’s how we deal with things that matters.
I’m learning to balance the often predominant “thinky” aspect of my being with an enriched intuitive surrendering to the wonderful vividness of Now. It is useful to me to make a distinction between emotion and feeling. In this context I perceive emotion as being a reaction based on previous experience, which, if I am not careful, I could allow to adversely affect or manifest further experience.
Whereas, with the Now of feeling, each new experience is taken with a childlike wonder, without prejudice and with an open heart and soul. The obvious drawback of keeping oneself open in this way is that I am left, some may say, naively vulnerable. But I would counter that it is only the reactionary emotion of previous experience that sometimes makes further experience, or more precisely, the thought of it, seem unbearable.
Besides, I’ve made a conscious decision not to let my capacity for feeling become dull. I want to feel every last moment of my existence with a magnificent vivid clarity. Some of the things I feel may be unpleasant, but I will immerse myself, observe, learn, then move on to the next experience.
Although my writing became neglected when I moved to Glastonbury, I did start playing guitar again, and am now writing new songs and working on collaborations and multi-media events. This is very good! Music was an essential cathartic catalyst for me when dealing with my ‘Glastonbury Experience,’ and remains for me a blissful form of self-expression.
My creativity is blossoming, and this, I feel, is the point of me. I am, however, still searching for a completed sense of personal community: a small family of wonderful Beings with which to share the magnificent journey of life; friends that love, nurture and inspire each other with joyous enthusiasm, that genuinely want to be with each other sometimes, or often. I will not be quite content until I achieve this, even though I find myself traditionally an outsider. But I’m getting there. There are some quite dazzlingly wonderful people in and around Glastonbury!
Of utmost importance is now. This is my life and I owe it to myself to live it as best I can: to strive for honest and fulfilling self-expression and truthful, passionate, loving Being.
Right now I am finishing this blog post, which heralds a new era in my writing. Writing is something that I am good at. I know this intrinsically, without need for outside validation. I have practised and become satisfied with my own developing ‘voice,’ and take great pleasure from my fictional characters, who swiftly dictate to me how they will react to circumstances that arise, often unbidden, from my imagination.
There is, of course, always room for improvement, but the point is that I write for my own pleasure first. If other people were to enjoy my work, or perhaps even become inspired by it- well, that would be wonderful!
Writing and music are mediums within which I will always want to express, no matter my situation, so I know them to be true fundamentals of my being. Now is the time for me to realise the full potential of this expression. And so, soon, my short story collection ‘CREEPS’ will be done, and I will self-publish so that anyone else who might be interested can read them too.
And that is only the beginning of the story… 🙂
Saturday 2nd April 2011: 23:31
The Dark of the Moon into the New…