‘Creativity is nothing but a mind set free.’
Torrie T. Asai
In all the years I have been an inhabitant of the soft, yet gentle rains upon this island, I can count less than five times I have heard thunder. This week it happened twice – thunder, lightning and torrential rain. Waking up in the middle of the night kind of rainstorm. We had a real topic of weather conversation at hand and it did not go amiss.
For many, the highly priced homes, were flooded. Years of building basements below the water and sewerage pipes, below the water table led to overworked flooding pumps in basements and the need for coffee and conversation with fellow basement flooded friends was essential. Yesterday evening, sun blazing and having dinner along the river, darling daughter barely had time to say ‘look’ before a sheet of angry rain crossed the river and diners headed indoors, perplexed at the freak of nature at hand, only to return minutes later to blazing sun and soaked tables, in order to continue dinner. Such is the weather here, unpredictable, and all. There is a reason the British discuss the weather more than their health and families – it remains the very factor our lives and happiness is based on. I do miss those South African thunder storms.
This morning the rain continued unabated, but I was to another call from the Estate agent. You may remember that my little flat is now firmly on the market and I am subjected to random visits by scrutinising potentials – remember this from long ago. A flurry of cleaning ensued, by moi, between working. So I decided to give myself the afternoon off – I needed sanctuary, beauty and of late as has been my habit, it is to the V & A I took myself, with the proverbial brolly. Long gone are those days I worried about the hair – I live in England for goodness sake!
At it turned out, most of the world thought it a good idea too. My eldest detests crowds but me, I stride in London as a Londoner does, tut tutting at the loungers, the stop and look at the mappers, the buggies and screaming children. I nudge the bewildered, nod at the buskers (cannot give money to everyone, please) and as for the tour groups, let’s just say, London bootcamp with dealing with those, is paying off.
At last I am saturated in genius. To Constable, to Degas, to Morris, to ancient mastery in Silver and Gold. The Ocean Liner exhibition is still on, Winnie the Pooh over. Frida and ‘Making Her Self Up’ coming soon. I succumb to the Pistachio and Carrot cake slice and a hot coffee before venturing as I have done so many times, and yes, there is always another passage, another room to discover. This afternoon, the quietest of these was the tapestries. The telling of stories in woven beauty of pastoral scenes, battles and mythological creatures. Must have spent a long time in front of the three fates today – the giver of life, the decider of the length of it and the snipper of that thread – death, all women in Umbrian tones, laced with gold and silver thread. For me, looking at something I could never, ever hope to achieve, is my education and belief in the essence of talent. Of creative genius.
And I leave inspired, like you cannot believe. No matter how small our lives, how insignificant we sometimes feel, if we put yourselves in a place of inspiration, it will permeate our own lives. It will awaken our too long forgotten talents and urge us to take action. It could be in a garden, a gallery, in our own homes, the truth is we sometimes need to look outside our little realms to find our talents ignited.
Degas. A passion of mine. But am I also in love with these heavily embellished frames? I am. Wish I had a hundred of these, around mirrors, around art in my own home. Maybe bringing back these frames could be a vocation?
Leaving in the busy end of day life in London, walking to the bus, the rain had lifted. All around me flowers were drenched and glowing. Flower sellers were creating bouquets for ordinary people to take home, peonies, tulips, delphiniums and roses on every corner. In my bag, a bunch of flowers, a baguette and a bottle of wine (of course) but in my heart, so many ideas of what I could do if I put my mind to it.
What inspires you? Do you push to see things in a different way. Do you have talents lying latent in your storage of genius?
Bet you do.