This fall has been all warm days and slanted light. Slow and easy in a way I am completely unaccustomed to after the last 10 midwestern falls. They have, up til now, seemed like a race to winter. Quick to freeze, fast to drop leaves, and barely a moment to take in the transition. Not this year though. It has stretched into long moments of shifting colors and perfect air.
There has, of course, been the rich busyness of kid activities. Soccer and swimming, violin and horses. I have additionally been teaching a lot. Our schedule feels tight, in a way that I know is temporary even if I struggle with the discomfort of some stacked days. One of my annual rituals is the cleanout of our homeschool/craft chest. This one bohemoth piece of furniture functions as the nexus for much of our homelife, perhaps visited as frequently as the fridge. It is a treasure trove of craft supplies and projects past, present and potential. It really could stand to be cleaned out more than just once a year but I am worldclass procrastinator and skilled at the not so subtle art of avoidance and well, you know. So by the time I get to it- and I have to seriously psych myself up for the endeavor- it is an overflowing mess of partially realized creations and oodles and oodles of torn paper making it impossible to locate any item of real interest. Cleaning it out is a wonder. It is both incredibly sweet and nostalgic to save some things and toss the rest. And then there are all of the as yet unutilized supplies that have been hidden beneath the rubble, a universe of possibility.
When I am finished, both kids plant themselves at the table and dig deep for a long stretch of making. This year it was with all of the needlefelting supplies unearthed from last winter. And it lasted for weeks. It isn't over. Not by a long shot. But that first big thrill of creating has ebbed a bit now. For me though, the whole thing was nothing short of inspiring.
Maybe it is in the air, maybe it is the combination of a very meaningful summer and lingering fall, or maybe it is simply that I have been in one place long enough to take some deep breaths and feel into the possibility, but the crackle of creativity has been everywhere. I am full of ideas and inspiration. Some of it fleeting and some of it taking root. I have never felt, at any other point in my life, more interested in making. And I couldn't even necessarily say what. I just want to Produce. Something.
For me, my asana practice has always been a lot like cleaning out the craft chest. Not the procrastination and avoidance part so much as the clearing out of time and space. I suppose some of that comes from what I like to think of as the matrix of energy that exists around me and my practice space and time. But there is a sort of clearing that happens when I step onto my mat. After an initial period of noticing my breath and my body and my effort I begin to notice something inside of me open more deeply. It is a vast and empty space. A breeding ground for clarity, synthesis and ideas. Some come to life, some do not.
I can see that this could potentially sound like me explaining ways in which I check out during my practice but try to package it up into something fancy and seduce myself into believing my own story. Maybe. But I think more that it is simply me making space. That when I practice I have trained myself to pay attention. To become my own observer. Removed from many of my habits and time killing distractions that are a real (not so real) part of most of my days. I think it is more that when I make space inside of my own consciousness what steps forward is a creative impulse. And I by no means think that impulse is unique to me. I think that making space is an essential part of the creative process. Perhaps I have simply trained the muscle of practice into being my particular space maker.
There is more to say about this. But not just yet.