Saturday, 2 May 2015

Green Frog Moments

There was a cartoon doing the rounds on Facebook recently that showed a recumbent Green Frog having one of those deeply necessary pre-creative moments.

© Silly and Snarky on Pinterest www.pinterest

We all have them! Some of us more often and for longer than others. They're not just moments in our days, but, sometimes, seasons in our lives. I don't know about you, but I can spend hours tending slightly hazy intuitions and driving half formed ideas around in my head. But suddenly some invisible lever will be thrown and I'll sit down, often not even with a plan, and write the thing I've been trying to feel my way towards in a matter of minutes. It may need a bit of revision but I'm often surprised at its coherence and left wondering 'where did that come from?' As T.S. Elliott observed about the mystical nature of writing poetry, 'We do not know until the shell breaks what kind of egg we have been sitting on.' That could equally well have been said by an artist, musician, sculptor, cook or anyone who approaches life as an opportunity to create.  

One of my favourite sites for inspiration and mental-cud-to-chew is Maria Popova's Brain Pickings. If you don't know the site it's choc full of thought-provoking material for anyone engaged in the creative process here (also on Twitter @brainpickings). She just has that knack of putting together really interesting material culled from the writings of artists and philosophers in all walks of life. She's recently shared a couple of very good posts about writer's block and creativity, exploring the 'circular' nature of the relationship between spirituality and creativity. 

I shared the Green Frog cartoon on Facebook and found that it chimed with a lot of friends. So much so that I half-jokingly suggested we form a 'Green Frog Society' dedicated to upholding the importance of Green Frog Space in our lives. The original cartoon suggested that this was a thing women do more than men but I completely disagree! Men more than welcome as well!

The next thing that happened was that a lovely friend who creates in glass sent me a specially crafted Green Frog coaster for the essential cuppa that accompanies so many Green Frog moments. There I was, working at my desk (and actually I was writing an article that day!) when the postman brought a package. How intriguing! So imagine my delight when out fell...

Green Frog Coaster, created by Jacquie James, Cardiff

I invite you to celebrate Green Frog Space. We need more of it in all our lives! We need to talk about it and share it and, most especially, share its fruits with our friends. When I attended a conference in the Czech Republic, I was bowled over by the way, each evening, people would gather round to share beer and nibbles and tell stories, recite poetry, sing or play a song - often witty and slightly political. It seemed that time taken to create something original which could be shared was really valued.

If you value and want to promote Green Frog Space, share the Green Frog coaster photo however you like, and let me know via Facebook or Twitter (@archdeaconjanet) or post a comment here. 

Meanwhile, I'll enjoy that brain-stimulating cup of tea…

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