The blackbird is the first to sing during the dawn chorus.
It’s four am and I hear her chirping
No other bird is making a sound
The blackbird is another sign of spring
I don’t mind being up early, while it’s still dark
Especially as the blackbird is awake with me
It warms my heart
And tells me that today will be a good day
I need a good day
And I desperately need the signs of spring
The winter has been long, hard and wet, with never ending rain
I need that blackbird to sing
I’ve heard a rumour that April will be warm
Much warmer than usual
In the 20’s I’m told
April will also bring the full dawn chorus
Such hope and such joy this news does bring
A hope for life
And another winter won
I can rest in hope now that spring has begun.
First, go to http://weareoca.com/creative_writing/how-many-notebooks-does-it-take-to/ to read more about keeping a writers notebook.
Now decide what kind of notebook works for you and get a supply in (or just make use of your phone or tablet or other device – whatever suits you). Go out for a walk near where you live, or in your lunch break at work. Jot down a few things in your notebook: It doesn’t matter what – descriptions of your surroundings, thoughts about any people you pass, or any other thoughts that pass through your mind.
Get in the habit of having a notebook with you as much as possible and try to use it every day for a week.
When I set up the pages on my blog for creative writing I set up a page for my notebook. I’ve decided to keep my notebook online. It’s more practice for me as I take my phone with me everywhere. I used to be a paper and pen kind of person, but with my studies over the past couple of years I have embraced technology. There are some things that I write down in a physical notebook, perhaps the occasional idea that I want to build upon before it goes on my blog, but I may post them and password protect them at some point, so that I can keep my writing in one place. What’s more, digitising my notebook means that I can upload photos as I go along, such as my exploration of spring.
I’ve also decided that it’s probably for the best if I stick to having one post that I add to so that all of my ideas are in the same place.
Spring is most definitely in the air despite the periods of relentless rain. Crocus and daffodils are pushing their necks out of the ground, and they are adding glorious pockets of colour to my days. Such joy. My mood is improving slowly but surely, I’m isolating less, and I’m having more clarity of thought. Gratitude is what I’m feeling as I write this short piece of freewriting (I adore freewriting, it’s shown me that I do have lots to write).
But winter is a bastard, an effing c of a nightmare that I often struggle to get through!
This year my mood dropped at the end of December, and my thoughts darkened. I began to obsess about suicide, and I researched methods on the Internet, and purchased some pills which I believed would end my life.
Motivation and pleasure from activities deserted me and I felt hopeless. Situations which involved close contact with others was a struggle and I avoided people. Ultimately I was overwhelmed and tried yet again to take my life. Disappointed that I didn’t succeed, but the disappointment that I tried to end my life pushed me into accepting help. I’m now attending a therapeutic day unit. It’s a short term program for a few weeks, enough to get me through until I am able to keep myself occupied and productive.
My energy always improves in the spring. If only I could hold back the self destruction long enough to get me through to the lighter, brighter and warmer days.
My thoughts are much clearer now, and I am enjoying my studies. I had my coursework for over a month before I could even open the folder. Eventually I realised I had to just begin the first exercise, I couldn’t wait until my motivation returned, I had to simply take action without expectation. I’m so grateful that I did because I find it has brought joy and satisfaction into my daily life.
I’m looking out for signs of spring now. I’m not waiting for motivation I’m acting as if I’m motivated, and I’m finding signs of spring right now. Recovery is action. Hope is important but I can’t hope my way into feeling better, I have to put the effort into hunting for joy and gratitude.
Writing is magical – it transports us. As you sit ready to write this exercise, close your eyes for just a moment. Recall the last time you were out in the elements. Feel the wind, snow or pounding rain on your face, the chill in your bones. Open your eyes when you’re ready to write about this. Stay in the moment as you write.
The sky was bright, though it was cloudy. I expect the cloud must have been thin and the sunning burning bright behind it.
I sought out the winter flowering blossom. It brings a tear to my eye to think of it. It’s my beacon of hope. I’ve nearly survived this winter. I took out my phone, I had to take a photo, a momento of my being beggining to leave its dark winter home. I give thanks to a god that I don’t believe in. The signs of spring mean so much to me.
I heard the flutter of wings and turned my heard sharply, in time to catch a flock of pigeons urgently seeking flight. A predator must be around. Alas, its only a Magpie, no majestic Sparrow hawk for my mind to marvel at. There are people at the bus stop so I secretly salute the bird, with the saying “hello Mr Magpie, how are you and your family.” I realise there is only a single bird, “one for sorrow”, the words are an arrow to my heart, but I can’t stop the thoughts and fears arising. Suddenly a second bird appears, “two for joy”. I breath a sigh of relief. They briefly circle the tree then land. I notice one of them is preening small twigs. They’re forming a nest. Spring, another sign of spring. Yes. How marvelous.
To be honest it’s been a hard winter. I lost all interest in the people and projects that matter to me, and getting through each day has been a chore. A pointless effort with no reward. I’ve been in a very dark place, I’m still there on many levels.
However, today I felt some spontaneous hope. As I left home to attend counselling I realised it was light. The bus journey was diverted, and I found myself feeling excited to be living in London.
The past week I haven’t felt anything positive, but I have been putting the effort into positive behaviour. I’ve undertaken some photography for a long term project, I’ve read through some of my course literature, and I’ve undertaken a little writing yesterday and today.
Spring is just around the corner, and I’ve been looking for signs of it:- the growth of my trees, lighter afternoons, crocus and daffodils emerging, trees budding, and winter flowering cherry.
One of the things that true for me is that I have wonderful friends, and I seek additional support for my mental health. But life has still been a struggle.
Spring is a time of greater joy, energy and enthusiasm for me. Come on spring, please hurry up.