Thinking Time

The last few days of February and the first of March are the most challenging for me when it comes to maintaining this blog. It’s not that I am working every hour that God sends, or that there is nothing happening in my garden, but that I have no time to think. My overworked brain wants to contemplate and explore ideas for new posts, but is stymied by the sheer amount I am expecting it to process. I feel exhausted and frustrated at my lack of inspiration.

As I look around the overcrowded tube carriage on my way home tonight, the majority of my travelling companions are, like me, doing something on their phones or tablets, or listening to music, whilst the rest are reading. A few folk chat and one young woman is asleep, but no one is voluntarily unoccupied. I envy the blind man sitting opposite me, apparently the only person on the train who is deep in thought. He looks calm and rested, as does his doleful guide dog. Nobody else appears in the least relaxed and a few look faintly crazed. This is London after all. I cannot imagine anything more dreadful that not being able to see, but the blind man is not distracted by what’s going on around him. That, in a sense, is a gift we all increasingly deny ourselves. We seem hell-bent on occupying every waking moment with some form of stimulation, most of which adds little value to our lives. TV, Radio, You Tube, Facebook, Instagram, The Metro, idle banter: as tempting as a ring doughnut and equally full of emptiness. Sometimes a doughnut is OK, but usually not.

Hellebores, London, February 2016

Perhaps this view is just a reflection on my own life, my own lack of discipline and on my current weariness, but I am increasingly troubled by my inability to switch off. I feel uncomfortable when there is nothing going on around me: silence is not so much golden as unnerving. So as well as the time to think, I worry I could lose the desire to think, which for a creative mind is pretty much the end of the line. Having made no New Year’s resolutions this year I am hereby committing to myself (and to you) that I will give my brain, as well as my body, a break when the dust settles at work, taking time to listen to the dawn chorus, to watch a flower opening, to observe raindrops rolling from a leaf ….. and to take more time to just sit and think.

While I do, please enjoy my attempts to take artistic photographs of my hellebores.

Hellebores, London, February 2016