Quiescence: the art of winter

People who know me as an artist ask, ‘What are you working on right now?’.  Which is very nice.  Sometimes I have a lot to say or show.  Sometimes not much at all.

Artwise, I’m having a very quiet period.  In the past when this would happen, I’d kind of freak out.  ‘Oh no! It’s dried up.  I’m no longer an artist’.  Not true.

I’ve come to learn that my creative flow is cyclical like the seasons.  In the wintertime, growth appears to cease. When a bud or a plant is dormant, it is alive but not actively growing.  Likewise, my creative process goes underground at times.

One of my wintertime activities is forcing hyacinth bulbs.  I was given three in pressed glass vases from a florist a few weeks ago.  The tunics (papery covering) had gone mouldy and they couldn’t be sold.  The mould stunk like bathroom cleaning chemicals, so I carefully removed most of the tunics before placing them in a dark place with water just below the base of the bulbs.

I’d also bought a couple of pretty hyacinth vases during the year and got a non-mouldy bulb each for them.

I brought one out a few days ago whose shoot had grown a couple of inches.  It’s in our living room window, looking over the winter landscape.

It’s already starting to open up.

This one will go back into the dark for a while longer.  Although not much activity is apparent on up top, the roots are lengthening and reaching deep.

Sometimes the creative process is like this.  Although I’m not being ‘productive’ my mind is constantly touching on, turning over and going back to a new creative motif.  It’s not yet ready to come to the surface.  But I trust that it will in its own time.

quiescent, adjective, in a state or period of inactivity or dormancy; being at rest; quiet; still; inactive or motionless.

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