The Beginning

By Ayla Nereo

In the movement toward that which lights up the creative spark, I am embarking on a new experiment here, sharing words and images and sometimes videos of various encounters with Life.

I have always loved words, reading and writing stories and thoughts, ever since I could shape sentences. And though many don’t know it, I have adored taking videos and images since I was 11. At age 12 I was actually positive I would grow up to be a writer and film director. But with the busy breathlessness of high school and then university, the creative fires did not have my breath to continually stoke them, and these creative loves lessened their presence in my day-to-day living. Then, somehow, without intending to, I found myself at age 22 hearing songs. And bit by bit, I learned how to let them through. Music found me, and in a completely unpredictable turn of events, has become my career in life, for which I am endlessly grateful.

But those deep creative parts of Self have been returning recently, and one day suddenly, they spoke clearly to be rekindled.

It began the moment The Code of the Flowers was released. The album had arrived with such a clear theme, so entwined with the earth… and with that theme, a sort of command for me to live in closer connection with nature. And although many, many magical attunements happened during the creation of the album, the release of the album on 9/9 was a moment of crystal clarity. It was as if all the songs, in being released to the world, turned back toward me and whispered, “Now the real journey begins. Now you will live these words you sing.”

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There isn’t enough space here to go into the depth of what that sentiment means, or the many directions that challenge has called me toward. It is a vast thing, to feel the call to act in alignment with ones beliefs and truth.  To walk ones talk. I have a very long way to travel. And even more vast, to feel the unraveling of old ways so that new footsteps can take clearer steps.

One of those steps, as inexplainable as it can feel, is to write words like these. To share my photographs and videos. To share whatever is being asked to come through. Just because I love doing it. It is for the joy in the process of creating that I wish to share.

For once in my Western productivity-centred cultural upbringing, I will do something that has no desired outcome. No goal, no product. Nothing to buy. Just the delight of these hands in putting word to page, the utter joy of looking through lenses and marveling at the beauty of life all around us, and the excitement of choosing to vulnerably and transparently share ones self with others.
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In these times of chaos and great change, I am learning to ground myself in that which illuminates the beauty and inspiration of life. In the midst of seeming madness, wonder feels like a lifeline. And perhaps it also a solution.

So my hope is that these posts offer some inspiration and wonder to your life. The kind that makes us want to turn away from the screen and go be outside to catch the final warming rays of sun. The kind that makes us curious about what it might be like to sing to the river down the hill. The kind that makes us want to pick up a paintbrush or guitar or pen or shovel or whatever calls to our hearts with that child-like excitement, that whispering voice. Come play.

 

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For perhaps one medicine for the poison of greed is a generous sharing of whatever our heart is calling us to create.

Perhaps one antidote for the sickness of hatred is the creation of more and more forms weaving the story of Love wider and wider.

And perhaps one tincture for the ache of separation can be found when we choose to not see ourselves as separate, to not hold ourselves back, to not dim our light… but instead, to let ourselves Be as we Are. We might find the long-forgotten joy of our inner child. We might find the grief of thousands of years of unwept ancestors. We might find dawn. Or darkness. But whatever we find, we choose to love whatever is within us. And we allow it to come through us as something that can feed Life, and feed Beauty. We choose to shine brightly that which is deepest in our hearts. To create in whatever way our wonder and inner listening guides us, and ignite in each other a connection to the many forms of life we are all part of.

I don’t really know at all!

And the not-knowing is what lets me breathe, and try on the new experiment of each day. Cause why not?

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So I will share bits and pieces, as the Listening guides me to.

And if my pieces should strike at the flint of your own hearth, all the better, for it is time the fires be lit.

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