Dive in, the water’s lovely

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I returned home last night from a great weekend. We explored part of the Jurassic coast, walking along coastal paths and recovering afterwards in a beach cafe with cups of tea watching the ocean, visiting small art galleries and eating lovely food. Yesterday, as a complete contrast, I headed into the squash and roar of London to visit the National Gallery for the first time. Getting within a few inches of some of the paintings I’d only seen in books before was amazing.

I woke up this morning with a head full to the brim with ideas for writing, painting and coaching. Those four days have proved inspiring. A real (extended) ‘artist’s date’, as creativity writer Julia Cameron puts it. The brief holiday reminded me that I need to put more of these dates in my diary, and it doesn’t need to be a four day stint. A visit to a local market, an art gallery, a concert, a park can spark off new ideas in an hour or so.

Looking at some artists’ sketchbooks at an exhibition over the weekend has prompted me to stop procrastinating and create a page each day. In one book, someone quoted a couple of lines from a poem by Walt Whitman (Song of Myself) which was new to me and might be to you:

“Long have you timidly waded, holding a plank by the shore,/Now I will you to be a bold swimmer,/To jump off in the midst of the sea, and rise again and nod to me and shout, and laughingly dash with your hair.”

Here’s to some bold swimming.

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