The drumbeat transports me through the earth by way of a hollow tree. “You’ll meet your power animal,” the drummer says. Sure enough, a young female deer is waiting for me. Eyes unsure, she finally lets me touch her suede nose.
“Has your power animal a message for you?” The drumbeat echoes in the background, as the doe somehow communicates with me – "Be calm, be gentle, no need to push or hurry. It will all happen by itself." The message feels clearly about my writing, I’ve been feeling impatient with myself of late.
Then, I’m riding on the back of the deer at breakneck speed, through sunsets, over beaches, over a lake and to an island, where I eat flatbreads covered in sage honey with a young North American Indian couple.
This was the start of my day on the Words From Other Worlds – Tracking the Wild writing course in the Brecon Beacons. After this opening meditation in a lovely barn, sitting by a wood burner, we went for a walk in the countryside. Our mission was to be observant of nature, to look for the tracks of animals and notice the birds. We found squirrel feeding spots where acorns littered the ground, listened to the buzzard and raven calling, found tracks and followed them, found badger hair on tree trunks and nuts delicately nibbled by mice.
The weather was glorious and the landscape even more so. When we stopped for lunch, our writing exercise was to focus on one of the creatures and write about them from different perspectives. We stopped twice more, when the drum was again deployed to relax us and allow us to focus on nature, then we wrote about our experiences. My last piece was a very profound poem about my life to date and the way to the future.
We returned to the barn for yummy carrot cake and tea. We shared the poetry and prose we had written. Each participant had something new and different to offer. It was a truly magical day. An added bonus was the plot of a time slip novel coming into my head during one of the meditations.
I think my experiment with different writing experiences is off to a good start.
If you are interested in Words From Other Worlds – Tracking the Wild run by Shamanic Healer, Sarah Howcroft and Poet and Writing Tutor, Susan Richardson, have a look at Sarah Howcroft’s website www.shamanism-wales.co.uk for contact details.
Have you tried anything new to stimulate your creativity recently? Please tell me your stories below.