Gardening and recycling can be the perfect way to combine physical exercise and creativity. Look at these amazing plant sculptures. They are a labour of love, the physical and the creative combined.
Living Garden Sculptures
I saw something like this at a nursery near Shepparton. I could see how it could be made, potting mix held in place with wire and bark and some form of the watering system. Ideal for a business that is there six days a week to supervise the watering. Useless for a nomad such as myself. I think my next garden might be growing herbs on a windowsill and trying to find out what vegetables grow in a desert in camel poo.
I have grown a few vegetables wherever I travel; I'm sure the locals will soon teach me what is possible at my next sitting down place.
I have always loved gardening. I consider it is painting with plants. The same compositional and colour harmony rules apply as with other art forms.
'When I'm in writing mode for a novel, I get up at 4:00 a.m. and work for five to six hours. In the afternoon, I run for ten kilometers or swim for fifteen hundred meters (or do both), then I read a bit, and listen to some music. I go to bed at 9:00 p.m. I keep to this routine every day without variation. The repetition itself becomes the important thing; it's a form of mesmerism. I mesmerize myself to reach a deeper state of mind. But to hold to such repetition for so long--six months to a year--requires a good amount of mental and physical strength. In that sense, writing a long novel is like survival training. Physical strength is as necessary as artistic sensitivity." — Murakami
That excerpt from a 2004 interview with Murakami in The Paris Review brings home the connection between physical strength and creating extraordinary work:
OK....Nothing is impossible; let's look at that.
4:00 a.m. till 9 or 10 am Write Novel.
OK- So far so good. I could do that if I got up at 4 am instead of going to bed at 4 am.
I now have 2 hours to have breakfast and lunch in and plan evening meal, and do all of the business, answer emails, that goes along with being a creative person.
Run for ten kilometers or swim for fifteen hundred meters (or do both). OK, I substitute home and garden chores.
It used to take me 8 minutes to run 1 kilometer so that is 3 hours of exercise and I happen to have a home shopping and garden and 'family' to care for so this will be 'do the chores from 12 pm to 3 pm...'piece of cake'...I already do more hours than this at those chores.
"...then I read a bit, and listen to some music. I go to bed at 9:00 p.m."
HUH! Murakami's plan may work for him, but it fails the reality check for my life. Don't try to be anyone but yourself. Obviously, he has a servant.
Looking at Murakami's plan and my life.
So, basically, ALL late afternoon and early evening is FREE time...loads of time to check emails and do all of the business sides of running a creative business, write blogs, catch up with family?
Yes, broken down and modified it sounds possible.
However, it is 7.30 pm and all I have done today is the house part...do I have 5 or 6 hours left to write in?
Could you manage his schedule?
Relax. Don't try to be superhuman. Fit in what creative and physical plans that will help you achieve the goals that you want for yourself, and adapt them to your moods and abilities. Pat yourself on the back for what you do achieve, don't berate yourself for what's beyond your capabilities. I'll bet Murakami had heaps of assistant that you and I don't have.
19th June 2017:
*The Garden: It is the shortest day of the year in my Goulburn Valley, Australian garden. It's an ideal time to plant garlic to be harvested on the longest day of the year. I'll wait until the item sun warms the air and then got outside to prepare another vegetable garden bed with. Compost, lime, blood and bone and some well-rotted chicken manure.
I had two garden helpers this morning removing iris plants from around the base of a grapefruit tree which I then manured and mulched. I'll replant these in a more open sunny spot and clean up the garden, taking some rubbish to be dumped. I think those activities will have my active afternoon covered. The garden is both my creative project and a way to get exercise, and I'll start adding the "What's happening in the garden today" into my A Creative Life Blog,
This blog's sponsor is author Ryn Shell.