Dr Niamh On The Plum Tree

Childhood Imagination Sows Seeds of Future Brilliance

A Promethean Soul!

Prometheus depicted in a sculpture by Nicolas-Sébastien Adam, 1762 (Louvre)

Prometheus depicted in a sculpture by Nicolas-Sébastien Adam, 1762 (Louvre)

Some days, every phone call or interaction with whomever, seems fraught with anguish over something. Everything I read is full of stress and struggle, even people walking their dogs seem anxious and impatient. We all know the impact of the world economy on those of us who struggle to make a living, find suitable shelter and cope with the stress of everyday living.  But there is something more…

As a psychotherapist, I encounter the underlying truth about people’s issues, the things that, beneath the surface cause anguish. Often, serious things are displaced onto inconsequential distractions. We dump our emotional load onto the small stuff, act out stress on nearest and dearest, blame the tools of our trade for making us feel rotten. Maybe the Internet won’t work, or that form we have been meaning to fill out is still sitting in the drawer. Perhaps a decision must be made for which, we feel little commitment. Rather than, listen to valid reservations, which might disrupt long-made plans, we feel fractious and taut. Who knows? If we listened to the niggling, wee voice within, we might begin a new adventure, one that helps us live outside of the box and one which might re-ignite the fire in us. Whatever the trigger, something deeper is going on, which begins to affect behaviour and tinge our voices with discord rather than harmony.

Over the Christmas holiday, I met with friends old and new and friends of friends eager to try to make sense of it all as one year gave way to another. A core issue that emerged from such intimate conversations was this: When we can’t express our talent in the world due to financial expectation, need, commitment, how do we cope?

I often listen to descriptions of the agony of unfulfillment  when doing-that-thing-that-makes-a-person-unique-in-the-world is thwarted. How easily the once-sensed destiny becomes a disappearing dream, a crock of gold at the end of a rainbow. Time to tuck the dream away in a darkened corner of the mind and grow up! Surely, adults don’t do what they love? Of course, the thing we love doing is the thing we are usually best at. It engages, inspires and sustains us. It is a form of play. We are willing to work long into the night, paying attention to detail, essential to the fulfillment of any creative endeavour. We are Prometheans, attempting to take Heaven by storm! For the sin of trying to bring the fire of inspiration back to our fellow humans, we are psychologically chained to a rock where birds (destructive thoughts) feed on our livers (symbolic of father issues: power, authority, will, creativity).

Suffering accompanies talent. We can’t give it up just because it’s bad for us or useless because it doesn’t pay the bills. We can’t treat it as though it were a compulsive/addictive disorder, even though, undoubtedly, it is. All we can do is learn to manage it wisely. When we are creating, we are not tortured. Afterwards, wondering how we will market our creation is when the birds come. It is hard not to entertain fear-making thoughts that come to rob us of our moment of wonder at the fulfillment of our own creation.

I could offer advice, but I’m not going to. I can only describe my subjective stance on being a writer, songmaker, poet, campaigner…none of which pays the bills, none of which has meaning or value in the grand scheme of things. Perhaps, though, it is what keeps the soul intact! And perhaps, as a member of the human race, my small voice contributes something of value. Without the collective voice of poets, thinkers, artists, soul-making dramatists,  the world would be all the poorer; what vestiges of Humanity remain might degenerate into an everyone-for-himself struggle for physical survival only.

As I grow older, I am no longer submerged in the need to prove myself. The Eternal Child within enables me to enjoy the fruits of my imagination. I can write simply because I love it. It entertains me to enter the world of psyche and interact with my sub-personalities as they play out their inner drama. They express all manner of things through my literary characters or soul-making poetry. I may not be able to take Heaven by storm or change the world. I can, however, write about it…simply because I can.

Prometheus is on holiday!

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About Dr Niamh

When I was a little girl (a very, very long time ago), I used to love learning new, really big words like ‘discombobulate’. As I grew, my love of words grew too, until I loved them so much, I could not stop writing them down. One day, as I was scribbling a particular word, a very peculiar thing happened. The word shouted at me, “Stop! Don’t put me there!” As you can imagine, I was shocked and nearly fell off my chair. When I recovered somewhat, I said to the word, “Could you stop shouting, please? I am not used to it.” Can you guess what happened next? No! I thought not. The word said, “I might be small, but I will misbehave if you do not use me properly. I will not tell the story you would like me to tell. I will say something entirely different!” I dropped my pen. I hoped that by dropping my pen, the word would stop talking. Alas! It did not. It carried on chitterchobbling, even after the ink had dried. I was in a pickle. I could not allow my words to run away with my story, now could I? I don’t know about you, but when this sort of thing happens, there is only one thing left to do if you prefer not to spend your time arguing. “Very well,” said I. “I will do as you ask if you will just be quiet and allow me to concentrate.” Since that day, I have been paying special attention to every word I invite into my stories. After all, a story should say exactly what it means to say and not be led astray. With love from Dr. Niamh, Ph.D in Learning Through The Imagination and Founder of Dr Niamh Children's Books. www.drniamhchildrensbooks.com

17 comments on “A Promethean Soul!

  1. DarKarsean
    January 12, 2013

    There is so much of the world where the soul needs to be kept intact. I am learning that every word counts. Because they can.

    Like

    • ontheplumtree
      January 12, 2013

      Many thanks for your contribution, DarKarsean…We have a job to do to pit our magic little words against the maelstrom that attacks the soul of Humanity at every turn.have effect.

      Like

  2. Uncle Tree
    January 12, 2013

    You provoke me, and everyone else who reads you, Niamh.
    You can, this is true, and you do – do it well,
    as you know us well. Oh, so well. How entertaining! That is…

    Thank you! Carry on 🙂 Û┬

    Like

  3. mapelba
    January 12, 2013

    I know I worry all the time that I make very little money with my art and no money with my writing, but still I continue to pursue writing and art anyway. But I’m also glad I’m doing what I love to do. I have a friend making great money, but she hates what she does, she hates everything about her job and she isn’t doing anything she loves. (Although that is about to change. She’s decided to make serious changes in her life.)

    Like

    • ontheplumtree
      January 12, 2013

      I think art and music and poetry and literature are essential to keep the ‘collective’ functioning by constantly challenging it and offering new perspectives. This is the ‘job’ of the artist. Mostly, it isn’t valued. That is the challenge.

      Like

  4. soziebird
    January 12, 2013

    There is so much here. So much understanding, truth and … forgiveness. You also have taught me something with your words … perhaps this Claddagh … a binding of spirit & unity that pulls us to the sun & moon. Oh my !

    Like

  5. Walking with Beverley
    January 12, 2013

    Such a wonderful post Niamh. Very insightful. Need I say always inspirational; goes without saying.
    I am moving forward; somedays every so slowly but I am glad I still writing and loving the best way I know how while desiring to do it better. I love me too. 😀
    God Bless You.

    Like

    • ontheplumtree
      January 12, 2013

      good for you, Beverley. You can only be true to your own loadstar. At the end of the day, people pressure us, but we must attend the inspiration within. That is our divinity!

      Like

  6. patriciasands
    January 12, 2013

    “perhaps, as a member of the human race, my small voice contributes something of value” – No doubt about that, Niamh. Keep it raised!

    Like

  7. missmin
    January 13, 2013

    I find that trying to listen to that still, small voice within…that which leads us to follow our star, to make our unique contribution to the world, to follow our soul’s purpose (which is undoubtedly NOT economically driven)…is virtually an impossibility when the world around me is in turmoil, disharmony, and particularly when it is loud and full of conflict and petty demands. I believe the spiritual traditions mostly back this up…that the still, small voice is found in silence; and that we need to make time for that silence with periods of quietude and solitude. Outer chaos reflects inner chaos. Your words always bring peace and inspiration.

    Like

    • ontheplumtree
      January 13, 2013

      Thank you, mismin…I agree…there is so much discord and aggression surounding us these days and material frenzy, but the light within is bright enough to conquer all that, even though sometimes the darkness really does threaten to swallow even that and snuff it our entirely. Thank you for your comment. It is always appreciated.

      Like

  8. the secret keeper
    January 14, 2013

    Reblogged this on the secret keeper and commented:
    A Promethean Soul! I had to reread this post several times. I, too, feel The Eternal Child, using my imagination is most important to me. Creating whatever is moving me is what makes my soul bring me life, positive or negative emotions that come up during or afer I think is, also, part of the satisfaction that you are able to find the inside of you and brinsg her to the surface. This is a great post worth your time to read. jk

    Like

  9. the secret keeper
    January 14, 2013

    I did modify the comment at the secret keeper but also want to say I was impressed with this post. Directness. Forthright. Redundant but just a shade different. jk

    Like

  10. the secret keeper
    January 14, 2013

    My being redundant not you or your post. Wanted to Clarify that. jk

    Like

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