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January: a challenge in a creative way

Every year I used to dread January, the long dark cold month when my mood invariably dropped. But that changed when I discovered The January Challenge about five years ago or so.


Now every January is a creative joy, with exciting challenges provided every day which take my mind away from the dark and into the light of creating and communicating with others.


This January has been a hard one physically and emotionally; The January Challenge has been the best therapy I could have asked for, maybe that's why I've felt particularly thankful for it this year.


Below I've shared some of the creativity I've enjoyed this month, I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I enjoyed creating it.





If I knew then...


If I knew then that I would lose my sight

Literally overnight

I would have learned to read braille

I would have looked for more detail

I would have appreciated every site

In the light or at night

I might have driven fast

On a racing course

Or maybe just prepared myself

But I didn't


If I knew then that my brain would backfire

I would have called you a liar

But if I'd believed

Then I'd have been relieved

To discover that disability

Is not less than ability

It's society

That makes it hard for me

And perhaps I'd have campaigned

For upgrades in how buildings are designed

But I didn't


If I knew then that I'd be loved

That I am enough

That life would be ok

That I could enjoy every day

Despite all the hard bits

That life is full of gifts

Then so many years

Might have been saved from my tears


But now that I'm here

I don't look back saying "oh dear"

Instead I tell in my way

To look for hope every day

Because it WILL be ok



Exquisite life awakens

Jubilant in frozen starlight

Cold and tired yet invigorated

Inside downy feather nests


As rose tinted skies

Come alive at sunrise

Periwinkle dreams alight

On wings of freedom


Lingering what ifs leave hope behind

Whilst lies masquerade as truth

Words of love covered in fingerprints

Emerge from imagined identities


Alone no more

Caring companions corroborate love

Warming hearts once frigid with fear

Bathe in the honesty of spring days



Memories frozen

Full of emotion

Indelible connection

Carried through the years

In laughter and tears

Are those hopes or fears?


It's as if I'm looking in at a photograph

A freeze frame

Of time again

Is that even me?

The feelings are alive

Yet the details feel contrived


In the end does it matter

If there was silence or chatter

If we remember it accurately

Emotional though our memories might be

They are part of our formation

Making you you and me me



Liquid dawn begins

Leaving glints

Incandescently


Beyond lamentations

Hearts levitate love

Breathlessly


Delicate dreams thrill

Cold hunts linger

Serendipitously



As light disappears

It feels like the beginning

Rainbows resonate



Art happens everywhere

Anywhere I lay down fear

And allow my heart to be steered

In the joy of creation

There freedom is found

In colour, shape and sound

Beyond intention

A prayerful mission

Of soulful vision

For your interpretation



Find a safe place

Take a deep breath

Close your eyes

Turn up the music

And sing

Sing

Sing

At the top of your voice

Enjoying your choice

Tapping a toe

Moving a leg

Wiggling a shoulder

Let your body move

Get into that groove

Don't worry about notes

Let your song float

Free

Freely

Sing with glee

As if no one's watching

Because no one's watching

Or listening

Or judging

Just do your thing

And sing



Incubated irregularities

Numerous neurons

Serious scenarios

Prioritised prayerfulness

Infinite injustices

Revolutionary reactions

Access availability

Tasty taboos

Individual idylls

Ordinary occasions

Neural networks






Parting is such sweet sorrow, so they say

Yet the truth is that parting is not sweet but pain

The pain of a heart string stretched too thin

As tears try desperately to stay constrained

I smile and wave as you go your way

Knowing I'll see you in not so many days


It is also said that you are the apple of my eye

But I prefer to think of you as the blossom of our tree

The perfection of creation which we tended gently

Until it was time for you to be free

Floating on breezes beyond imagination

Into a life of your own creation


But remember...

Our home is always your home

Our door is always open

Whenever you need us we'll be here

To wipe away a tear

Or help in decisions

We are as much your parents

As those days when you were small

All you have to do is call






The January Challenge is run by 64 Million Artists, a wonderful organisation that also provides weekly creative prompts. You can find them all over social media.


And finally... Here's a reel with an extremely quick flick through all my January challenge creativity.


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