Kindle the creative spark
To find our creative spark, our job is not to “make something up” but to retrieve, accept and translate images we already carry with us into creative forms. To do this, we will visit the myth of Dionysos and his ivy covered theatre. There we will discover the place where stories and poetics come from – the place that psychologist James Hillman called “the Imaginal.”
Bring together “inner” and “outer”
This is a place where” inner” reality and “outer” reality meet. In our fractured world it can seem impossible to place these two together. We live in a world of grey landscapes and neon surfaces. We are surrounded by grey concrete ways of thinking glossed with digital neon skins. The result can be a loss of depth, a loss of vision and an ungrounded feeling of half known loss. All the pathologies of life that haunt us and drain us of appetite for life.
A practice that connects psyche to nature
I’ve worked as a dramatherapist with families with complex needs for 10 years. I worked as an outreach worker in mental health for 10 years before that, and taught drama and gardening. I’ve run groups, worked with individuals and developed workshops for conferences. For all this time i have kept up a creative practice as a poet-musican-writer as well as a gardener.
Transform raw material into poetics
What I learned through managing both a clinical and a creative practice is that pathologies – the knots, setbacks and wounds I and the people I work with carry – are also the raw material for a deeper creative connection with life, when held carefully and expressed well. My own well being and those of the people I work with have always been linked not to knowing exactly how the mind works, or to knowing the right technique for living, but by being more deeply connected to life.
Connect to the ecological – the indestructible life force
Connected life means a connection to a web of many threads – to the inner self, to other people and to the living planet. The key to this connection has always been the creative spark – what the ancient Greeks called “the indestructible life force” or Zoe
. The mythic poetics of this creative spark belong to the realm of Dionysos – the god of the indestructible life force. It is his myth we will use as a map for rekindling the creative.
I want to bring together what i have learned in my creative and clinical pratice and offer it in accessible way to help more people connect psyche to reality. Now, where the absence of a deeper vision of reality seems so clear, reflected in the many troubled splits in our world, this creative work seems more important than ever.
Within carefully created spaces, we can rekindle our own creative spark. Held on the old pagan day of Imbolc, which was the day of “the promise of the coming of Spring,” the workshop is a chance to rekindle the enduring promise of your own creative spark and it’s sources in nature and psyche. We will do this using the most ancient and durable of psychological tools – myth, movement and poetics.
You can book onto the workshop here
You can find out more about Haunted Evaporations, and read the essays, poems and music that make it up here
You can buy the book of original poems Haunted Evaporations here
Praise for Haunted Evaporations:
“Toby goes to dark places to find small flowers growing and shines moonlight on our evaporating civilisation. And the deathly line at the heart of it could stand as the admonition for our age: ‘Learn to become haunted.’” Steve Thorp, editor, Unpsychology Magazine
“Toby’s work had a strong effect on me: specific, lasting. His work feels urgent and fully awake” Tanya Shadrick, author of the Wild Patience scrolls.