‘Gnidea capitata’ and surviving the paradox of creativity

This pretty little shrub I only just noticed a few trail runs ago because it had survived a fire break and did not seem the worse for wear despite it’s scorching. It is a new species for me. I can’t be sure which Gnidia it is – but because of it’s grey more hairy leaves I think it may be Gnidea capitata.

There is not too much information on the Gnidia either.  It is a grassland and coastal plant which belongs to the ‘Thyme’ family. The flowers are a lovely ‘butter’ yellow and they are a food source for insects and butterflies. Apparently it can flower for months and although an attractive garden plant it can only be sourced from specialist indigenous nurseries.

This is the only little shrub of it’s kind that I have come across on my mountain excursions. I hope to find some more, it is not listed as threatened. One of those overlooked  little plants which of course is why it appeals to me.

The last two weeks have been challenging. Between work pressure, UIF audits and the Winter sniffles – I sank into a horrible malaise. I felt demotivated and uninspired. A few trail runs later and some ‘down time’ – which for me just means dialing down the pressure to ‘produce’ or ‘create’ and just ‘be’, just do the necessary – did the trick.

So here I sit at 4:30 in the morning feeling excited and motivated about an idea I have for my botanical drawings. Creativity is a strange affliction at times. It can be both amazing and brutal. It can take you on a ‘roller coaster ride’ which can make you question your sanity.

I love this quote by Elizabeth Gilbert from her book Big magic. She speaks about the ‘central paradox’ of creating. “My creative expression must be the most important thing in the world to me (if I am to live artistically), and it must also not matter at all (if I am to live sanely).” Crazy true words! Somehow one needs to move between these two margins if one is to stay sane as a creative.


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