The arrival of the Pagan holiday Imbolc has had me thinking about ritual. The essential difference between routine versus ritual is the intent or meaning with which the activity is imbued. Ritual and practice take patience and willpower and faith in the activity even when no result seems forthcoming. My parents are masters of both ritual and routine. People of deep faith (my father’s an Anglican minister) and artistic leanings, so much of their day is based on habit that has over the years become a kind of ritual. When they visit us they walk to Ingles on Haywood road everyday, have coffee, talk to the regulars and the people that work there, then buy something for lunch and walk home. Lunch is always at 1 pm. At breakfast my mum would eat an apple, always solemnly saving and peeling half for my daughter to share. These activities, along with many others, became so profound that when they returned to the UK we felt a little lost. The development of ritual is challenging for me and I am realizing that it is deeply entwined with my struggle for a meaningful artistic practice. So with this Imbolc I am committing myself to trusting in ritual and routine, beginning with coming to my art table, everyday, whether it is to create or in this case, simply tidy up.