While cleaning a couple of weeks ago, I found buried in a stack of books Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way. It's about unblocking your inner creativity. You know, that voice that tells you to buy all the pretty markers and that gorgeous pad of paper, the one you're always telling not to be stupid, you can't waste your hard earned money on anything so self-indulgent and frivolous, and that type of equipment belongs to Real Artists, not wannabes. Yeah, it gets hard to hear that little voice after a few years or decades of that. I made it to Week Four in said tome back in the 90's. But I just gave up after that. It's a 12 week program, so I almost got a third done back in the day.
Not that it matters now.
I decided that I would begin again on December 17. Nevermind that it is my son's birthday. Nevermind that it's the Christmas season. The actual inspiration was several days in the making, during which I was repeatedly - and I'm not just feeling sorry for myself, I swear on the soul of my sweet Pawli - discounted, disenfranchised, marginalized and generally made to feel less than worthy by the World At Large. Examples: I went to work and said hello to the first person at the door - got nothing in response; I clocked in and went to my desk, saying hello to the next person I see in my office - again, NADA. I went through 5 hellos before I got one back and I really tried to project my voice. My facebook stats went uncommented upon. My phone did not ring. My emails were not returned. I was too old to participate in a phone survey. So, I was feeling a little less than loved and I found this book, which we (us royal types) will refer to henceforth as TAW, and decided that dammit, I had to do something just to make sure I was still breathing in this world.
Week One is about recovering a sense of safety. I did my morning pages 7 out of 7 days and one of them was Christmas Eve. The pages are stream-of-consciousness, and sometimes I didn't even have that, I just wrote affirmations over and over. Or the day's schedule. Or what happened yesterday. I was supposed to do an Artist's Date, which is supposed to be an hour or two spent alone doing something that feeds your soul. This was hard to accomplish. Had planned on watching Holiday Inn in the den one night, but the heater chose that night to spew black smoke instead of warm heat and the plan choked to death on kerosene fumes. In what might possibly have been an act of synchronicity, I found myself snowed in Sunday morning with Love, Actually on the dvd player.
It *is* one of my favorites.
So, that was Week One.