The Perfect Wor[l]d - 18
Shall I …. [everything is getting a bit boring now… so, I better stop] – link here.
This is how I finished yesterday - whether I have then amended it or not, I am not aware now - but today I woke up with a sense of eagerness and expectancy in life which I haven’t felt in a while. I have journaled on my Week 10 of The Artist Way and did not like what I read. It is not really true: it is that everything feels very synchronised with what is going on in my life at the moment: how addiction to drama is a break in the flow of creativity and how it turns into a self-fulfilling prophecy (thank you!); the 21 days free meditation experience by Deepak Chopra also started today: 21 days on relationships… on relationships! [The new free series begins on 4 NOV, The Path to Empowerment - link here] Oh, sorry, not just on relationships, but on miraculous relationships! Last night the tarot card I have also been working with was the Empress (again! twice in the same day!) and then this morning the eight of cups: I leave the happiness and the stability and the cups of plenty for the unknown, to set off on a journey which will see me walking alone, uphill, counter-current, and carrying a staff.
After this kind of morning, I have decided to finish painting part of my living-room: first coat before lunch, second coat after lunch and in between I went outside in the backyard, enjoyed the sun, and peeked through the windows at two police vans parked in my street and looking very busy. At three I have decided to leave, with my trustworthy backpack for an adventure.
You see, yesterday I have noticed that along the canal in my town, on the other side of the towpath, there is a rose bush. And some large patches of green grass, an old wall, a closed-off door and archway, and some running water from an open sluice (or is it a by-wash?). I have noticed that space only yesterday evening while walking home, so I have decided today that I would have taken my creative and precious self to that patch, sit on a stone step, under the shade of this wild rose bush, to read and journal.
Well, the beauty of that spot! I have claimed it today as my own personal office. Some large fish came at the exit of the open sluice to play and get some food from the running by-wash (and no, they were not rats but big chunky fish); sparrows were tweeting and playing among the branches and most of the people walking past just… walked! Besides a couple of passers-by who were clearly drunk, I felt protected, safe, and I felt blessed by Father Sun in this hot Monday afternoon of mid-July. I was fascinated by this large stone wall, containing the pond downstream and the carpark at the top and this door to nowhere. If you showed me a picture of the place, I would have thought it was some magical space in the countryside, unspoiled and vibrating with stories of old. Instead, it is about 20 min on foot from my house, walking eastward.
Tomorrow is also Full Moon and Lunar Eclipse. Of course, if you believe in all of this magic stuff, please add a whole series of planets going retrograde and me sitting now in a Costa, sipping a coffee which has seen better days since it’s so bitter while wishing I were somewhere else.
But, please, stick with me: I know that what I am writing today is no literature.
It is not even good writing. Both |Julia Cameron and Steven King state that writing happens one word at the time: sometimes these words are arranged badly, other times they are in better shape. Like us, like me today. Nevertheless, bad writing is still writing, and I am here, today, no matter what, to write.
Because I have decided to show up. Regardless of the bad day, or a tiring day, or a shameful day, or a boring day, sitting here and proving to myself that I can do it, that sooner or later something good will come out, is more important. And because this is an exercise which might support other people trying to write, I have decided to make these words public. No other reason: to show myself my determination and the process, and to (hopefully) assist others in their journey. There have been people who video-recorded themselves every day to show the process of The Artist Way (there's a florilegium of them out there!). I am not doing this writing on TAW but it is definitely inspired. And, if you have joined me only now, please know that these are not my morning pages: those are private. These are extra words I write in the pursuing of my commitment to be a writer.
Now, let’s talk about fame and success.
I remember this strong desire I had when I was a child with long curly ash-blond hair, to be famous. To be on a stage and sing and win competitions, and be on the cover of magazines, and be asked for autographs; sunglasses and silk scarves and all that. Now, at 52, and as a therapist, I can see the desire for external validation and praise, a need for belonging and a fear of rejection (yada-yada fucking yada). I must have been a very sad child. Well, I know I was. I felt unseeing and not acknowledged. Even when I did my counselling course, I remember wanting to be famous. I remember seeing an old fellow drama student on TV while I was a very frustrated wife living in a god-forsaken town. I have felt envy, anger, and I turned in the horrendous version of an arrogant me.
I had my exhibitions, I wrote my books, I self-published, I never had multi-million dollar contract offered and not many people know who I am nor what I do.
The difference is that now I get it. Now it is ok. The pursuit of fame is addictive, poisonous and it takes away the validity of The Work, of any type of work we are creating. Don’t get me wrong: if people liked what I wrote, I would be happy. If someone came and offered me some writing work, or a space for another exhibition, I would be extremely happy. If anyone wanted to collaborate, I would be happy. But sitting here, in this Costa, and knowing that I will not publish these words online, that they will not be seen until I reach 26 blogs and only then I will post them. The sheer and simple (very addictive!) contentment in writing, just in simple writing, has a new meaning to me. My work is writing and being an artist. That is what is important. My validation comes from me: I am writing and showing up every day on this laptop. Sometimes the writing is good, some other times the writing is not so good, but I am here doing what I like and what gives my heart extreme satisfaction. This is my own sense of self-approval. The point of me being here is the writing, not my name on a billboard. Same for competition: all the “why not me”, “why do I have to be so unlucky”, “why all the rejections”, “why have my works not been accepted to the open calls” (four out of four): the questions to ask are: did I do the job? Did I do the contextual research? Did I hand in the application on time? Did I do the writing-up of the piece? Do I write? Do I study about writing? Do I do the exercises? Do I put in the hours? Do I put myself and my craft first?
Yes, well then… well done me! That’s the only thing that is really important. The reason is that my attitude shows: determination, commitment, dedication, passion, stamina, professionalism, respectability, reliability, trustworthiness, competence, proficiency and skills. And that’s to me. Not to anyone else.
For all the other ones that Julia Cameron calls the Lint Pickers, they have no idea about my long-term plan and my larger-than-life ideas for my future. Whether they are moved by envy or fear of loss, or their smallness in a world as large as mine, they are only showing me how meany-weeny they are. This is a word you should all learn: piccino: small, little, weeny, elfin.
We don’t want you in our playground.
Whether my writing is going to be good or bad, that is irrelevant. Only by writing I can grow. If people don’t like what I do, they can switch on the TV and fuck off, as far as I am concerned.
© mtomat 2019 - written on 15.07.19 - no reproduction without permission.
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