Monday, March 12, 2007

Visual DNA and Finding Water Check in, week 3

OK, is this not fun? I got it here, and stole the idea shamelessly from here.

What a difference a few days of spring like softness and sunshine can make! That’s one of the lessons I need to learn again and again—that sometimes my emotions can spiral so completely out of control that it seems that NOTHING simple can bring me back into any sort of joy. In fact, it’s almost offensive to suggest that such strum und drang can be altered by a little outing, a little free time. And yet…I turn my back on the simple pleasures at my peril, as I proved to myself last week.

TEG gave me a few blessed hours to myself on Saturday, and I took full advantage of an artist’s date, with Jessie! We went out for Indian buffet, chatted, commiserated and dreamed. We did Finding Water homework together. And I even got a book present out of it!

And afterward, I took the Madam out for a long walk in the late afternoon sunshine, and gave us both a good hour of book browsing (and oh, I went a little crazy with the book buying, today and Saturday, but I’ve decided it’s a celebration of Spring).

I found this chapter a little difficult, honestly, because I have been feeling so low as far as support. I have not had the time to put into our lovely blog community, and as such, I feel very disconnected. TEG is working all of the time (and how often do I say that? But it’s always true). But…I am learning to appreciate the sources of support I do have, some who have always been there and some who I am just discovering. And I am learning that it’s fine for my main support right now to come from my beloved books. I asked the question, “what makes me feel important to myself?” and right now, the answer is my compulsive reading. And I am learning to stop berating myself about that, especially when the reading provides me so many unexpected insights.

One thing I learned this week, both from my pages and my reading, is to give myself a BREAK. I don’t always want to write every day, and even though I know that perhaps I SHOULD, in order to establish consistency…I just can’t right now. Madam is still very young and I am tired. And that’s fine. There’s a fear that if I don’t hold onto my writer’s self with both hands, I’ll lose her forever in this enveloping mother-self. But this week, something shifted and I realized that I was strangling her. I was making writing another MUST in a life full of MUSTS. I want to be in love with my writing, and right now, that means not writing every day.

I am making a solemn vow, here, to be more involved with this Finding Water project for the rest of the ride. Not because I MUST, but because I want to do it.

Oh, and I did my pages everyday, but that’s a given for me now.

Onto week four!



Blogger Susannah said...

every day, when you open your eyes after sleep, you are a writer. that never changes. even if you didn't write for a month, you are a writer. writing every day can be a good exercise, but i also think it's good to let things compost for a while, if they need to....

ps. i'd love to come along on a date with you and Jessie :-) xo

5:52 PM, March 12, 2007  
Anonymous Frida said...

I was just reading an article about meditation by . She used an analogy between being a writer and a meditator. Quite simply she said that everyday she is a writer and a meditator, even when she doesn't meditate everyday. She was teaching us, in that article, not to make the discipling of meditation a bind or a sufferance. Yes, steadfastness is good, but so is flexibility. I'm learning and I learn from and with you.
PS: I had a very similar experience when I went to Ghor earlier this year, what had felt to be an inescapable downward sprial was lifted in the instant that the plane took off from Herat. I saw space and sky and sunlight, and I got out of the compound and walked around. Like you I realised the importance of making the time to meet my simple but critical needs.
Read, walk outside, get some sunlight on your skin and on Madam's. Be tender and caring to yourself.

10:31 PM, March 12, 2007  
Anonymous Frida said...

Opps, I forgot the end of my first sentence, the article about meditation (in the Yoga Journal online) was by Natalie Goldberg.

10:32 PM, March 12, 2007  
Blogger Amber said...

We all get a little crazy sometimes. Most of the time a little alone time and sunshine will work wonders! That was me this last week, too. I am so happy the sun is out and the air is sweet...or I might have slipped into a dark place.


10:49 PM, March 12, 2007  
Blogger Susan Abraham said...

Hello again Mardougrrl,
So enjoyed this read.
You sound like a writer, astute with self-reflection. You analyse yourself so naturally, I wonder that you don't spot a practical trait about you. :-)

12:38 AM, March 13, 2007  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Sounds very sensible to me - you can't stop being a writer, it is who you are, body and soul. It Is Ok to rest and enjoy time with your little one. You and your body have just undergone enormous changes, physically and emotionally. It took me a long time to accept this after my boy was born.
When you do get back to your writing you will probably find that these changes are reflected in your writing. I found this true for me with my painting; it also made me appreciate my creative time more and I enjoy it more consciously, more fully.

There is a world of support here for you, whatever pace you are doing the course at.
Really enjoyed your post, it 'cemented' these ideas for me. Thanks.

2:32 AM, March 13, 2007  
Blogger Caroline said...

Love the visual DNA!

Finding support can be difficult. Even when you have people to call on they can't always be there - I think you are right to consider your books support too!

I don't think it is necessary to write or draw or whatever everyday there are more ways to connect, more ways to be with your inner artist child than the one main one.

It all feeds the well.

And I'm smiling at your glorious breaking of the rules by having an AD with someone!

I like breaking rules myself...


(And thanks for the comment on my dream journey - I think Henna and Ariadna will be very happy together - once they've worked a few things out...)

6:13 AM, March 13, 2007  
Blogger Gemma said...

Your post reminds me of the words in a Paul Simon song "I've got my books and my poetry to protect me"
Nothing wrong with that! Thank you for your comments on my FW

8:51 AM, March 13, 2007  
Blogger Jessie said...

hanging out with you totally lifted my spirits too. amazing how that works! :) and doing finding homework together...oh, that is so much more fun than school!! :)

i love ya, dear. thank you for hanging out with me and i'm glad to hear that you and the madame finished out the day in style.


1:39 PM, March 13, 2007  
Blogger Terri /Tinker said...

Thank you for reminding me, that giving yourself a break can be the best gift of all. I'm glad you found that gift for yourself. I agree with your other visitors -your writing is wonderful - you ARE a writer - and I believe that gift will be there waiting for you, no matter how long a break you take from it.
Love the Visual DNA.

5:11 PM, March 13, 2007  
Blogger Becoming Amethyst said...

you're right ~ we are so alike! i'm trying to see writing as one of the products of a creative life, not the be all and end all. when i write everyday it tends to be just for me, very little is for a wider consumption,...

good luck with week 4!

4:27 AM, March 14, 2007  
Blogger Susan Abraham said...

Hi Mardou,
Wanted to add that I posted my own visual DNA from your post. I sooo
loved it. I've also linked you to my blogroll. I hope you don't mind on both counts. :-)

4:59 AM, March 14, 2007  
Blogger Rach said...

Everyone needs time just to be, themselves. Glad you had time away with Jessie, and that you are giving yourself a break.

10:15 AM, March 14, 2007  
Blogger Saddam In The House said...

Yes, yes, YES, I am with you! We all need breaks. I wish I could get the hell out of hell for a little break. I want to be a writer too. Why did I waste my life away being such a screwie meaniehead?

9:40 PM, March 14, 2007  
Blogger melba said...

I would LOVE to have Indian for lunch with you and Jessie. How wonderful to be near each other!

I haven't read chapter 4 yet. doing some other stuff, but I will today. Some days I think about FW constantly and other days it is just not on my mind. I feel less committed this time than I did with the Artist Way...well not to the book, but to the community. I visited more participants at their blogs last time. I have to work it into my schedule because I found/find reading posts about participant's reflections illuminating.

10:49 AM, March 15, 2007  
Blogger Yummyteece said...

Morning pages and artists dates can be challenging... but it sounds like you are facing it with compassion and respect, for both the tools... and for your time commitments elsewhere. Being kind and giving to yourself is incredibly healing, and definately does not keep you from being a writer.

6:10 PM, March 15, 2007  
Blogger Mamalooper said...

I can sooo relate to the juggling of motherhood and the creative self. For me, I have not had many, if any, role models of how to do this. It's either the complete self sacrifice or the run into the ground exhausted do everything. Heh, that word balance comes to mind...

Like I blogged about, figuring out to do it with shorter chunks of time is what I am getting my head and heart around.

6:33 PM, March 20, 2007  

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