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If you want to work on your art, work on your life.        ~ Chekhov

Hey ya, Hi ya!

August is WHIPPING by me and I have been totally MIA for the past couple of weeks as far as the blog and online worlds go.  It has been a wonderful time of Real World contact with friends and family, but I’m glad to be back at home now and back with you all.

Hullo hullo hullo!

On we go with The Artist Way….

In Week 4, we take a wander though Honest Changes, Buried Dreams and the dreaded Reading Deprivation.

I started late, and because I got so far “behind” on things, I’ve opted to let Week Four spread over TWO weeks. This will put me a week “behind” my fellow Spirit Walkers, but it was best… for me.

I only did ONE WEEK of Reading Deprivation though.  That was plenty.  Heh heh.

 

~~o~~

The Quick Chicken…
(Cuz chickens are so much more fun that Check Ins)

Morning Pages: 14/14

Continuing to do them BEFORE I  get out of bed.

Artist Date:

I would say that I went on an extended date this week.  I was in Montreal and got to spend an entire day wandering around on my own–through book stores and vintage clothing shops, up and down the funky streets, people watching, coffee sipping…. ahhh…..

I didn’t buy any Vintage Clothes — though I saw many beautiful beautiful things.

I did buy… books.  Books and books and books.  YUM.  Some tasty finds from S.W. Welch used book store and some glorious treats from Drawn and Quarterly.

And… a grown up colouring book called Secret Garden by Johanna Basford. You can get a peek inside (and a few pages to colour) over at the Guardian.

Can’t wait to get out my coloured pencils and while away some hours.

Synchronicity:

I’ve just realized that I’ve been forgetting to record the instances of synchronicity that happen to me each week.  I will get on board with this practice starting…. now.

~~o~~

Tasks Done:

1. I yearn to voice, each day – simply and clearly, my “deal” with the Creator.  I am not sure I have found the perfect formula or phrase yet, but I would like to simply…. invite the Creator in – again and again and forever again.  Into my work and into my self.  I would like to simply say… welcome.  Well come.

2. I did the Buried Treasure excercise.  Loving that we were to list FIVE things for each query, of course.

  • 5 hobbies that sound fun
  • 5 classes that sound fun
  • 5 things I would NEVER do that sound fun
  • 5 skills it would be fun to have
  • 5 things I used to enjoy doing (but haven’t done in a long while)
  • 5 “silly” things I would like to try once.

I had the hardest time with things I would never do.  It came out more as five things that I currently think I “could” never do for financial reasons or because I haven’t the training.

I also struggled with what I think of as “silly” – I came up instead with … things that might be scary for me.

3.  The tasks that appealed the most were writing the Artists Prayer (still working on it) and the extended Artist Date – which I planned and thoroughly enjoyed in Montreal.

4. I was also drawn to  time-traveling to 80 – describing myself and writing a letter back to my present day self about:

  • what I enjoyed doing most after 50
  • what interests I am most glad I pursued
  • and what dreams I hold dear

I just realized that I made a note to do this and still have to DO it.

Hmm.

I may carry over these two into this coming week.  I am again starting LATE though…. sheesh.  Summers are rough on this type of Doing for me.

5. The tasks I most did NOT want to do (and didn’t do- oops) were….

  • time-traveling back to 8.  (all I wrote is: I don’t remember. I don’t remember. I don’t remember.  My stomach hurts.  Ooof.)
  • Looking at a situation in my life that I feel I should change but haven’t yet and what my payoff is for staying stuck.  Fingers in my ears singing ‘lalalalalalala la’ on this one. I’m just not up to doing this right now. Nope.

 

Extra Tasks Done –

  • My walks my walks… I love my walks. And boy howdy did I walk in Montreal. Hours and hours and hours each day. Yay!
  • I carry on with the affirmations – written once at the close of the morning pages.  And in the mirror for the “You will be awesome, oh yes, you will be awesome.”

~~o~~

WHAT JUMPED OUT FOR ME…

… being quotes from the book and my own blatherings

 

Just as an athlete accustomed to running becomes irritable when he is unable to get his miles in, so, too, those of us accustomed now to Morning Pages will notice an irritability when we let them slide.

Amen Sister!  I so feel this.  If I don’t do the Scrib… it is a cranky day.  If I let it slide for a couple of days…. I am ENTIRELY out of sorts.

…kriya, a Sanskrit word meaning a spiritual emergency or surrender.

Georgia O'Keeffe by Dennis Brack, 1977.

Georgia O’Keeffe by Dennis Brack, 1977.

Brings to mind the episodes of… taking to my bed… when the Work is not going well, or I receive a blow to my creativity like a really really bad review or attack in the form of “criticism.”  I am smitten by what might be seen as “the flu” but is, in fact more connected to my spirit.  The body is taken OUT and I … lie down for a few days.
This has also happened with family or romantic troubles.  High emotion knocks me for a loop when my defenses are down.

 

I remember learning that Georgia O’Keeffe, one of my artistic heroines, “took to her bed” after each showing in New York.

Knowing that this strong, independent and courageous artist needed to retreat gives me… strength and hope.  We may take to our beds for a few days, but we always get up and we go on with the work.  The going on is the important thing.

 

…Creativity is grounded in reality, in the particular, the focused, the well-observed or specifically imagined.

Just a good reminder.

Art lies in the moment of encounter: we meet our truth and we meet ourselves; we meet ourselves and we meet our self-expression.  We become original because we become something specific: an origin from which the work flows.
As we gain—or regain—our creative identity, we lose the false self we were sustaining.  The loss of this false self can feel traumatic: “I don’t know who I am anymore.  I don’t recognize me.”

I. Just. Love. This.

Just keep walking.

Nuff said.

…Many changes have entered your life as a result of your willingness to clear room in it for your creator’s action…. There will be a sense of the flow of life—that you are brought into new vistas as you surrender to moving with the flow of God.

This is how I feel about the past couple of years of my life.  That I am surrendering to, stepping into the flow.  That there is a new me emerging.  A new way of working and a new way of being in the world.
Going on my walks up the lane, I see so much more this year that I ever have.  I am…. More present.
It is the work I am doing on the book and it is the meditation and it is the paying attention to the moon and the elements and it is the working on being present in my relationships—feeling the feelings—instead of hiding behind the old walls.  It is the walking and the breathing and the listening.

…Morning pages are your boat.  They will both lead you forward and give you a place to recuperate from your forward motion.

Yum.

The morning pages symbolize our willingness to speak to and hear God.

This smacked me upside the head.  Again. I think it has to do with the idea of this working in the morning pages being more than “just” a connection to myself.  The opening to a larger creative force.
Much to mull.

I also marked the place where she says that…

There is a special power in writing out the deal we are making with our creator.  “I receive your good willingly” and “Thy will be done” are two short affirmations that when written in the morning remind us to be open to increased good during the day.

This… is taking me back towards…. God… towards my relationship with the Divine in an interesting way.

The Buried Dreams exercise was another fun adventure.  I love those sorts of quick explorations.

And… the Reading Deprivation – whew….. It is SO tough for me.

This time, I found myself listening to podcasts, dharma talks and guided meditations to drift off into sleep.  In small moments throughout the day when I felt the urge to reach for a book, I began to play Texas Hold ‘em on my phone.  Interesting, eh?

As Julia so clearly notes…

For most blocked creatives, reading is an addiction.  We gobble the words of others rather than digest our own thoughts and feelings, rather that cook up something of our own.

I’ve talked about my Story Addiction in previous posts.

I am a fanatical lover of WORDs. Reading has always been an escape and a solace to me.
It is even broader than that though.
I am addicted to STORY in all of it’s forms.  Books, plays, movies, television, a tale told by a friend or a stranger.  I am seduced and lulled,  awakened and challenged by the spoken and written word.
A friend, Bear,  who shares my Story addiction, pointed out that we will feed our addiction in any way we can and, like most addicts, we will always find the “easiest” route.
•    If there is a television – we will watch it.
•    If there is no tv – we will go to a movie
•    If there are no movies – we will read a book
•    and if I find ourselves BEREFT of all stories created by others… we will begin to write our own.

I agree with him,  except that my default is often BOOKS even before TV.  Unless I am tired tired tired.
I do remember, though,  that the last time I came through this week in TAW, I  dove into television and movies as a way to soothe my need to read.
I purposefully DIDN’T allow myself to do this time.  Even the podcasts felt a bit “cheaty” to me.  As I listened to things like… This American Life… stories stories everywhere.
The playing poker was an interesting twist for me.  I now have a new addiction.  Ha ha.

~~o~~

MY PERSONAL NUGGET…

The strongest take away for me from this year’s trip through Week Four of TAW is…

Things are all working together… Again I circle back to the idea I held to for these two weeks and that I used at the opening of this post.  That to work on our Art, we must work on our lives.  That all is connected.

How wonderful.

~~o~~

And now… I must sally forth to check on and check back in with my online peeps.  No email or forum chatting for two weeks….. YOIK!  Me thinks I will be wading through emails and messages for a few days.

If you’ve dropped a line and I haven’t replied yet…. I’ll be with you soon.

Thanks for stopping by.

Go easy ~p

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