Originally Blogging the Artist's Way. Thoughts, musings, experience of the 12-week course, January to March 2006. And after that?.... Life, creativity, writing. Where does it all meet? Here, perhaps.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Week 5 - Beginning the tasks

The Journey to this Journey

In some of my previous posts, I've referred to "last time I did AW" or "back in 1998, this is what happened". I've been comparing, and using my first go-round with Artist's Way as a point of reference for this experience, but so much is different in my life now, it just has to be a different experience. The outcome of that AW was far-reaching, deep-reaching - led me into areas of work, of study, of creativity that I hadn't really thought were possible for me until then. I've since trained as a counsellor, (almost) completed a degree in psychology, published a volume of poetry, run classes in creative writing, and generally built a multi-faceted life that suits and nurtures me very well.

But my life as it was constructed then saw me as a stay-at-home mother of a 12-year-old. He is now in his 2nd year away at college. I was then a wife, but that ended 3 years ago. So in 1998, many of my wishes and plans were dependent on their effect on my (erstwhile) husband and my son. There were more responsibilities involved in eldercare at that time too. I had to struggle through feeling selfish and demanding in expressing wants for myself alone - however accommodating people might be when I did express the need for time, or space, or whatever...

Now - I'm in a position where I don't answer to anyone, have to explain myself to anyone, take anyone very much into account when I make plans. If anything is holding me back from carrying out my dreams and wishes... it is me alone. I can blame no-one else.

All of this is preamble to the exercises like Forbidden Joys. (p.101) See, my initial reaction is well, I'm allowed to do everything. This exercise doesn't apply to me... But I made myself write down ten things I would love to do... and lo and behold, there were ten things I would love to do, which are entirely possible for me to do, and still I don't do/haven't done them. So, who stopped me? What would I love to do? OK.... Rent a cottage by the sea for a month to write, shop for a new wardrobe with a personal shopper, take a bellydancing class, get my back-garden terraced, dump and replace my bed, take a watercolour painting class, have a neighbourhood coffee-morning, learn to play guitar, go to a spa for a weekend, take a break in Paris or Amsterdam.

So, the book said post the list somewhere visible. - I said - Visible? Where people would see? Visible? What would people think?... Aha. Is that why I'm not allowed? What people? (I live alone) So, this is visible, I think. But it's buried in the middle of a bunch of text. So I will post it at home, on the back of a door, where I will have to look at it every day. I will use colour to highlight each item....

And I will stop telling myself that "That exercise doesn't apply to me" It seems the ones that really do are the ones I'm most likely to reject at first sight. (I think I learnt that lesson in Week 1, too, didn't I?)

Incubation, Eggs cracking open, and Germination

Writing in the journal this morning, I said:
I wanted to write something in the blog yesterday, but I somehow didn't really feel inspired. There was something, still, about the number of people I've noticed mentioning feeling they "were cracking open like an egg", or "incubating" Maybe I don't feel quite like that, but certainly an inner stirring, like a seed is germinating, not quite through the surface yet, but causing a restlessness, a movement... a yearning for... what? It is an energy-shift, surely, almost a tingling under the skin, a need for air. I'm turning round and round like the dog looking for the right place to settle, something is astir, surely"

I passed through my garden for a moment, paused to tug out a dead bit of foliage, and next thing, without intending to, there I was gloved and ready for action, and I was clearing debris and tidying around beds, and discovering... stirrings of life, little snouts of bulbs poking through the leafmould, a tiny daffodil head, not yet lifted towards the sun, perfect.

Ah. I let the energy go into filling a barrow with the dead remains of last year's planting, which has protected the soil, and the new growth beginning to burgeon. Happy day. First day of the year in my garden. Happy day.


At 9/2/06 10:22 pm, Blogger goldtop said...

I have this feeling a bit too - it's not that demanding children, inconsiderate friends or unsupportive boyfriends are putting things in my way but a bit of me....erk! I'm not sure if maybe that is even more of a tricksy one to get around somehow, but yep, a lot of my reactions were 'oh no, that doesn't apply to me!' only to figure out, well yes it does in some way..! Glad you liked the walk pics :)

At 10/2/06 3:54 pm, Blogger Kara said...

Your list sounds wonderful and I'm glad you posted it buried in a bunch of text on your blog. Makes me think of your garden - perhaps it is incubating here in the fertile soil of your blog.
And you've called me out - now I can't continue to ignore the forbidden joys exercise - I too said this doesn't really apply to me - yup...I know it does.....thanks for the example.

At 10/2/06 7:01 pm, Blogger In Otter Space said...

Nice analogies! I too noticed the daffodils peeking out in my garden (and in my mind as I continue through this AW journey)
BTW I am so much enjoying X 365. Personally I feel like a freshly sharpened pencil. 365 has made me able to explore the past and make connections. Thanks for the turn-on to 365.

At 11/2/06 1:49 am, Blogger GreenishLady said...

Since Lisa's mentioned 365, I have to say it's proving much more enjoyable and enriching than I'd expected it to. It feels almost as though each little sketch is another brushstroke in a greater picture, which is not a picture of all of these people, but rather a self-portrait being built out of the negative spaces around them. I like that "freshly sharpened pencil"!

At 11/2/06 7:14 pm, Blogger tess said...

"I'm turning round and round like the dog looking for the right place to settle, something is astir, surely"

I love this line--such a perfect description! And one I can relate to. Your lists and your description of your inner workings with this AW process are so enjoyable and meaningful.


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