At the end, turn around and begin again

IMG_8792I completed Week Twelve of “The Artist’s Way” this past week. I was terrifically disciplined about the ‘morning pages’ — perhaps missing as few as five over the 12 weeks. Of course, the morning pages have little to do with discipline. They are about flow and self-care and a certain kind of momentum. The pages are a place to rest. They are a tool of containment, but also of expansion.

IMG_8794Showing up day in and day out has a way of generating ideas, identifying problems, and soothing the cranky child. It’s a place to note synchronicity. Cameron says, “The morning pages will teach you to stop judging and just let yourself write” and “morning pages map our own interior.”

IMG_8795I record dreams and make To Do Lists in the margins. Sometimes my three pages are one long complaint, often revving up into a full-bore RANT. Other times, I find myself describing a box of crayons from childhood or a character from “Blood and Indigo”. The pages can be anything at all. IMG_8802Part of the process of “The Artist’s Way” is to uncover or recover passions — little and big — discovered (where else?) — in the morning pages. The exercises can seem hokey, but they have a certain potency regardless. One result for me was to buy a really good bottle cutter. I can’t tell you how long I have wanted one of these!
The other primary tool besides the morning pages are ‘the artist’s dates’ — solo weekly outings meant to ‘open the self to insight, inspiration, guidance.’ They don’t have to be trips to the museum. They can be outings to the hardware store or a walk in the woods. I fell down miserably on these. The winter and the dog really conspired against me, I guess.  I think I only did three, two of which were trips to the Home Goods store.

IMG_9052Because of Cameron’s encouragement (and the wisdom of Kondo’s book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up“), I completely cleared off my fridge. Gone are old pictures, the calendar and white board, random magnets, and a shitty, stained list of phone numbers. I stuck only one image on it — the one up top. It’s a soothing, exotic, indigo-filled ad for Hermes. When I look at it, I feel happy.  Isn’t that the point? Of the things we hang up? A little effort in the hutch produced similar benefit — the red tins look so much better now that they are grouped together. I gave away the ones I didn’t like.

More on that later this week. For now, I begin again. At Week One.

8 thoughts on “At the end, turn around and begin again

  1. ravenandsparrow

    Good show! I admire your discipline. I never could stick to morning pages…I think it was the timing. Morning just doesn’t work. Maybe if I tried night pages.
    Anyway, I sense and applaud the underlying re-arrangement taking place within. I am feeling something similar. May we both bring forth our true purpose in this world.
    Your sketch of Finn is wonderful.

    1. deemallon

      I have been following your clearing with the same sense of applause and familiarity. Your efforts somehow made the flood part of it all.

      Night pages could work. Sometimes mine slip into afternoon.

      Writing is so natural for me. Not sure how I would do if it were otherwise.

    1. Mo Crow

      oh & I just read this –
      “It’s not all bad. Heightened self-consciousness, apartness, an inability to join in, physical shame and self-loathing – they are not all bad. Those devils have been my angels. Without them I would never have disappeared into language, literature, the mind, laughter and all the mad intensities that made and unmade me.”
      – Stephen Fry
      via Whiskey River

    1. deemallon

      Ha. One might lead to the other. I’ve found the book useful just to pick through for inspiration. But I have to say the 12 weeks was empowering.


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