Taking It Easy

I think after years of driving myself relentlessly to make, make make, I am actually succeeding in chilling out.

I am reading Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way, a book I bought after Kathy Mattea recommended it during an interview I must have done in 2006. I can’t believe it was that long ago but it was.

I wanted to start doing the morning pages but had to take Frank to school and catch up on errands. The car has been out of commission since Friday.

Morning pages is a free writing exercise that Cameron says will free the artist of the crap in the mind so that we can open up to the material flowing from the source. It’s meant to be a slow murder of our internal editor. She calls it the censor. Cool, I say.

The thing is, I already write my dreams out first thing in the morning and I blog as much as possible. That’s a lot of scribbling. Still I’d like the freedom to just write anything.

When I first read about the morning pages I was kind of attitudinal.

Julia Cameron writes:

“Living in a small adobe house that looked north to Taos Mountain, I began a practice of writing morning pages. Nobody told me to do them. I had never heard of anybody doing them. I just got the insistent, inner sense that I should do them and so I did. I sat at a wooden table looking north to Taos Mountain and I wrote.”

My response, scribbled back in the spring of 2006:

“She never heard of journals?”

I have been writing in a journal since I saw a fear Gemini friend attending to her books each day. We were in our late teen years.

The morning pages are supposed to be more of a free write with no thought to story, design or sense-making. I get it.

Back then I think I was just jealous that Cameron got to live in a small house in Taos and I was stuck in a crappy apartment on Del Sol Place in Redding.

My journals, many of which I still have, are close to being complete drivel. They are 87% boring crap. The point is to get that stuff out of the way so the faucets are opened for the good flow.

Just slowing down and letting myself get off the what-next train has allowed me to consider a few directions I’d forgotten I could go in.

My journalist’s post traumatic stress disorder had me shrinking from the idea of writing anything more challenging than blog posts. Over the last few weeks though I’ve been getting the urge to make stories. That’s a good thing.

The trick is not to dive back into the relentless mode too quickly (if ever). I need to establish a deep feeling of love and peace with my own imagination. I need to believe what bubbles up will sustain the full realization of the creation I see shimmering off in the distance.

I am going to a Halloween party tomorrow night where I expect there will be more than a few creative types. It will be good to talk to others. I’m going as a dream pirate.

Wonder what will make the best fake face tattoo?

I think I dream of this place.

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2 Responses to “Taking It Easy”

  1. Loved the Artist Way, Constance. And, somehow, I’m able to balance, in my mind, realism with God (she, thank you) as a nurturer who will help me if I get focused and help myself. Those pages have been instrumental in my journey for some 10 years. And, just recently, I’ve started decorating them with found leaves, flowers, feathers, etc. Stuff from my morning walks, which becomes a meditation in my walk and on my pages. Can’t wait to see how your journey unfolds.

    -Christy

  2. You inspire me, Christie. I love knowing your out there doing very interesting creative things!

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