I’m feeling the pain more than the gain. Perhaps that’s how it is at first. I’m exercising my stay-with-it muscle. I’m taking my writing seriously for the first time. First I take the writing. Then I will tackle the art. Who knows how far I can go. If I don’t succeed, try and try again. I am full of clichés this morning.
Perhaps I should not try to be so clever. I feel I’m blocking myself in already. It’s a good thing my own copy of Anne Lamott’s “Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life” is on the way from Amazon. I need help on both.
Her voice is one that you can’t help but hear. It is an excellent reference and such a pleasure to read. I tell everyone who is interested in writing about it. I talk about Anne Lamott and her writing alot.
She came to mind again yesterday when I was digging through my cedar chests, looking for a cross-stitch of teddy bears I had done many years ago. I found everything, mostly unfinished projects, except that. Among the stuff these squares showed up:
They almost ended up in the trash. I did throw out the little cutout pieces, thinking I will never have the time or patience to work on them again. I had to rescue them when I opened these folded squares of cloth. Their beauty took my breath away. It was as if I’ve found parts of myself that I had misplaced.
Lamott is right. There’s treasures hidden among our mess and clutter. Use it and whatever angst that’s gnawing your butt. They are fodder to fuel our creative souls. If you’re lonely and have worries, don’t run away from those feelings. Use them. You could have written a song like Downtown.
Or penned a poem like Mary Oliver’s Wild Geese.
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it love
Tell me about your despair and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting —
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
Who knows? You could have – if you pick up that pen and start. So go ahead, start.
Someone is calling me about breakfast and something about not enough clean plates. He is supportive in my writing endeavours. I have warned him that I might be a little distracted and absent minded in the next while. Sometimes the sandwiches will not have lettuce. You have to tell the person you’re living with what you are planning and what to expect.
Today is a better day. There will be spagetti with fresh homemade tomatoe meat sauce – a break and a reward for days of plain old sandwiches without lettuce. But first Sheba needs her walk.