November is coming in like a lion. The yard is speckled with snow as I let Sheba out this morning. It is wet, grey and dreary. I am reminded of another autumn, the time after I came back from a holiday in China.
It was the fall of 2001. I had not expected that it would be so dreary and so cold. I had expected that there would be some sunny and warm days yet to come. There would be time for me to put the yard and garden stuff away. After all, it was still September. But there was none. I had to use my hairdryer to thaw out the garden hose from the outside tap. Greyness permeated my days and being. I had difficulties with sleep and jet lag. It was a difficult autumn and year to follow.
Remembering that, I am watchful of myself that I don’t fall into that deep abyss again. Experience is a great teacher. Routines and healthy habits are great aids. I pay attention to my inner voice. I breathe and give myself time. A nano second can make a difference in how I see and feel. Sometimes I fake it till I make it. This is the time for all those would’s and should’s. I ask myself, how would/should a reasonable person behave? In that nano second I ask again, Is that true?
And so, I am living my life best as I can. I am trying again and again, struggling with all of life, struggling with my outer and inner moral compasses. I am choosing my well-being and happiness over everything, over being right. I’m deciding on what is best for me in the long run. It is a difficult tug of war for my puritanical mind. It is hard to compromise. I’m trying hard to be kind to myself and others as well. It is not easy but practice does make for better.
I AM making for better. I am getting up, dressing up and showing up every day. I am tap, tapping out the words. They are showing me the way, lighting up this grey dreary morning. There is no novel in me yet. Perhaps I am afraid of letting it out. But I am working hard. I am still working towards my goal of 1000 words a day. I’ve accomplished the 500/day for the month of October. I can stretch and reach a little further this month. It’s a good way to chase the blues away. And I’ve found help from Henry Miller via Brain Pickings this morning.
- Work on one thing at a time until finished.
- Start no more new books, add no more new material to ‘Black Spring.’
- Don’t be nervous. Work calmly, joyously, recklessly on whatever is in hand.
- Work according to Program and not according to mood. Stop at the appointed time!
- When you can’t create you can work.
- Cement a little every day, rather than add new fertilizers.
- Keep human! See people, go places, drink if you feel like it.
Don’t be a draught-horse! Work with pleasure only.
- Discard the Program when you feel like it—but go back to it next day. Concentrate. Narrow down. Exclude.
- Forget the books you want to write. Think only of the book you are writing.
- Write first and always. Painting, music, friends, cinema, all these come afterwards. ”
Perhaps I can write my own manifesto in this dreary month of November. I can adopt Miller’s motto: “When you can’t create you can work.”
I am so grateful and appreciative for the support of friends through the Internet. Likes and comments mean a lot – most especially during this time of coughs, sniffles and I feel sorry for me. I try to r reciprocate in kind. There are great communities out there. It is wonderful that we can reach out and ‘touch’ each other, no matter how far away we are.
There is light in these grey days of November. I can shine despite the darkness. So let me share a little glow here. I zentangled this little chameleon from a template of Ben Kwok’s that he so generously shares on Ornation Creation. What a great group it is, too, sharing and showing their work and giving encouragement to others.
How is November treating you?