Create

Morning Pages

Much to my own surprise, I got out of bed at 6:30am this morning. Recently I have begun to suspect that I might have adrenal fatigue or chronic fatigue or some other variation. This isn’t me being a hypochondriac or anything, this is me feeling like I’m tired. All. The. Time. Of course there are things I can do to try and fix this, but the things I need to do are the things I have typically failed at turning into habits in the past. So I’m tired and discouraged.

Yesterday I started reading The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. Odds are good that if you have any artistic inclinations you have read this book, but apparently I was late to the party.

In case you’re also showing up fashionably late, this book offers a twelve-week program to unblock and unleash your creativity.

The two consistent exercises that you are expected to do are the daily Morning Pages and a weekly Artist Date. In a nutshell, Morning Pages involve free writing your thoughts onto three pages to get all the clutter out of your mind and an Artist Date involves taking your inner child out once a week to rediscover your fun and wonder.

The problem with Morning Pages is that you are required to do them first thing in the morning. I LOVE sleep. Capital L. Capital O. Capital V. Capital E. Granted, part of my love goes back to this feeling of always being tired, but the thought of waking up any earlier than necessary is not appealing.

But this morning I did it.

It seems like so many inspirational speakers touch on how important sleep is eventually. But most of them talk about how they need only five, seven, or the recommended eight hours of sleep. I seem to be somewhere in the twelve-hour range; which can’t be healthy or normal. Plus it’s a terrible use of time! But my argument for these people is “yea, but you love what you do, so waking up is easy for you…” A telling comment, no?

And while current circumstances mean that I’m not leaving my current job any time soon (or at least not in the next few months) I’m hoping that I have maybe found a reason to wake up early and be excited to get out of bed.

True, this is only the first day of 84 days[!] and it’s easy to get one day right, but I really think I might be able to do it. Even if three pages seems like a lot of writing. Even though I have to do this for twelve weeks. And even though I despise waking up early.

But today is a total solar eclipse AND a new moon; a rare and significant event in our little lemming lives. From our darkest hours we are reborn so why not set some new intentions today and make an effort to follow through.

contract

The Artist’s Way contract. (I didn’t write my name in this contract since I’m only borrowing this book, but I did copy it into a notebook).

 

Impossible

Day 1, Day 1 again, this is the last Day 1

How many failures

How many new beginnings

Today is the day

Today will be different

This time

Maybe tomorrow

Next week

On Monday

 

Measurements, photos, weigh-ins

Promises, plans, intentions

 

Doubts and why bothers

Anxieties and depressions

Give ins and give ups

 

It’s for my health

Lies

It’s to improve my energy

Sure it is

 

It’s for looks

It always has been

 

Too fat

Not thin enough

No muscle definition

Too short

Too weak

Not good enough

Never will be

 

Obese

Overweight

Overloaded

Overburdened

 

Society says one thing

The mirror says the same

Your clothes scream it at you

And eventually you believe

 

Impossible standards

Impossible expectations

Impossible to ignore

Impossible to succeed

Impossible not to fail

Underscored

Beaten bruised belittled and abused

Left confused and used

While I plead you stand accused

I can’t proceed while you mislead

Oblivious to your misdeeds

There is no blood but I still bleed

In a flash I’m in a flood

I cannot see

I cannot breathe

I cannot swim in this sea

If it were up to you I would not be me

If only I knew how things could go so askew

Hid from view

Planning a coup

It’s time to bid adieu

This is not

The paradigm

I will not take the fall for this crime.

They break but my bones aren’t broken

I’m soft-spoken but stakes are high

This war cry is not just a token

Vilified, villain-ized, rectified and purified

From a chrysalis I am a butterfly

Reborn, no time to mourn,

this weight was too heavy to be borne

A levy and a thorn

I can let go of the hate

Not a victim of fate

I don’t wait, I walk straight on the road I create

I am owed but I am bleary, teary but thinking clearly

I have a theory

When I stand tall it will sink in and sync up

I’ve been on the brink, I’ve seen it all

I did not cower and fall when backed up against the wall

Smacked, cracked and black and blue

What to do, break through, I’m over you, fuck you

I am awake

No more heartaches and mistakes

I’m at the ground floor, out the front door

This is post-war underscored

What I’m renowned for

 

***

This poem was inspired after I watched this amazing Vox video. I just wanted to see if I could do it.

Possibilities & Blank Canvases

I am from pixie dust, fairy-tales, and Neverland

I am from princesses, wizards, and blanket forts

I am from make believe and talking plush animals

I am from Jillian Jiggs and Roald Dahl

I am from “What ifs…” “We coulds…” and “Maybes…”

I am from possibilities and blank canvases

I am from art classes, piano lessons, choir, and drama

I am from first solos and the lead in the play

But I am also from high expectations

I am from academics, good grades, and A+’s

I am from a society saying “You can be anything you want to be…

… As long as it fits this mould we have created for you.”

I am from conformity

I am from judgment and self-consciousness

I am from stage-fright and shyness

I am from forgotten lyrics and dust-covered piano keys

I am from dried acrylics and hardened paint brushes

I am from half-filled sketchbooks and unfinished crafts

I am from garage sales and dreams sold for pocket change

I am from “go to university and get a real job”

I am from 9 to 5

I am from incandescent lighting and cubicle walls

I am from six-figure hopefuls and dead-end jobbers

I am from oversized houses and overpriced cars

I am from mid-life crisis and anti-depressants

I am from forgotten dreams and lost childhoods

I am from “If onlys…” “I could haves…” and “Maybe nots…”

But I am also from possibilities and blank canvases

Yellow Brick Road

A road that once sparkled and glittered like the sun

Made of precious metals and memories

Bricks that formed the foundation of our marriage

But lights dim

And metals lose their value

What was once priceless is thrown in the scrap heap

Gold is too soft

Even clay and mortar crumble

Corners of yellow-edged memories curl and fade

Leaving sepia-toned bricks built of moments made meaningless

When did color change to black and white?

Threatening skies and tumultuous tornadoes of animosity

Our house lifted, turned, tilted and dropped in this foreign land

How many people were crushed under the weight of our broken house?

How many people telling us what to do and what road to follow?

I am alone

Trying to find my way home

Lost and confused

Experience creates knowledge

But I don’t know what to do

Except whatever it takes to avoid being burned again

I know I have a heart because it is broken

But after having my chest torn open

I am left empty and hollow

Forgotten and rusting in the rain

Scared of the future

Lacking the courage to go on

Not courage but the confidence to use it

But there’s hope over the horizon

At the end of the rainbow there is a beginning

These shoes only lead forward

Who knows what’s waiting behind the curtain

Aspen Summer

Sunlight flickered through the aspen leaves overhead

Casting ever-changing shadows of lace on her skin

Cross-legged

In a soft yellow dress

She strummed six strings

That summer the outdoors was our school

The forest our classroom

The trees our teachers

And her

My education

Sunlight caresses a forgotten window

Casting dust-filled beams on a weathered table

A quiet room

With a view of a quiet forest.