Monday, May 31, 2010

It's back. It's here. It's NOW.

As the pirates say:  "Argh!"  It's back, mateys!   And if you've never seen one of these, here one is.

It's Week Four.  And Week Four is the dread No Readie Week.  And not just Reading Deprivation.  Read the instructions carefully (that's allowed reading; wallow in it) and disconnect your denial switch.  No television.  No movies.  No radio.  No music with words.  Barbaric, huh?  Nasty.  Scary. Even the parrot is alarmed.  See his face? 

Now, look.  You don't have to do this.  You don't have to do ANY of this.  It's for you.  It's a gift you can either open or send back.  As a matter of fact a mere couple of hours ago, I was all "Sherpa. Must. Read. Must. Protect. Climbers.  Must. Protect."  Which was what the initials B & S stand for.  I'm a slippery sucker, I am.

You can do it or not.  And you can make rules about which parts you will and will not honor.  I have some concrete suggestions to help you through this and some lovely philosophizing about what it's good for.  So keep reading.


First of all:  Read the chapter for Week Four.  It's full of helpful hints.  Chock full.

Second of all, write your morning pages and really dig in to what's so horrible about this week. Dig down where the action is.   

Third, do the exercises and go on your Artist's Date.  Heck, go on six. 

Fourth, whatever your creative passion is, this is the week to indulge in it.  (Hint:  you're going to have some extra time.)

Fifth, come to the blog.  You may read anything that's here.  You may post.  You may lurk. You may comment.  Please do.  If your post or your comment doesn't work, send it to me.  (I have created a No Readie Week Folder in my gmail into which I will dump all my communications from Oprah and TED and the cool folks who send me funny stuff.)  I'll read that stuff next week, but ....

Sherpa Annie will read anything that comes from YOU.  And I will frequent the blog. 

Finally, have some fun.  Use the time like the gift it really is.  And let me tell you, there's more fun to be had not reading in summer than in winter.  Have yourself some of that.

As you think of cool ways to spend your non-reading time this week, post them.  Comment them at the Graffiti post.  Send me an email and I'll post your ideas.  I'll post mine.  This is your support center for the week of not reading.  Visit often.  Be supported.  And you can call me.


Now, just a moment for the value of this week.  The effect of using reading, tv, etc. etc. to divert yourself is to take you away from the here and NOW.  We humans all -- except for the saints and poets maybe -- use something.  Books.  Television.  Food.  Booze.  Drugs.  The unalloyed Here and Now is the most uncomfortable place in the Universe. 

Actually, that's not exactly true.  The unalloyed here and now is the very living room of transformation.  All insight.  All truth.  All reality.  It's where creativity comes from and if you haven't been accessing yours for awhile, the Here and Now, if you can get to it, is filled up and running over with Creativity that belongs wholly (and holy) to you. 

It's the dang doorway to the here and now that's so scary.  And not reading or watching TV (or playing Zuma's Revenge, mea culpa) deposits you in that doorway.  If you find yourself there this week, take a deep breath and look around.

What can you see where you are right now?

What do you smell?

What do you taste?

Feel the breeze on your skin.  Feel your clothes where they touch your skin.  Feel your feet, in your shoes, on the floor.  Feel the grass under your feet if your shoes are lost somewhere as mine always are.

Listen to the sound of what's there and the sounds that will rush in if you are quiet to hear them.

Follow your thoughts without judging them.

Note how hard it is not to judge your own thoughts.  Or to not veer away from them.  Do not beat yourself up about any of this.  Have fun.  Be here Now.

Then, write, draw, collage, dance, sing, garden, knit, sew, paint a room about it.  And if you have anything to share, blog about it, too.

Ciao, peeps.  Have a great week.  

Love, Annie

1 comment:

  1. Gardening my brains out for the last 4 days. . . I hardly noticed we were approaching the dreaded NO READ Week. I'm splitting hairs here, but technically it's still the weekend (I'm denying it's Monday). Morning Pages have drifted to Afternoon Pages (who's got the watch on this anyway) and -- to take Louise's good advice, though I haven't actually READ it in the text of The Artist's Way - I'm going to take it easy, and make this round less disciplined and, well, more giving. Will see how it goes.

    By the way, Ann-- great posts! Graffiti- and here and now Arghh!