Friday, July 30, 2010

Sherpa: AWOL.

Hey, Gang.

It's me.  I've been getting the occasional question about what week we're in.  No clue.  Really.  None.  I'd place me at Week Six and holding.  We should place the Vivster on a pedestal for keepin' on keepin' on. 

Okay, I checked the Mayan calendar and they say.... Wow! Did you know that in 2012.... Oh.  Sorry.  Let's cross that bridge some other day.  Now I checked the Mac Calendar and it seems to suggest that the week we are at the end of is Week 12.  My. My.  What's up with that?

I lost my place about three weeks ago when we had a round of illness that eventually touched everyone but the cat.  Nothing big but very disruptive and unpleasant for the participants.  Kind of like a Monday in daycare, if you get my drift.  Who knew that there's a virus named after Norwalk, OH?  And who knew your kid could still get strep at 31???  Oh, it was like old times.  All I can say is don't come 'round here lookin' for chicken broth.  We are plumb out.

Something else happened, too.  I rediscovered weeding.   That's what the photo is about.  Me in the garden with a large cup of coffee, just moving slow and soaking up the motherly vibe of Ms. Nature.  Here's a secret which my great grandmother knew:  the mornings are cool and quiet.  In my garden you can hear the birdies.  You can see them also, if you look.  Swallows skim over like grace on steroids.  You can hear waves from Canada and traffic from Cleveland and trains from somewhere going somewhere else and making that fabulous train-goin' woo woo sound.   

The weeds are passive resisters in the morning dew.  They lie low and come up easy.  Progress can be made.  The mind rests.  In a garden this big, you have to give up the idea of Being Done.  So, I've been going slow.  Brushing the dirt and leaves off stones, revealing their uniqueness. Blessing Curtis for laying them down in the first place. 

I notice that somewhere along the way, I have stopped caring if there there are critters.  I don't worry about snakes.  I don't mind spiders.  I feel affection for potato bugs -- they worry about me, though. 

Where am I going with this?  Almost nowhere.  Except: the garden has been my morning pages the last few weeks.  I have given myself over to mindless musing about earth and sky, birdsong and bug buzz, this and that. 

Which is a pretty way of saying that I broke my word. 

I said I would do it and I didn't.  I promised myself I would do pages, artist dates, exercises and instead I ran right off the rails.  How about you?  It is a very, very good thing to say, out loud even, how you did with your promises.  Because here's the deal.  The difference between doing what you said you would do and not doing what you said you would is not the difference between Good You and Bad You.  Really. 

The difference between doing what you said you would do and not doing what you said you would lies in the the gap between what is done and what is not.  For me, that gap contains morning pages, the boring and the uplifting, artist dates that might have been thrilling, might have been a bust.  Exercises that might have opened my eyes or passed right over my head, trailing yawns instead of glory.  Insights. Agent queries.  New words laid down.  Fresh ideas.  Or not.

It's the road not taken.  That's all.  But the fact that it was a road I promised to take makes it a problem for me. As a practical, housekeeping, orderly kind of thing, it's better to keep your word than to break it.  It makes it easier to figure out who you are if you are consistently who you say you are. 

Likewise, it is a healthy and healing thing to say you broke your word if that's what you did.  And that's exactly what I did.

So, now that I, Sherpa Annie, am back on the path of posting, I am here to hear from you.  Send me an email.  Drop us a post.  Call me on the primitive device we humans name "phone."  This is the end of the Artist's Way that began back on May 10th.  Where are you?  What have you seen?  How are you doing?  Are you done?  Are you beginning afresh?  Are you starting for the first time?  What's up?

As for me, I'm still weeding. I declare my promise broken, but my spirit strong.  When I get ready to do the next non-weeding thing, I'll post my new promise.  My promises are excellent.  They kick my fanny and keep me going.  Sometimes I let  them down.  That is the human being part.  Sometimes they lift me up.  That is also the human being part. 

Let us love ourselves, our paths, and each other.

Now where did I leave my coffee cup.....


1 comment:

  1. Oh, yeah, Ann

    You made my day. A lovely post indeed! So happy to read it. And enough with the confessions -- given the givens on the site, I, too, have given myself the latitude to relax in the spirit of the gaps and to listen to the silences.

    And I concur: weeding is very good for the psyche. I like pulling at innocent little leaves and intrusive species of grasses, as though they are really invading the greenspace of my lawn. (Go figure)

    And so. There are Morning Page mornings, and then not. My pages have been thinning. But I do acknowledge that this is Week 12 -- following my comment on Chap. 11 last week, that would make sense. Though I haven't checked the book, I do believe the subject is faith.

    Speaking of endings, this week I've been stalling and sputtering out on a post about my exhibit now closing at the museum... the mummies which occupied so much of my time and imagination last summer are no longer open to the public, though their fate has yet to be sealed on their next destination. Truly an existential state -- to be dead! and not to know where you're going, is quite a rare human condition, i must say. (At least from the Jewish perspective.) More on mummification - perhaps tonight. I too made a promise to myself this week -- Write to Done! Didn't get it done, much to my dismay.
    Weeds. . . they grow. You pull em. And move on. It's only summer so long.