Week Eight of The Artist’s Way supposedly is about sense of strength but I found it to be more about rationalizations not to be productive: things like: I’m too old or young or too lazy, too busy with important things etc. The tasks involved goals around unfulfilled dreams – where you you like to be in 5 years – what action can you take today to get there. I’d like to be alive in five years 🙂 My action today is to take supplements that strengthen my immune system & wearing a face mask as necessary in public.

More explorations of the past (what might you have been if you has perfect nurturing?). As I get older I see that I had ‘perfect nurturing’ – I wasn’t deprived emotionally, financially – there was no physical, sexual etc. abuse in my home. I had to stretch this to the ‘imperfect’ nurturing I experienced thanks to the cultural attitudes I grew up with – but perhaps without those attitudes I would not have the strengths I have today.

I fid  one cultural attitude remains unquestioned – the one that says productivity equal value, that productivity equals self-worth. Creativity for its own sake is self-indulgence, creativity for profit is real creativity not pointless daydreams. Consumer appeal is the ultimate sign of artistic accomplishment & authenticity. 

There is a look at ‘filling in the form’ – taking things step-by-step as opposed to looking at the finished project & thinking ‘that’s too much to do all at once.’ It’s easy to get caught up in instant gratification which is one reason take-out food is so popular – you ask for & get it usually right way. The Way recommends starting in practical ways – if you don’t start you never finish. 

If you don’t start you can fantasize about how great it’ll be when you do start 🙂 In my recent covid cleaning frenzy I set time limits for each day’s housework, rather than setting the area that had to be done. It was much more productive to do parts of room rather than look & think I have to do all this today. Doing as much as I did in ninety minutes was reasonable. No rush & more time to make purge decisions. 

My writing is done the same way – timed writing rather than I have to get this whole chapter/scene done today. With NaNo I pushed hard though to see if I could keep up that pace – 100,000 words in 30 days – doing that two years in a row was enough for me 🙂

 performed at Renaissance Conspiracy Jun13.07

Street Sale

selling off the old records

will buyers get infected 

with my recollections

will they hear 

what I heard on those lps

the youthful striving to grow up

that tore my heart out

as I poured over the album covers

seeking clues in grainy photos

of what rested in those too tight jeans

will they see the album covers 

as promises of a bold future

or as comic reflections 

of what was once considered hip

far out man

too groovy for words

when people see the array of my past

do they try to figure me out 

from the jumble of books

music movies a few bowls

some engage in conversation

others prim & dismissive

my old crap not good enough 

not inviting enough 

my past too paltry

for even the fifty cents I ask

not much for you a stranger 

to merge a bit into what was once me

that is if it was even mine

I resist the urge to leave my yard 

to see what you may have

old photo albums

wedding photos

now that would be a score

to confuse people with next year

oh yes my sister’s wedding pictures

the plane went down on the honeymoon

I didn’t need those memories

what fun

give them something for their interest

a whole new past for me

when not enough of what I don’t need

isn’t sold 

I drag the tired crap into the house

to a dark corner where it shudders

some year all that isn’t sold

will stay at the curb

never to return 

good bye past 

hello emptiness

I do have a limited number of the original Distant Music chapbook for sale for $25.00 each (includes surface mail postage). Send via the paypal above along with where to send it.

2 thoughts on “Strength

  1. I think little-by-little is always the more sensible way to approach things, especially for long-term projects. But everyone has their own process to discover. Thanks for sharing!

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