"All of the animals except for man know that the principle business of life is to enjoy it."
Luckily for me, there is no rigid screening process for membership in the Organization of Sentient Beings. My ferry schedule must be out of date, because I come awfully close to missing the boat - repeatedly.
Beliefs - our personal mythology, our more than twice-told stories - can act as the curse spoken over the baby just before the castle and all within it fall into coma-like slumber. Whatever the planets are up to, their influence has someone touching live wires to parts of my brain while an Observer stands by and remarks, "That's not true. Where did you come up with that?"
Item one: how many times have I written or said that I just write; I don't know where it's going, I just show up and do it. False. I DO know. My writing carries me from this place into another, as the words pile up my work becomes more, bigger. Where it is going is forward. That forward may not have a name or form is not the same as standing still. I do know.
Item two: because of current or historic events that might be seen as setbacks, I often tell myself that life is hard, as though that limp and watery classification lets me be as half-assed as I want. False. I have not broken down at some menacing desert way-station; the necessary replacement part will not take 6 weeks to arrive; I am not without resources and, in many ways, abundance. The grocery stores have been selling blueberries for (almost) pennies for the past several weeks. Blueberries may be one of the signs of advanced civilization; they are surely not a sign of the apocalypse. No trust fund? Que lastima.
Item three: I see Iraqi war amputees climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro and feel like a whiner and a wimp. I see the armless teenager who paints, applies eye makeup without smudges, drives a car and flies an airplane. I am usually the first to scream that comparisons are odious - or odorous - but please. At what point did I make the choice to sit out the rest of my life because getting around is not the easy waltz it used to be.
Item four: there is an emphatic part of me that really believes impossible things can happen. I have had them happen to me. Call them miracles, blessings, call them impossible things; the last-minute reprieve has saved us more times than I can count. That is enough to hold onto; empirical evidence is sufficient in this case.
Item five: I have not been drawing and have written less often than I intend. The only thing keeping me from these joys is me and too many lunches from the apathy cafe. My time here is finite; is this the best I can do? Does this make me happy?
As other faulty beliefs come to me, I may list them here, if only to bring them into the light and let them slither off to another shadowy grotto. This could be labeled Noticing Out Loud, I suppose, but unlike writing the thoughts in the air with the licked tip of a finger, at least for the moment they have shape here. After the blogger lost comments fiasco, who knows. I may have choked on self-absorption long before a follow-up entry can be pasted together.
Several weeks ago I learned that artist-teacher-author Carla Sonheim was giving copies of her new book, Drawing Lab for Mixed-Media Artists , to some of the illustrators who contributed to the work, so that they could hold drawings on their blogs. I was one of the fortunate drawees and my copy arrived today. One of the first pages I turned to was about creating paper dolls. The exercise speaks to me, not only because she uses cereal box cardboard as the background. The page also includes a quote from Carl Jung, "What did you do as a child that made the hours pass like minutes? Here is the key to your earthly pursuits."
What I did was read, daydream, dance, sing, cook, do my best and believe. Later I wrote. Earthly pursuits. My keys.