My friend is taking a pottery class. Last week she told me she’s enjoying it even while she wonders if she’s moving too slowly. At her last class, she formed a coil pot but hadn’t had time to get anything on the wheel. “But I figure I’d rather take home a few things I want instead of several I made in haste,” she said.
“If it were me, I think I’d just enjoy throwing and working with the clay,” I said. “I don’t think it would matter much for me to have anything to show for it.”
“Even though you’d have messy hands?” she asked.
Well, there is that.
As soon as she asked, I could feel imaginary clay drying on my hands, its chalky film sucking the moisture off my palms. I noticed I was rubbing my fingers together, unconsciously seeking assurance that my skin was still there. It didn’t help, I suppose, that earlier that day I’d gone into mild convulsions when my husband’s black lab ran her slobbery tongue from my wrist to my elbow in unrestrained dog-joy at being alive. (Read the rest…)
Process is messy. Maybe that’s okay.
Maybe that makes me want to wash my hands.
Years ago I was directed to read a book called Feelings, devoting a chapter to each of what felt to me like a hundred shifty emotions in order to give me words to replace “okay.” It didn’t take. Even with an enhanced vocabulary, I settled into the comfortable security of carefully managed levels. Maybe I don’t feel happy all the time, but then neither do I have to feel sad.
When I opened up Chapter 4 this weekend, I discovered that Cameron had been reading my Morning Pages and eavesdropping on my conversations. I read the first page, closed the book and walked away. I came back later and did the work of these chapters, but this still hangs in the air around me… (read the rest)
We’re continuing our book club discussion of Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way at Tweetspeak Poetry, talking this week about the Morning Pages. For some folks, the dread Morning Pages. For me, these three pages of longhand writing first thing in the morning might be the only thing in The Artist’s Way that I do without at least some initial grumbling. Come on over and find out why.
I have an ice cream cone. It’s melting onto the grass. I stopped on the way to the headwaters because Julia Cameron asked me to list five of my favorite childhood foods, and then indulge in one. I didn’t list five; I listed two. The chocolate-dipped cone from Dairy Queen wasn’t on the list, but it probably should have been. I just didn’t think of it when she put me on the spot like that. And now I’m feeling angry at ice cream, something a reasonable person should never, ever do. Read the rest…
It’s Wednesday, and that means it’s time for me to be all cranky at Julia Cameron. We’re getting to the bottom of the ice cream cone and my irritation over at Tweetspeak Poetry today. Join us?
Somewhere around the fifth grade, I sat cross-legged on the cool linoleum tile floor of my basement and rolled a red-striped tube sock up the sides of an empty tennis ball can. I stood it upright in a white sneaker and tied the laces snug. The sneaker’s mate had been torn asunder when I stepped carelessly into the opening of a storm sewer grate. After walking the rest of the way home from school with a stocking cap wrapped around my foot, I memorialized the lost shoe with a sculpture of recycled objects.
At Julia Cameron’s prodding, I set off last week to retrace the steps of my creative history. Armed with my GPS and a fireplace poker, I frisked bushes and flipped over stones to ferret out the “historic monsters,” insidious brick masons who constructed the wall of negative core beliefs surrounding my creativity. (Read the rest…)
We’ve begun our book club discussion of Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way over at Tweetspeak Poetry this morning.
Join us for a discussion of how creativity can be nurtured — or injured — and the formation of our core beliefs about our own creativity and its pursuit.
The last time I spent any time with a book by Julia Cameron, I got into an altercation with my Writer. She hovered over my desk, whining relentlessly about how everyone else’s Muse went for long walks and exotic dates, sipping tea hot tea and macchiatos at tables adorned with fresh cut flowers.
I lost my temper and whipped a pencil, aiming between her doe eyes. She slunk away whimpering to the showers. Not long afterwards, I looked up to see her dripping form, wrapped in a towel and reaching out from the dim shadows of my office with a crumpled, soggy scrap of paper. (Read the rest at Tweetspeak Poetry…)
We’re starting a new book club soon. I’ve been down this road before. Or on these tracks, anyway. I’m a little anxious. (Pick whichever definition you like.) Head on over to Tweetspeak to find out why, and get your invitation to join us in a new discussion of Julia Cameron’s landmark book on creative renewal, The Artist’s Way.