Writing and dreaming and stargazing

lunapicmorningstar

I am a story teller in search of a story.

A dreamer, a stargazer,

searching an imaginary sky,

for distant galaxies of meaning

and metaphor–

trusting that somewhere,

beyond thedark matter–

of a blocked imagination–

there is a something waiting to be seen.

A stargazer knows that  beyond the glimmer

of a billion years lies astonishment.

And I must trust  that beyond the disappointment

of my failed experiments, and my unfinished drafts,

beyond the storms of my own fear and shame,

beyond all the evidence that I will fail,

there is something that can only be imagined by me

A story–poem–a painting that only I  can tell.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Reminding myself of the light within.

The traveler driving down a lonely country road at night, is encouraged by the distant twinkling lights of her destination.

But it’s the headlights of her car that keep her from driving off the road.

In life we are drawn toward the bright light of desire and distant dreams.

But only the light we carry with us, will keep our wheels on the road and our footsteps on the path.

We have to keep that light burning.

Mountain-road

This is a re-post from last year but I needed to remind myself of this today.

ART AND COURAGE

If we had to say what writing is, we would have to define it essentially as an act of courage. —Cynthia Ozick

Fear and Courage
Fear and Courage

I do believe that writing is an act of courage.

Courage to keep going when life is in chaos–

courage to keep going when your are tired and drained and empty,

when you think you have been left behind,

when you think someone else is better than you.

when you think you have nothing to say.

when no one pays any attention

to what you have written.

It takes courage to write.

I believe this.

Over and over and over in my life,

my fear has stopped  me dead in my tracks.

And courage was nowhere to be found.

I didn’t understand that fear was necessary for courage to exist.

I didn’t realize courage and fear were inseparable companions.

So now I live my life,

knowing fear is always present

and always talking to me–

And somehow I have to keep going anyway and trust that I can.

Because courage is standing right there with fear-

waiting to be called on–waiting to  take the lead-

waiting to carry me across whatever dangerous territory–

whatever hidden enemies–

I think I am facing.

I need to remember this.

Now especially.

I have an opportunity to include an excerpt of my new play

in a festival of new work but fear is plaguing me.

It’s screaming at me.

It’s sneaking up on me.

Covert attacks.

Constantly.

Every little obstacle that I have to face or every tiny suggestion

that something needs work or should be cut–

is scaring me to the point that I am angry.

I wake up in the morning

with dread that I am not good enough–

That the play is not ready.

I find myself reacting angrily to things.

Or I am annoyed at the person who offered me

the opportunity at the wrong time.

I have to constantly remind myself,

That I am not actually in danger.

It’s just my fear  trying to protect me.

It’s just my fear,  wanting me to quit —

so that I don’t have to take a risk–

or feel the pain of possible failure.

And every demand of my life–

and there are many these days-

seems to suggest I don’t have  the time

or the stamina or the ability.

But  it is just my fear trying to stop me

from failing.

But I am not going to fail.

I can do this.

I can do it.

There is no conquering fear.

There is no need to conquer it.

Courage needs me to know this.

Ready or not here I come.Ready or Not

Days in the haunted room a poem

red fire

I find myself at times

living my life

as if I was trapped

in a haunted room–

spending all  my days and nights

all alone with

my hopeless longings

hanging like torn and tattered

curtains,

heavy with years.

Ghostly companions

whispering in the darkIMG_0196

And even when I

try to escape

I can’t get far–

without tripping on

all my unanswered questions

and unfulfilled dreams

piled in the corners,

like unpaid bills.

As if I owe myself

more agony

As if I fear getting behind

in my suffering.

As if only the frightening truth

will set me free.

I would love to renovate

so the the walls of that

room could come crashing down–

and all the old secrets would

crumble and blow away.

Or maybe it would be enough

just for the door to be

locked forever–

and left as a resting place

for other ghosts– not mine

who would keep company

with all that I had

finally left behind in that

old haunted room.
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Knowing and accepting- Creative Process Part One

Knowing and accepting

that we will be criticized-

that we will be judged,

rejected or even worse

ignored–

and choosing to

continue anyway-

is an essential skill

that we need to acquire-

that we can not do without-

in life and in art.

So is knowing and accepting

that sometimes the road is

long and hard-

and straight uphill-

all the way–

and that our chosen path

will take us through

mud and sludge and swamp-

and steep mountains

and dark forests.

And that for much

of the journey

we are absolutely

alone.

To be lost and afraid

and to ache

and nearly break–

is part of the journey.

There is no avoiding it.

When we are engaged

in the process of writing or painting–

where the product matters-

where it’s not just therapeutic–

or an exercise in self inquiry-

but where expectations of merit-

and quality play an important part–

we will at some point-

feel all of the awful.

fearful, jealous, disappointed,

rejected, despairing, angry emotions.

And we will be full of doubt.

We will from time to time

believe that we can not

keep going.

But there is the trick

to surviving all this misery.

It’s remembering that if

you are feeling these

things–you are on your path.

If you feeling all tis pain

you are doing it right.

You are staying on track.

If you opened your lap top today

and hate what your wrote yesterday–

and the day before–

You are in the process

of doing the work.

You are getting there-

you are slogging up the hill-

you are getting it done.

You are getting somewhere.

So when you are stuck with nothing to say-

remember that you are supposed to get stuck-

sometimes.

You are not going anywhere folks if–

from time to time

you don’t get stuck-

waylaid, distracted, completely lost.

You haven’t left the comfort zone if

you never want to rage and moan.

It is part of the creative process.

That is all it is.

You wanna quit but don’t.

You gotta go through this part.

On the other side of this

is your reward.

Coming soon. Part two,

After the solstice–the days begin to grow longer and hopefully brighter and brighter.

The little grey squirrel–
sitting on the scaffolding outside my window–
doesn’t seem to be bothered by the pouring rain.
I need to adopt a squirrel attitude,
I guess nature asks it’s creatures to accept things.
Squirrel and his family have been very busy in my attic
since the end of summer.
The roof has an opening that can’t be closed
until the house repairs are done.
I am trying to have a Beatrix Potter attitude
about my house guests. It’s difficult.
They can be very noisy when they start scratching in
the wee hours.

And I am trying to be accepting

of the difficulties I face.

I am still standing.

I just have to hold on and do my best.

The shocks and losses of recent years

have been like a storm that subsides but does not

end.

It may keep going like this.

It’s entirely possible.

It’s that part of the movie.

The hero is tied to the dock and the waves are coming in.

I expect a lot more grief to come.

More hardships to carry and more

losses to face–

more heartache.

I am not so much afraid of it–

as preparing for it.

I am trying to face the coming year

With as much courage, calm and continued belief

that there is always good amongst the bad

and gifts amongst the challenges–

and joy within the pain.

And I am ready for it.

I am expecting it.

I am expecting myself to keep going

to keep believing and to keep trying

to live in happiness and openness and faith.

Despite the hard stuff.

Trying anyway.

My word for the coming year–

Yes I choose a word to call up the magic that it brings–

Resiliance.

That is what I need.

It’s a good word.

Bright shiny tough.

Resiliance.

I do not like Christmas or birthdays or celebrations

anything that has to happen on a certin day–

I prefer to celebrate for no reason.

I prefer to celebrate–just because.

But the true message of the season

The coming of hope and light into the world

Makes me shine a little.

Merry Christmas

angel

REMEMBERING TODAY

Today is December 6th and every year on this day I like to take a moment to reflect and remember what happened on this day 23 years ago.


On December 6 we commemorate the anniversary of the Montreal massacre, at L’École Polytechnique de Montréal.

On that terrible day December 6 1989  these 14 innocent young women were gunned down in a senseless act of violence against women.

Please take the time to say their names aloud or read them slowly in your mind.

The women’s names were:

Anne-Marie Edward, Anne-Marie Lemay, Annie St Arneault,
Annie Turcotte, Barbara Daigneault, Barbara Maria Klucznik, Genevieve Bergeron
Helene Colgan, Maryse LeClaire, Maryse Leganiere, Maud Haviernier, Michele Richard,
Nathalie Croteau, Sonia Pelletier.

I don’t want the world to forget their names. Today I am not mentioning the name of their killer. It’s their names I want to think about.

As you go about your daily  life today, please take the time to remember them and allow their tragic deaths to remind us that Violence against women and girls continues to be a massive global problem.

When we think of the 14 young women who died on December 6 we can reflect on the continuing violence around the world against women or really any gender based violence– and think hard about what we are going to do about it.

You could go here and donate if you don’t know what to do. These folks have some good things figured out.
Death-Dancing-2 DEATH DANCE FOR LOST GIRLS

Dispatches from the Road less travelled

“Life is complex.

Each one of us must make his own path through life. There are no self-help manuals, no formulas, no easy answers. The right road for one is the wrong road for another…The journey of life is not paved in blacktop; it is not brightly lit”, and it has no road signs. It is a rocky path through the wilderness. ”
― M. Scott Peck from The Road Less Travelled

If you have stumbled on this blog–
or if you are someone who has decided to
subscribe to it–

I want you to tell you how happy I am that you have decided
to visit.

The reason I write here is to encourage myself–
inspire myself–support myself– and otherwise
keep myself dedicated to my art practice

and hopefully–maybe- do the same for you.

I have nothing in particular to offer you
nothing to teach you–
nothing to sell you
nothing to give away–
other than–
my own commitment to keep going–

along my unpaved and often rained out–

artistic road.

Here I am in the middle of blogland

with my dream hanging out

for all to see-

encouraging myself to be fearless.

And hoping you will be fearless too.

And even if my words fall into
the empty void–

I will keep writing and painting and growing my artistry.

I have been building a dream for the past couple of years.

It’s not one that will offer me instant rewards or recognition.

There are other things–

that I could do–

that would give me more of that.

I am taking the hard road.

The rocky and unpaved path.

The road less travelled.

I may be too weak, too introverted,

too obsessive too perfectionistic,

too fearful, too shy, too melancholy–

I may even be delusional–

I am not young and fresh and new at any of this.

I have gone unrecognized and undiscovered

for so long that many might think I should give up.

But I don’t.

I can’t.

I wont.

I am compelled to continue–

despite waves of despair and hopelessness–

Despite the choking fingers of self doubt-

Despite the pain of being ignored–

I do not quit because what I do–

is what I love.

The journey of imagination is what

feeds me and delights me and challenges me.

And I keep going with the hope that

dedication and discipline and fierce devotion–

will allow me to one day create

a work of art that inspires and astonishes

and heals and challenges and transforms

and all those other things

that art can do.

I am writing a play right now–

with the determination

to dig in deep

to live in the difficulty–

to roam and fall into the hollows–

to cope with the endless mud of the work

to write and write and stay writing

without recognition and reward.

To look hopelessness and fear

square in the eye–

And to persevere without compliments or

rave reviews or agents jumping to represent me.

To ignore the defeatist messages I send myself.

And to press on. Regardless.

This is my road.

Hope you are somewhere on yours.

What are you working on?

What is it that you want to create?

What is it that you are avoiding?

Lets talk about it.