Sunday, June 21, 2009

Oasis

Several times this week I have stared at this yellow pad, pen in hand, patiently awaiting inspiration only to move on to do something else. After eighteen months of regular entries, it feels bad to go a week without a new post to this blog.

True to form, my body is split with pros and cons. I am aware of a compulsion to account for my production, a need to sum up, at the end of the day, what has been done and judge if I deserve the rest on a late evening, or do I just sleep to re-energize for a run farther and faster in the morning.

In my I-group the other night, a man who parallels much of my transformational story admitted to a similar struggle these last weeks. His own production is way off, accountability to himself is challenged. In the process of feeling the deeper emotions behind this lull, he resorted to a primal scream and collapsing on the floor, safe and nurtured by the men around him to let go for a few precious moments the burden of the responsibilities and self-expectations he dutifully shoulders.

As witness to his process, I recognized so much of myself and felt relief, a kind of permission, that I too could rest and rejuvenate. We talked about the cycle of creativity that generates so much, but needs a certain period of inactivity to allow for the next set of ideas to properly percolate. One cannot just turn out material ad infinitum without time to settle inwards to discover new light behind old shadows.

So I have relaxed a bit, awoken several mornings without considering the next words or rushing (even bothering at all) to check the reader stats. My guitars have largely stayed in their cases, and if playing at all, I plunk a few piano keys, hearing the same old songs differently.

Curiously, there is a distinct (and sobering) familiarity to some of this. The lack of money to put gas in the car has forced me to focus on a remodeling project, fingers absorbing splinters instead of aching with scribbles. Instead of leisurely tea and lingering over words, I jump into scruffy clothes and transform a living space. Nights and weekends, I have been painting the interiors of a friend, talking and talking, re-absorbing female energy almost as if in a relationship again.

There has been plenty of production, but more like those many years so recently passed, I am quick to observe, when the realities of living life distracted and denied the urgency to write and sing about it all. So many years ago, I used carpentry as a way to pay bills while I got my creative work going, and it eventually consumed me. No wonder in these last months I have felt a physical revulsion to taking my hammer in hand. Once again, my own journal has grown full of scribbles in these days, ramblings and half-thoughts too obtuse and personal to show well here, but this time they will not be burned out of fear and shame that they were written at all.

Lessons have been learned. Life can be lived differently once we understand ourselves a little better. Since they may be such a part of our nature, we can dabble our toes into some of the same old behaviors with more clarity and purpose, but ever vigilant and understanding , modify ourselves at the first signs of giving over completely and losing ourselves.

At the very least, my car is grateful for the gas.

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4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Your honesty amazes me!
Thank you!
Diane

Carol said...

The last paragraph really resonated. There is a fine line to be walked and indeed, it can be so easy to lose everything we've fought so hard for. I think that you're doing just fine :-)

stamperdad said...

Sounds like you doing well. It's starting to all come together I can tell.

Excellent writing my friend. Don't stop writing you have the gift.

Steve

Laurie said...

What you are going through is called "cocooning". It is a time of rest and thoughtfulness after an explosion of creativity. I have experienced it myself and was able to work through it ending up with more clarity than before.

Write in your journal all the thoughts swimming in your mind. Welcome them, respect them, keep the ones you want and let the others pass. It's a part of the process Kip. You are on track!