“Walk in silence,
Don’t walk away, in silence.
See the danger,
Don’t walk away.
Walk in silence,
Don’t turn away, in silence.
Worn like a mask of self-hate,
Confronts and then dies.
Don’t walk away.”
Joy Division [atmosphere]
The Artist’s Way work is guaranteed to bring all sorts of revelations and breakthroughs, but often you have to travel through the “bad neighborhoods” of your mind to get to the good places. That’s what this week’s been like for me, an intense trip with half a tank of gas and not enough rest stops.
Circles, I travel in circles… one would think that the path would be well known, for as many times I’ve been over the same ground. Sometimes, though, the lessons are repeated until the material is fully comprehended and absorbed – until the learning is well and truly done. I finally broke the circle of abuse, but the low-self-esteem track is well-worn and hard to escape. The ruts grab my wheels and send me down familiar streets of deprication and discounting of my own strengths and talents and attributes.
This work is a map, in some ways. It helps me to steer clear of the well-traveled highway of loathing and move into the less-explored back roads of introspection that lead to the clean, neat towns of appreciation and self-love. Occasionally I make wrong turns or even look at the map upside down – something that would NEVER happen outside of this analogy, let me tell you! I have a great sense of direction! *grin* It’s okay, though. The journey will take me to the places I need to go if I trust the map and my ability to read it, and there’s always going to be some change under the seat to buy a snack, if I can just calm down enough to pull over and search for it.
* * *
That being said, I should mention that I managed to get six out of seven days of Morning Pages completed, and I would have done seven if I’d only planned better… but I wanted to get out the door and on a PLAY date with my wonderful and fun friend Melissa, so it fell by the wayside. I promise it wasn’t for lack of desire!
Mindful of my Life Pie exercise, I’ve been trying to work on balance, especially in the realm of play, because I saw that my poor five-year-old self was missing out! Not only did I have a play date with Melissa on Saturday, where we went to craft stores and the book store and generally acted silly, I also had a fun fun fun coffee date with her on Friday. We’ve been trying to do those weekly, and I think it’s been a relief to us both to be able to hang out and feed off each other’s silliness while not feeling obligated to talk business. Yay!
I also incorporated play into my Artist’s Date, which I had today. I bought a big bottle of soap bubbles, with a crazy multi-bubbler wand, and I leaned over my balcony rail for a long time this evening, blowing bubbles and watching them float away.
I noticed that at first, I was interested in watching them be created, blown from the soap and my breath into existence… I didn’t watch much after they left the wand. Eventually, I started watching them spiral away, spinning their rainbow-sheened beauty across the grass and parking lot until the wind buffeted them into non-existence or they floated too high for me to see. After a while I tried to blow big clusters, then I tried to make as many as I could from one dip. I remembered how I used to sit at the top of the courtyard with my friend Faith when I was a very small girl, at our old apartment complex, and we would try to send the bubbles aross the street, high into the air, around us like a quivering shield. We would dip the wand and spin in circles, or wave our hands rapidly… or we would try to catch bubbles and build great chains of them. I remembered the feel of the air as evening fell, and the smell of cut grass tickled our noses, and the gravely sidewalk would retain heat for hours after the sun was too low to really see. I remembered the freedom that the bubbles seemed to have, floating away to their destiny.
… it was a good date with myself.