Friday, June 25, 2010
Blog this blog!
I am as terrible at blogging as I am at exercise, meditation, folding linen napkins into origami swans and everything else that requires repetition, routine and discipline. Oh well. It's OK. My sporadic nature leaves room for surprise. Or, as my dad likes to say: "Indecision is the key to flexibility."
That's what I tell myself, anyway. Here are a few other things I told myself on my last cottage sitting expedition, where I had three blissful days to write, sun, drink espresso and lounge. Of course, I had the secret mission of accomplishing a whole hell of a lot (write a book), but I couldn't tell myself that directly: it would have been FAR too intimidating. So, as soon as I arrived at that idyllic cottage in the woods, I made a list of 100 things to calm myself down, to sweet talk myself, to sneak up on writing stealthily, through the back door.
1. I don't have to accomplish anything in these three days. This is for my spirit, not my bottom line. If I get lonely or scared or bored, that's OK. If I don't know what to do next, that's OK. If I get freaked out or depressed, that's OK.
2. I'm not getting a grade or a paycheck for my time here. This is not pass/fail. It is just time, to do with as I please.
3. It's really not possible to waste time, right? I'm allowed to spend my time anyway I choose. I can sit in this chair for ten minutes and stare at that tree. I might go inside and flip through the bathroom reading material. That's OK. Right?
4. If I do sit down to write it's OK if I write the wrong thing. Terrible, God-awful things. All manner of shit. It's OK. Obviously, it needed to be said by someone.
5. 34 really isn't that old. It's really quite young, actually. Even if I have taxes and a mortgage and a husband a son, I'm a fucking spring chicken.
6. It's OK if I decide to draw something and it's terrible. There are no yardsticks out here to measure myself against anyone else.
7. I am a very good person. It's OK if I don't type a publishable word on my trip out here. Or ever again. Sometimes, I contribute to society. I have gorgeous eyes and skin. Soft hands. (Often)curly hair. Great curves. Tapered fingers. I have a long neck.
8. I just realized that I like to peel and eat oranges like a wild animal.
9. That laptop in there is horrifying. The files in it are horrifying. It's quite alright if I avoid it like the Black Plague the entire time I'm here, at this gorgeous quiet cabin, perfect for anyone who actually wants to write.
10. I really like dilapidated buildings and outhouses, peeling paint, rotting infrastructures and old wooden spools used as tables like this one I'm writing on now.
11. Lists are very satisfying and reassuring. 1-2-3. Check, check, check. No right or wrong. No need for editing. No revision.
12. My fears and insecurities and shortcomings are not really worse than anyone else's. I'm OK. I'm normal. Hell, the hole in my soul is just as big as the next guy's!
13. No coffee pot, so I'm going to attempt to make my first espresso in 14 years. I melded my last espresso maker together on a stove top in Italy.
14. My greatest fear is not of my lack, but of my power. Attributed to both Marianne Williamson and Nelson Mandela.
15. My other greatest fear is that I'll be deemed unworthy. By people I find unworthy! Emotionally handicapped vindictive narcissists.
16. Actually my greatest fear is that I'll fuck up the espresso.
17. Hot damn, it's delicious! Of course, now I'm ruined for my own lesser coffee. Oh well. That's OK. Coffee's coffee.
18. It's OK that I have an addictive personality. There's room enough in this world, hell, even in Virginia for an addictive personality like mine. More than enough room! Speaking of more, more coffee.
19. It's OK if I bore the living hell out of myself. It's OK if I'm not Anne Lamott or Elizabeth Gilbert or Dorothy Parker or Anna Akhmatova. I have great lips! What did TB say? They'd be sexy if he didn't know me. A-Hole. I do have nice lips. And I have published a few things.
20. It's OK if I never use that laptop again and get carpel tunnel syndrome out here scribbling in my journal. Thumb cramps! A hazard of my trade.
21. My desire to be left alone is tempered only by my craving for people.
22. I'm finally of an age where I've learned how to pack, but I'm still learning how to leave a place like I found it.
23. Actually, some people love me with a vast and astounding intensity. Take Henry for example. He wants me ALL THE TIME.
24. All those places I've been still live inside me, even in the suburbs of Richmond, Virginia.
25. There are so many, many things I know absolutely nothing about. Not even enough to be dangerous. Geography? I can't find north on a compass. History? Dance? Art? Music? Politics? Science? Forget it. I don't even know most of the things I'm supposed to know in my own supposed field.
26. Not to mention everything else I know nothing about.
27. My impulse is almost always to talk rather than to write. I'd like to be a professional talker. I'll even practice talking meditation.
28. All of the apples and oranges and carrots I've been eating make me feel like a horse. I want some meat. Chicken. Cheeseburgers. Pork chops. Bacon. A big juicy BLT.
29. The bad news is I don't know how to write about this year without horrifying everyone.
30. The good news is I have a chapter outline.