Friday, April 23, 2004

I Have a Secret

I am a little bit of a monster.

You'd never be able to tell from the outside. From the outside, I am small and pretty, just a girl. I dress in skirts and heels, and have even on occasion been called things like "fancy," and "girly-girl." (to which I strongly object.) I am sweet and kind. I have manners. I apologize to people, and make sure people are okay. Babies like me, and so do domesticated pets. I make real homecooked meals. I even own, and can keep living, a whole window full of potted plants.

But I am a monster inside. A slavering, ravening, spitting, hissing, growling, tooth-gnashing monster.

I am selfish. I don't care about others. No one else matters but me, nothing else matters but my stories and my poems. My paintings and drawings. The pen in my hand and the paint splattered on my face. I don't give a shit about the rules of this world that says I am supposed to be and do what it says. I could run away and live for years in a cave in the woods, eating what I have grown or killed myself, as long as I had my art. Sometimes that's what I want. To get out and away from all these boxed in rules and pretty, pretty surfaces. I would like to dance in the moonlight. Cast spells to the sea. Let the dirt cake under my nails.

Screw it all. Screw everything but the monster in me.

But I have to admit, I am frightened of the monster.

There's no place for her in this world. In this world she's called crazy. People lock her up. Pump her full of drugs so that she can be balanced, so that she can be normal.

What's a monster-girl to do?

Where is the place for her ravening?

I am not suffering from Writer's Block

This is no joke, this is my life.

Ah ha. I walk around complaining about headaches and how tired I am. I don't have enough time or money. I am distracted, I watch tv or stare off into space. Lazy, poor nutrition, too much to drink last night or last weekend. Blah, blah-blah, blah-blah.

Good lord, girl. Do you want to tick tock your life away like this?

I guess I am feeling as if my life passing me by is going to explode like a mad gorilla. I am going to explode like a mad gorilla because I am mad at myself for finding excuse after excuse as to why I can not write.

This is the problem with being an artist. It's like being in a relationship. It's great and wonderful and fulfilling as long as things are going great. When the art is flowing, you don't see how it could ever stop. You exist in this land of milk and honey. Perfection. Wonderment.

But when there's a jam up somewhere in your head-- and things start to slow down, and you have to work and struggle to get words on the page-- uh oh. This is no fun. This is hard work. This can be painful. This is not what the fairy tale books said it was supposed to be. Run away! Run away!

This is no block. I refuse to call it a block. It's just a little dam I have to work my way through. Rotten beavers damming up my works. Oh, wait. I'm the one that put it there. Why would I do that? I want to write.


I want to have my novel go well. I want to finish it. I want to send out my poetry. I want to have my career take off....


Someone, I don't remember who, once said that you will put in front of you whatever struggles you need to reach your goal.

What an interesting perspective-- that your struggles, your blocks, your difficulties, are actually stepping stones towards your goals. Hmmm.

And that you are the one placing these blocks in your way.

Almost as if, somewhere inside of you, you know what you are doing.

Monday, April 19, 2004

Dress Rehearsal

Spring has come in earnest. Maybe that's why my mind is turning to being productive, to creating, to taking my life seriously.

Well, no, that's not fair. I am taking my life seriously, it's going pretty well, and is promising to go even better after a few actions have been taken. But I have to say, that I'm getting antsy about it all. I feel as if I have been going so slowly, not really acting as if my life, daily grind and all, is actually a part of my REAL life.

My REAL life is somewhere down the line, when I do the things I need to do. When I start writing my novel again. When I send my poetry out to be published. When I get myself a portfolio and slides and figure out what the hell to do with all my art. When I get a better job. When I start a creativity workshop.

My REAL life is out there... in the future. Not this, not right now, where I'm just kind of preparing for my REAL life.

Yes, yes. It's quite obvious that's a silly way to look at it. Because if REAL life is out there somewhere, then what the hell is going on right here and now. Dress rehearsal? I don't think so. Tell that to the trees that are just full to bursting with life and green juices. They may not have brains, but they know that after this Spring, after rebirth and growth and Summer lushness, comes Winter.

Years are made up, after all, of these short seconds that we are frittering away.

And death, down the way, maybe forty or fifty years, maybe tomorrow, is a call to life. Use the time we have-- ENJOY the time we have, 'cause it's all the time we'll ever have.

Maybe we need to pay attention to the things that are really pulling us. On a deep level, not distractions. The things that ring with our soul, the things that have been building for years.

This writing thing, this art thing, this is not a passing fancy. This is something that needs to be done, even if I am afraid of it, afraid of not being good enough, afraid of wasting all my time and never getting anywhere. Being creative is an integral part of me-- sometimes it feels so important that it is just easier and safer to put my energies else where.

I wonder if somewhere in my human psyche, I think that by avoiding my art and my writing I can somehow avoid stepping into the flow of life and death.

Maybe my procrastination is because I don't feel ready for REAL life, but instead want to stay in dress rehearsal. (There is no dress rehearsal, girl. This is it.)