Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Where am I at!

OK, my adoring fans are starting to e-harass me for being in absentia. I'm sorry, adoring fans! I have been distracted and busy and sometimes I just didn't have a wireless connection. However, there have also been some nice little moments along the way. For example, on the Greyhound bus a man said the following to me, after seeing me typing away on my laptop until the battery died and then whip out my journal and a pen...he said, "You're a writer." Pause. "A real writer!" He seemed sort of fascinated. "Yes," I said. Isn't that last part great, too? I think so.

Those of you who were around in my life last summer, which is most of you but with a few notable exceptions, will remember that I was ALL ABOUT The Artist's Way, which is of course the bestselling book by Julia Cameron that plucks us artists from our block and sends us down the path of creative recovery. Well, this summer I am all about the sequel, called Walking in This World. It, too, is a 12-week program of creative recovery, complete with morning pages, artist's dates, and various other tasks and exercises.

Today I read a bunch of Chapter 3 of Walking in This World, in which she writes about how misguided dependence on psychotherapy may do way more harm than good in "healing" artists. I LOVE IT. I love it so much that I don't even want to try to paraphrase it, but I will anyway. She chides therapy for being too cerebral, for trying to construct a self, when your self is already there and just needs to come out through your art. I also love that she says, "I am not interested in debating with people over the reality of mental illness. What I want to focus on is the reality of our considerable mental health." - p. 59 I love it. I already said that I love it. But I still love it. And I blame so-called "modern" psychiatry for a lot of things, not the least of which is the "presidency" of George W. Bush, so I like seeing anyone else point out a better path, in whatever context.

Julia Cameron's core belief is that we humans are essentially creative. Even without a lot of new age-y, spiritual, or god-in-embryo belief, you can appreciate the universe as a constant process of creation (cells, DNA, reproduction, etc. not to mention cities, societies, civilization, Netflix) and us in the creative flow (which is why I love these books). She writes, "We are intended to make things and, in the old phrase, to 'make something of ourselves.'" -p. 57 I have never considered that phrase in that light before. I used to be intimidated by that phrase; I've certainly had enough people in my life question whether I'm doing that, the whole "making something" of myself thing. I do so like the way she looks at it! We are to make something, to create something--of our lives, our selves.

I actually am working on my writing a lot right now. But I also have serious amounts of email to catch up on. I know a lot of you feel slighted because you've gone unanswered. Can I just tell you I have 1000+ e-mails in each of two inboxes? This is filed under Not Spectacular. I know that number makes people shake their head and ask "How is that possible? What could those emails possibly be?" So in the interest of enlightening you and marking my progress each day (while, granted, another couple dozen appear each and every day, but I furiously archive and delete, I swear!) I will share the last ten emails in my inbox. Let's see what we've got lurking around that I haven't dealt with in a timely fashion...

Emails 1001-1010, going back to November 2005 (I was in Korea):
Aunt Barbara about Thanksgiving, Aunt Joyce about mail to Korea, Grandpa about Korea etc., Kim in L.A. about Thanksgiving, an amazing story from Tom, an MSN article "5 Signs You've Met Your Perfect Match," Jill about Thanksgiving, Mom about pictures, the random internet questionnaire I answered entirely in Indigo Girls lyrics, and a woman with whom I canvassed for John Kerry in New Hampshire.

Hmm, that's not terrible. At least by packrat standards. All those Thanksgiving emails while I was in Korea led to my Great Thanksgiving Epiphany. With the exception of the pictures email from Mom, which is short and replied to and I don't know why it's there, it makes sense to me that they're all hanging around. I just need to label and archive them, not keep them in the inbox. I was pretty impressed by myself when I answered that survey entirely in Indigo Girls lyrics. Perhaps I'll post it here for your edification.

Speaking of edification, in my current literary supplement I ponder monkeys, misheard lyrics, working abroad, and 1980s music. Not necessarily in that order.

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