Going forward

For the time being, committing to one day a week blog posting. Probably Mondays.

Feeling slightly reinvigorated after several weeks of lethargy and, to be honest, mild depression. I think the season sometimes weighs on me. Later this month will be the eight-year anniversary of the crash that took my grandmother. One of the defining moments of my life, and I believe that each year brings some relief, but with it new challenges.

I wanted to write about Halloween, and will later. A bit of a post mortem (no pun intended). I think it’s one of my favorite holidays, but I’m such a fan of most holidays that it’s hard to choose one favorite (Thanksgiving is one I’m on the fence about).

A couple other future posts include one on horror movies, the long-awaited reading lists (RA Salvatore, Patrick Rothfuss, and Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, to name a few), The Adventure Zone, my experiences in radio broadcasting, and some various theatrical experiences.

So, I’ll leave it there for today. I’ve started writing my morning pages again, a la Julie Cameron. When the seasonal affectations begin, it’s sometimes difficult to maintain focus. But, as has happened in the past, I slack off, then I pick back up. This is my meandering thought process anyway, and I find it best to write when the mind necessitates it.

Back to Form

It was 2015, and I started doing The Artist’s Way. What I was expecting, I’m not sure. I just knew that something wasn’t working for me.

That New Year’s, on a white board at work, I wrote this:

BACK TO FORM – 2016

That’s it. I believed that it would take me somewhere creative. Somewhere in touch with what I wanted, as well as what I needed.

A relationship ended. Another started. Depression hit. I left my job, travelled to Europe, and moved out of my house.

That was in the first six months.

Whatever siren song back to form was, it shook up every aspect of my life. All the cobwebs that were creeping in.

Sometimes, when you’re not really certain what you’re asking for – you get just that.

Back to form.

Untethered

A gifted and persuasive arts advocate I know once told me of advice he received from his mentor. It had to do with focus.

This arts advocate was doing so much – a musician, a fundraiser, a public speaker. He worked with and for numerous organizations. His mentor gave him this advice:

“You can either be a grenade or a rocket. Imagining that the grenade could explode with the same force that the rocket ignites with, the scattering effect of the grenade will reduce the force of the explosion. You want to be the rocket, taking all the force in the direction you want it to go.”

Same energy, but one goes in all directions, and the other is a straight shot. One singular course. A focused ignition.

rocket-launchI think about this in relation to various decisions we have to make; crossroads that arise in life. Sometimes, when we think we’re on a singular course, we remain tethered to the crossroad, able to go back should failure occur.

But we can’t utilize the momentum if we’re tied down to where we started. It’s only when the tether is released that we can use the force of the rocket.

Sometimes, the untethering can look to observers like irrational behavior.

Steven Pressfield, in Do The Work!, states, “The three dumbest guys I can think of: Charles Lindbergh, Steve Jobs, Winston Churchill. Why? Because any smart person who understood how impossibly arduous were the tasks they had set themselves would have pulled the plug before he even began.”

Pressfield advocates staying stupid. Don’t let rationality get in the way of your creativity. I don’t necessarily agree with his word choice, but the sentiment resonates with me. Stupidity could be described as irrationality. I can think of several times that I’ve acted irrationally, and I know it was when I moved beyond any safety net I had in place. That’s when failures can happen. Often, they do happen.

But it’s also when the most staggering achievements can be reached. That’s why the following  questions are so important:

  • What would you do if money wasn’t an issue?
  • What would you do if time wasn’t an issue?

You want to learn to play the piano? Or code a computer? Or write your novel? Get back into shape? Eat better, or learn to cook?

“Do you know how old I’ll be when I get done,” you may ask?

Julia Cameron responds to that question in The Artist’s Way: “The same age you’ll be if you don’t.”

When we lose sight of the crossroads, we turn our gaze to the road ahead, and move unwaveringly towards our destination.

crossroads.jpg