Thursday, October 2, 2014

Lessons from the impossible

I have absolutely no idea what to write about today. The ever apparent ragged I've run myself into keeps raking through the possibility of any cogent string of thoughts.

Yesterday in my burst of activity, when I said "do something impossible". I did not mean do something unhealthy. But I guess that is what my body heard.  This morning I woke ill, reluctant, and subsequently decongested into something that stung like wisdom:

My art it not worth my sacrificing my health for.

Fatigue/exhaustion aches and tenses me in a way that stops me from trusting myself. My mind learning from the bodily punishment that there is danger in going deep and committing to anything (and yes there is, but mostly worthwhile).

For instance I've spent more than an hour today generating new content. Most of it extremely surface level and brimming with frustration. Regardless of the state of my body and soul I try and make space in my life for the not-so-conscious creative magic of my brain to do its thing. Every day. Often it doesn't come.

Like today, everything I wrote just felt like empty cycles of word shuffling. My ability to string thoughts into a sensible sequence of ideas for was massively depleted.  It was like going to yoga full of fear and stiffness. No wonder my thoughts couldn't hold a pose for more than 15 minutes.

Still I'm glad I did the work. Proud I showed up. And to me, that seedling pride can be so radical. Today I am recoving from my poor self-care choices. I need that recovery. And also I need to show up here for what I've committed to.

Unfortunately there is a very loud part of me that insists being present/visible while in recovery is impossible. That part of me is, I think, mostly shame. And that shame tells me that this process must be private. So that's the impossible I'm doing today, revealing my nasty, unproductive recovery.

But hang on. Where did I learn to feel this shame? Why must recovery be a private/invisible thing. Why must we only ever present ourselves to others at our very very best?

Nothing against our very very best, but seriously, WTF?

Maybe it has to do with how it's apparently some sort of American value to look like you don't need anyone or anything to just live you life the way you normally do (see here "I woke up like this").
In the past I've written about how narratives of "inspired"/"genius" works can erase the truth about how messy the process of writing/creating can be. And I get the feeling the way we view taking care of ourselves (as private/only for loved ones to know about) relies on a very similar sort of erasure. As if knowing about the craft of our lives or our work and our presentations ruins the magic.

Any skilled craftsperson will tell you. It doesn't. I just makes you feel like a wizard.

No comments:

Post a Comment