Monthly Archives: April 2011
>I have a long history of crippling self-doubt. There’s no need to subject you to its psychological geneology but it’s a large part of the oyster-seed that has created the calcified/chronic response of depression.
I’m trying to make this a relatively brief post so as to not bore you completely with what could pass as complaining about the “creative process.” And I know, too, that I’ve muttered on and on about G.O.T.S. without progressing with its creation.
Fundamentally, G.O.T.S. is tightly entwined with my need to explore creative process (while being careful to not be distracted by it so that I spend all my time reading about theory and none of my time engaging in practice), a need that is legitimate as I’m trying to be mindful about what makes good practice for me. It’s also related to my tendency to doubt my capacity for attaining any sort of ability to offer something good to the world.
So, I keep working on the thing that scares me – writing a novel, noticing when I shy away, when I drop the project and when I pick it back up. Writing a novel scares me because somewhere along the line I came to the conclusion that my boring, suburban, average upbringing did not imbue me with any storytelling capacity, that story is a foreign thing to me, that I’m not really imaginative enough or persistent enough or smart enough to learn how to work with it. Sometimes I make excuses like, “oh I’m more of a poet than a storyteller,” and that might be true, but I know how to write and I know how to learn and there’s really nothing but myself stopping me.
I’ve mentioned that I’m a student of Holly Lisle’s How to Think Sideways online course. In the past I’ve only ever gotten about halfway through it before stopping and stalling. It’s possible that I’ll stop and stall several more times. But I’m not letting that permanently stop me.
Holly’s doing a course walkthrough right now – she’s basically writing a book with all of us in tow and at her side (and running to keep up) and so I’m back at it as well, grateful that there’s a chance to do this with someone holding my hand.
Periodically I’ll be posting what I learn this time through. I don’t know how much of G.O.T.S. I’ll post because I haven’t a clue what I’ll want to do with it in the end (yes, there will be The End, dammit!) and so I have to be careful about posting in case I cross the bridge of seeking publication. Maybe tidbits here and there, though, and, as I’m always good for posts about process (you’re not too weary of it yet are you?), there’s bound to be some of that thrown in here.
You need not do anything. Remain sitting at your table and listen.
I’d like to reconsider Kafka’s original, “it will roll in ecstasy at your feet,” with how I posed it above: “roll in ecstasy with the world,” and pass along the gift of Jane Hirshfield’s words from “Against Certainty,” where she reminds us of waiting as path to disappearance into the world and becoming, again, one with it.
When the cat waits in the path-hedge,
no cell of her body is not waiting.
This is how she is able so completely to disappear.
I would like to enter the silence portion as she does.
To live amid the great vanishing as a cat must live,
one shadow fully at ease inside another.