I’m currently doing the study . . the process of The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. It’s a future (real soon) book/kit to be reviewed through The BlogHer Book Club. (See the “Coming Soon!” widget on the sidebar.) I’m not going to say much about the book/kit now because I am reviewing the kit for BlogHer Book Club and will be reporting on that later.
Last week I started the “tool kit” and if you’ve done the process, you know there are “artist dates” to be taken. The first one was to visit a place in your town where you’ve never been. That was pretty easy . . I hardly go anywhere. There’s a little park that I’ve passed numerous times but have never stopped. Like so many of you I’m sure, I don’t take enough time to stop and smell the roses . . so to speak. I always have a list . . stop here, stop there . . get this, get that, get home! Stopping and investigating a park hasn’t been on my list of things to do since Chad was little and we enjoyed going to parks together.
So, I went to this park in town. As I sat there, not really thinking about anything . . just taking a few minutes for a break from the “busy-ness” of my day, I was looking at this spillway. Water should be gently flowing over the dam but no water flows. The water that is below the spillway is murky and stagnant. Nothing is flowing into it to add “life”, or energy to that little pool of water. We’re in the midst of a drought in this area so the water level in all the lakes, streams, ponds . . it’s all low.
I thought of the times in my life . . not only in the creative aspects, but in all areas – relationships, physically, spiritually – where I’ve experienced a drought. Have you had those times in your life? Sometimes we don’t even realize we’re having those times til they’ve past and we look back and wonder what happened and why? Sometimes we feel them coming and don’t know how to stop them or fast forward to get out of them.
A bit farther upstream, there’s live water, flowing a bit but much clearer and fresher than the stagnant water of the pool below the spillway. Just a little rain and this body of water will swell and some of the fresh water will spill over, and the stagnant, greenish water of the pool will again become clear and fresh, and inviting.
Sometimes we have to experience the drought in order to appreciate the good times. I’m rarely not feeling great and on those thankfully few days when I do feel bad, I always say to myself . . I never remember how great it feels to feel good until I feel bad. Why do I need the bad days to appreciate the good days? Why do we need the drought to appreciate the rain?
My goal is to work really hard to keep in the back of my mind the drought so I can appreciate each day . . no matter what that day has in store.
vickie van dyken says
That is a great goal. I was born in So Cal. When I went camping it was often to the dessert. Now in the lushness of Wa…sometimes I miss the desert. When we truck my husband always calls the desert ugly. I say not!! Guess we would never live there, he wouldn’t I could. I see lots of beauty in those desert vistas. I point them out to him…no luck. I feel sorry for anyone who can’t see the beauty in nature, wherever it is. It is my goal to be happy and contented, no matter what is going on around me or where I am. I usually manage it, but sometimes…well it is a goal I strive for.
Sue Lord says
My daughter has read the book and liked it. She has encouraged me to read it. I am experiencing a drought. Must order it now.
Donita Q says
I’ve done The Artist’s Way as a class at church. It is very good. It’s great for someone whose creativity is “blocked”. Are you doing the morning pages? Many sag those made a big difference in their lives.
Donita Q says
I’ve done The Artist’s Way as a class at church. It is very good. It’s great for someone whose creativity is “blocked”. Are you doing the morning pages? Many say those made a big difference in their lives.
Donna K. from N. TX says
Your analogy of the drought vs. creative flow really struck home to me. It’s the ebb and flow of life that makes it all worthwhile.
Becky G says
Years ago i participated in an Artists Way group which was facilitatedby a trained leader. I learned alot. The tool I still use (when i feel stuck or confused @ something) & recommend to others is the writing of the morning pages; tho admittedly, i rarely write first thing in the morning! Looking forward to your future sharing on this. Perhaps it is time for me to pull my old copy out. Good luck! Becky G in NC