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Scheherazade in Blue Jeans
freelance alchemist
Clearing the decks 
5th-Dec-2011 11:55 am
Last night, late, I got a wild hair and started cleaning. Quietly - Adam and Elayna were already in bed. I should have been in bed. But I had a need to not walk downstairs into a mess this morning. So 11pm, loading the dishwasher, clearing the coffee table, gathering Adam's six piles of magazines and catalogs into one, bringing everyone's discarded socks up to the hamper, hanging up all of the coats, folding the cabled throw and draping it just so on the loveseat. Resetting.

All day today I've been going through and doing tasks that have been sitting in my inbox with a to-do label for a month. Big things, long things, complicated things that my brain has not been wanting to engage with. I'm at inbox 8, and will hopefully be at inbox 5 by lunch. Everything after that may require a whole day for each thing. I got backed up; I got stuck.

I have been getting unstuck, and I have been breaking through barriers I didn't know were there. I'm resetting myself, not just my house. As I said to a friend on Saturday, "none of this is bad, it's just all very large."

I'll do the few more things that I can here right now, and then I have office-resetting things to do.

I read Wild Mind by Natalie Goldberg on the way home from a BARCC tabling yesterday, and I sent sindrian these quotes when I got home.

"A novel makes you behave. There are constrictions. I think of poetry as the final freedom. Each poem is its own universe, but it, too, is a hard freedom. There is no career in poetry and though you might practice, you also have to wait patiently for a true poem to come. Poetry is about the divine; a novel is about work and learning to behave."

"You have to let writing eat your life and follow where it takes you. You fit into it; it doesn't fit neatly into your life."

"A novel is a big dream, a whale of a dream. You have to go under for a long time into the dark waters of the mind and stay there. Poetry, which I wrote for thirteen years, was easier. I could go under and pop back up. With a novel, I had to stay down there. I had to tell a story. It had to connect from one time I wrote to another time. I had to leave myself, my will and control, and let the story come through me. I had to become egoless.

"For all the years I sat zazen, there was a place I came up against, became frightened of, and moved away from. That place was simply being there with my breath, my legs crossed, and my hands on my knees for endless hours of sitting meditation. I was afraid of that egoless state where nothing was happening. I thought I existed only when I created activities, universes, dreams. In the novel, the writer stops existing. She gives her life over so her characters speak through her. We are not used to that egoless state. It is scary."

I am resetting. What I'm up to here is fundamentally different from everything I was doing before, and I am right about to explode with the energy it's building up in me.

I must remember to breathe and eat.
5th-Dec-2011 05:12 pm (UTC)
Same here, though, not so big; today is cleaning and setting up. Tomorrow, I am back in it. I will think of your struggles as I sweep.
5th-Dec-2011 05:14 pm (UTC)
*rueful grin* Why is everything I need to do so big and untameable and jagged-edged?
5th-Dec-2011 05:16 pm (UTC)
Because everything moderate you did already and everything easy got the hell out of your way.
5th-Dec-2011 05:17 pm (UTC)
Dude, how do you know me so well? :)

(Now I have the visual of everything easy being all like "Oh shit, here she comes! Scatter! Scatter!")
5th-Dec-2011 05:29 pm (UTC)
I generally credit it to the dark powers. Or something like that.

(It's a good visual to hold onto. Especially if you have them do a Kids in the Hall run. I'm thinking Kevin McCulloch...)
5th-Dec-2011 05:23 pm (UTC)

I call this phenomenon "windmilling".... getting stuff out of one's way and system before one becomes mired in paralysis by How Much There Is To Do.

Breathe and eat.
5th-Dec-2011 05:30 pm (UTC)
Just bought this book 'cause of this post! :D :D
5th-Dec-2011 05:33 pm (UTC)
Do you already have Writing Down the Bones?
5th-Dec-2011 05:34 pm (UTC)
No! Clearly I need it, too? :)
5th-Dec-2011 05:36 pm (UTC)
Yes! A lot of the structure of manifestress's writing marathons was inspired by Goldberg's exercises in Writing Down the Bones. :)
5th-Dec-2011 05:44 pm (UTC)
Breathe and eat is good.

I actually need to do a massive clean and rearranging of the furniture as well.
5th-Dec-2011 10:49 pm (UTC)
You are awesome.
6th-Dec-2011 01:22 am (UTC)
Enjoy the progress, and watch out for whatever is coming to fill in all the empty space you're making!
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