In a moment of hump day realness (#hdr) today I found myself sitting at the Frothy Monkey, a place where I have had some solid writing sessions each visit past, but this time in a sort of desparation wondering what the hell I was thinking moving here. I constructed a few lists, as an anxious soul often does when confronted with discomfort of the unknown, including such hits as:
- "Overarching Goals for the Next Three Months & Beyond. No Wait Just Three Months For Now"
- "Poems That Have Made Me Feel Better About My Life, My Choices"
- "Things I Feel I Have Failed"
- "Ways In Which I Become Distracted"
And finally, this list of questions that flowed quite organically from hand to page. I knew some of them had been simmering on low-burn in the pit of my belly, but others took me by surprise and didn't really demand an answer, just an acknowledgment of their presence. It takes some amount of vulnerability to write most of them here, but I wonder how many other people are asking these same questions, and if perhaps we might be able to share in our living of them:
- What do I hear when I am quiet?
- Do I like who I am?
- Can I be happy by myself?
- Who am I without the structure of work and forms of continuing education?
- Am I worthy of taking time away from working society? What pressures does this create in terms of the need/hope/expectation of creative output?
- Do I have something unique to say + is it necessary + is it time?
- Can I build a life around this path that allows me to be present for the people I love when they need me?
- How will I measure my growth in the next few months?
- How will I know when I've succeeded or failed?
- Will I be disappointed if something doesn't happen + what would that be?
- Am I a good enough artist be part of the professional community eventually?
- Why am I here, standing in the midst of fear and aloneness, if no one forced me to do it?
So in the spirit of the great adventure, let's get to it.
"I Go Down To The Shore"
I go down to the shore in the morning
and depending on the hour the waves
are rolling in or moving out,
and I say, oh, I am miserable,
what should I do? And the sea says
in its lovely voice:
Excuse me, I have work to do.
-Mary Oliver, A Thousand Mornings