Harnessing the wrong horse

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Doubt. I named it. Immediately after an impromptu inner pep talk. During the talk, a fact so certain and real lit up my heart.  It brought forth a brief, and not often felt certainty and acknowlegement. Couldn’t help but smile. Was allowed to view truth.

Doubt is crafty; often barely heard or seen or felt. The inner dialog hums like the continued strum of a guitar chord and doubt weaves its way in and around the sound.

Doubt is devious. It grabs like a wretched Granny with a bony claw at memories it knows will capture your attention, and throws a harness over the neck of that ill-flogged horse. This only serves to stall progress.

Doubt seeps into life in some form or another. Sometimes it’s palpable, “I don’t know if I’ll have the strength to carry anymore moving boxes.” Sometimes it’s trivial, “Hmmm…I don’t think the chicken’s gonna turn out the way I wanted.” And sometimes it’s a whisper, “Why can’t I…?” “I’ll never be able to…” “What’s wrong with me…?”

The self-doubt prose is so finely honed that we only become aware of it when we question the wheedling whine. We have to confront it, and shove it aside to reveal the treasures it doesn’t want to be discovered. It has no choice but to step aside when faced with truth.

The trick then, is to remember that fleeting feeling of gloriousness from a potential met. That solid gold in the heart like light pouring from an open book.

Remember it. Feel it. Doubt will reel from it. And that worn historical horse can go live out its days in pasture.

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Sunflower Mind

Part of the awareness growing in the last year has become more prevalent of late. I want to write about it without flaunting it, without it seeming as if I’m bragging because it’s not like that at all. It’s a quiet thing; a baby really – not that babies are quiet at all – I guess I mean in the ‘smallest’ sense. I’ve written about writing before as a snake, a monster, the tail of some unearthly creature come to whip me into shape. I’ve written about it as collecting grains of sand to build a giant sandcastle at some later date. And to some extent, those metaphors remain a little true. But with growth and strength of mind comes also change. Change in vision, in the path to get to a certain point, in the way of doing things.

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This week I piggy-backed on a piece of flash fiction I wrote last week by turning it into a one act play; the theatre group I belong to had a need for a few more to complete their line up.

I’ve written a number of flash fiction pieces for Friday Fictioneers, and dabbled with expanding them into larger works but in this relatively new arena (which is actually fairly old, I just haven’t been here for many years) larger works are elusive. The way is hazy as if I had stretched out my fingers to move forward but no amount of headlight will help me find the tips or the way ahead.

So, I wrote this one act. And I whipped up another Friday Fictioneers piece of 100 words.

What I want to say is that I am in love with how my creative mind is slowly cranking into life. I look at the picture presented and it’s as if I plant a seed; just stick it in the groundmind and let it do its thing. No work, no pressure, no force. Images come to mind, the first few words appear and off I go, sailing down a little hill on a homemade go-kart until I come to a stop at the end. Looking back up the hill, I make note of bumps, smooth them out, tidy up a bit. 

And smile. Inwardly and outwardly; smile at the observation of my own self. And that’s the key. Nothing as jolting or jarring as vicious snakes rising up from the depths, simply the act of nurturing a talent by letting it just be. By planting the intention and allowing my soul to do the rest.

Perhaps this is the way then for me? To write lots of small stuff, so that my imagination is fertile enough, rich enough to grow more than a daisy.  Perhaps one day, I’ll have a really big sunflower!

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Afloat in a Shandy Sea.

Creativity is lounging somewhere getting drunk at a bar.  It’s stalled on writing but became ever so quietly excited at Goodwill when I purchased an outfit destined to be zombiefied.  I quietly plan on the sidelines while thinking of other things.  I love that talent.  The ideas form and gel in the background.  I stand back, press my finger to my lips, take out this, add that.  All the while, I’m checking ingredients in food, cooking dinner, doing laundry, thinking about things, worrying about my son.  Life rolls forward in an endless stream but behind the scenes, the nature of me does what it does best:  Plans, creates.  And I know when I have all I need in front of me, the thing that I’ve been visualizing will come to be as imagined.

The practical side has stepped up.  But I have a little bitch with a whip silently berating me for not making any progress with my writing.  I feel guilty which is so not the frame of mind from which to be doing this.  I sit down and write anyway, delete what I’ve written, start again, become dissatisfied and give up altogether.  I think perhaps I put too much pressure on myself to write long.  And by long, I don’t mean the length of time, rather the length of the piece.  It appears that I’m pretty good at flash fiction.  If only, I think, if only I could stretch out those 100 word pieces to thousands.  Driving in the car, I think well, I’m in my mid-forties…maybe I’ll have it together in my fifties – I’ve got plenty of time!

If I do, I do.  If not, well, at least I have two great kids, right?  That’s some wonderful creation right there.

I’m astonished that how day after day, week after week, I’m still surprised at the ebb and flow of life.  Of love.  Of feelings.  Of the past.  Monkeys occasionally jump on for a quick ride (sometimes the same terribly stupid monkey who won’t quit), sometimes I’m up and free of burden, sometimes I’m weighed down and sometimes, like this week, I’m treading water.  It’s probably a good thing to feel astonished because the alternative would be very boring.

At once, I’m feeling ironic.  Opposite.  Paradoxical.  This AND that.  Pushed and pulled.

I’ll keep myself buoyed with some disco. It reminds me of my little nine year-old world that came with this:

photo-of-old-portable-record-playerso that I could play and dance and sing to this.  All lip-syched and cheesy, perfect!