The Muse

Showing posts with label reality. Show all posts
Showing posts with label reality. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

This is The Work


 “Put your ass where your heart wants to be and don’t ask anything else of yourself.”—Steven Pressfield.

 

 

I began to write this post for my other blog https://www.bestdamnwritersblog.com), and then I realized Pressfield’s advice applies to many endeavors, not just writing.

 

For Pressfield, it is writing.

 

He says he doesn’t worry about how many words he will write, about punctuation, or anything. He knows that if he sits for his allotted time per day (his is about 3 hours), in six months, he will have a book. In a year, two books. 

 

Cool! It helps that he has some writing skills at his disposal. 

 

True, I could probably write a book in six months, but from my experience, then it will take 6 years of rewriting and editing, and proofreading. Then does anyone what to read it? (Diabolical laughter.)  

 

Maybe I need an attitude adjustment.

 

This morning, as I often do, I opened a book on writing as an oracle. I open the book to a random page, read a couple of paragraphs, and it sets me up for the day. Read an entire book on writing in one sitting, and your brain will go out to lunch, leaving you behind to starve. No, I take that back, read the entire book, then keep it around for a refresher.

 

This morning it was Steven King/On Writing:.

 

“Description is what makes the reader a sensory participant in the story. Good description is a learned skill.” (Oh, goodie.) “One of the prime reasons you cannot succeed unless you read a lot and write a lot.”

 

I don’t know what sensory experience. I want you guys to gain from reading this. It is non-fiction, which some successful writers say ought to be crafted as though it’s fiction. 

 

I’m simply talking. 

 

You are sitting in front of your computer. I am in front of mine. I use an external keyboard, for I simply cannot type on the computer’s keyboard--it drives me nuts. Maybe it’s because I learned to type on a typewriter. I like keys that pack a punch. And I have raised my screen to about eye level, as my Chiropractor suggested, so my back is straight. Whoops, I just straightened up. 

 

I sit in front of a window, my favorite spot for writing. 

 

I like to look up and see the green trees, the birdies flipping about, and if I raise up a bit, I can see my four chickens as they are in the backyard now. The area where they used to be behind the Wayback gave ample opportunity for the marauding raccoon to use them for snacks.

 

 

 

 Safe house


The pink dogwood tree I see out my window is replacing flowers with leaves. I really praise that ancient tree for recovering from its extreme cut-back. See how we can recover even if we are ancient. 

 

Remember how in Hawaii, I sat at my desk by the window and watched the Morning Goddess slowly meticulously adjust the morning sunlight until it totally enlivened the acre of green between me and the Tiki room. Oh, maybe you weren’t reading me at that time—it’s been ten years. (Really? It seems like last week.) 

 

And now, I open Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones, a book I read when?? In 1986?! I don’t know; that’s when her book came out. Since I left the book behind in California, I re-bought it in Oregon. The following is from the 30th Anniversary Edition.

 

“If you capture that reality around you, your writing needs nothing else. You don’t only listen to the person speaking to you across the table but simultaneously listen to the air, the chair, and the door. Take in the sound of the season, the sound of the color coming through the windows.” (Color has a sound?) “The deeper you can listen, the better you will write the truth about the way things are… Jack Kerouac, in his list of prose essentials, said, ‘If you can capture the way things are, that’s all the poetry you will ever need.’”

 

I wonder how this meshes with my reading Joe Despensia’s book, Be Your Own Placebo, where I learned that the brain has “Plasticity, that is it re-invents itself according to what you experience and learn.

 

Isn’t that great? We aren’t “stuck” in anything.

 

My movie/book suggestions:

Movie: Operation Mincemeat, about a fantastic clandestine operation during WWII.

Book: David Michie’s The Dali Lama’s Cat; Awaken the Kitten Within.

 

“As kittens, all it takes is a windblown feather, an unexpected delicacy, or the alluring rush of water, and instantly we are caught up in it. Wonderment. Enchantment. Being fully absorbed in the here and now.”

 

Is it possible to recover the unaffected zest for life?

  

“Be clearly aware of the stars and infinity on high. Then life seems almost enchanted after all.”

—Vincent  Van Gogh

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Windows

Can you believe this? Some 400 years before Jesus was born, a man said this:

 

“Someday, in the distant future, our grandchildren’ s grandchildren will develop a new equivalent of our classrooms. They will spend many hours in front of boxes with fires glowing within. May they have the wisdom to know the difference between light and knowledge.” 

 

--Plato (PLATO’S DOCTRINE: 909 Relics of Greek Philosophy).

 

 

Reality is so compelling. It has so much momentum going it’s hard to stop or change direction. 

 

Brother, are you having a problem with life these days?

 

 Maybe it’s just me.

 

I was cruising along pretty well, not worried, then I felt something was bearing down on me. Yes, I know better. I know that when you are resonating with the good, you feel good. When you focus on the dire, the dangerous, the sick, you feel down, depressed, complaining, or just off-kilter.

 

So, how do you lift yourself up when something knocks you off-kilter?

 

When I realized that we don’t know what to believe anymore. I see that people believe lies, and we don’t know who is telling them to us and why. I saw that someone can drop a dire something on us, an insinuation, and not even sign their name to it, and what happens? It becomes spread into society. People glom onto the sick and disgusting. 

 

It has something to do with the way our brains work, how we can’t stop looking at a train wreck. It gets the adrenaline up—hell's bells, take a roller coaster ride, that will get the adrenaline up too.

 

We know that fear sells. Fear keeps us off-kilter. Fear makes us uncontrollable, but we can’t help it. Fear runs us. We let the media, and who knows what all, to affect us. I read that Memes are driving our culture. YouTube, Facebook, Instagram--these are all windows for us to peer into. When people have death, sickness, unrest, unemployment thrust into their face for over a year, it wears on them. We weren’t built to live under constant threat. 

 

Darn, I was looking out the wrong window. I have a philosophy about which window to choose—this is all figurative, you know. One window shows kids playing in the street, riding their bikes, and laughing. Another shows the neighbors quarreling. Some windows even look out upon downright fighting. 

 

And then I approach my kitchen window—this is real—and there is an orchid growing on the sill that has sent up a new spike and is budding. This is its third year to bloom. Maybe because it is looking out the window to the maple tree in the back yard that is bare now of leaves, but the tree and the orchid believe that spring will come and with it baby silky leaves that will flutter in the backyard.

 

We have to focus on the good, the healthy, the beautiful. 

 

We came here for a reason, and it wasn’t to suffer. We thought this time on Earth would be a grand vacation, a joyous one, so why isn’t it? Has the outside world done it to us? Could it be that our belief in suffering and decline has been passed down from generation to generation? Well, folks, now is the time to stop it. 

 

Now is the time, as Ralph Marston wrote, To “Breathe in the sweet air of limitless possibility and make life as rich as you know it can be.” 

 

Breath wrote Dido Owlnute:

“To pause

To make space

To collect your thoughts,

To remember,

To face the next moment, 

To choose.” 

 

“Remember, you made it this far through difficulties that seemed impossible. Remember how many times you were saved at the last minute—this time is no different.”—Bryant McGill.

 

“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy. They are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” --Marcel Proust

 

I came upon this picture, taken in Greece, of my daughter at 16. It is a beautiful window to look upon. She wasn’t posing but just standing there, and I snapped the picture.

 


 

 

“Truth isn’t always beauty. But the hunger for it is.”—Nadine Gordimer.