Life Without Passion Isn’t

die of passionIt’s true. Life without passion isn’t really life at all. It’s not living, and it’s absofreakinglutely no fun.

Some days it’s easier than others to ignore the grey cloud of obligation that follows some folks everywhere they go. When it casts its shadow however on  the bright light of those of us who live with passion, it’s less than enchanting.

As a matter of fact, too many consecutive days of this is  frustrating beyond belief. It’s life sucking. It’s boring as shit.

It’s the machine against which creative spirits rebel. And in that rebellion, great, wild, deliciously unforgettable adventures are experienced.

In this very present moment, I feel that I need to step out of the shadow and into the light and guess what?….

 

I am utterly spent, but more than that, I’m fierce. It is within that fierceness that the fire of my passion, my creativity, and my sense of adventure are rooted and nurtured.

If you too find yourself occasionally worn down by the lack of imagination in the world around you, you are in good company here my friend.

Take some advice from me darling; get some rest, feed your desires and find the time and space to let your creativity run wild. I dare you to feel a sin coming on.

…and if it does, I want to hear all about it.

Life As Poetry: A Lesson From L. Cohen

bubblesI woke up this morning and don’t you know it, that tiniest bit of fear about change had crept in while I was sleeping.

Change often is an uncomfortable process that yeilds beautiful results – if you let it.

So, as I padded around in my bare feet looking for my glasses, I paused to open an email from a couple whom I consider kindred spirits.  It inspired me, motivated me, and chased that little inkling of fear right out of my heart. It reminded me that my life ought to be more like my poetry; free flowing and without too much overthinking.

It’s time for change. It’s time to give my creativity, ‘land, lots of land under starry skies above,’. It’s been fenced in far too long.

I have work to do, and what better way to get motivated to clear physical and existential space than to listen to the wisdom of Leonard Cohen???

Wishing you a beautiful day…xo

CPR: Creativity Promise Reboot

domoreOh my gawd!!!

Sometimes pithy little sayings are the eyeroll that I need. Yes, I hate to admit it, but it’s true.

This morning I read something about how many people succeed at what they dream of doing and how many don’t. Basically the gist of it was most people won’t do the hard work so they fail.

 

 

 

I prefer something a little more gentle;

successandfailure

 

I have yet to self-publish my thousand-year-old novel, and I have a head full of characters clawing at my brain to communicate with my fingertips to get it all down on paper. It’s time to get this second book out of my mind and onto the page.

…and so it is time to breath some life into my creativity. I’ve done it before and I’ll do it again.

It’s time.

A little reminder to every creative artist out there; just breathe.

The Toilet: Where You Find The Best Things

no-mudFor years I had this je ne sais quois quality about me that, dare I say was charismatic, charming, and could even make your grouchy old granddad giggle.

But then I lost it. I guess for a while I didn’t much care. I figured it was just the normal aging process. Recent events have had me re-evaluating, and realizing that like my black tights which make their way onto hangers under the next sweater I’m going to wear, my chutzpah hasn’t died, it’s just been hiding in a corner where I had, out of sheer exhaustion, dropped it.

For a couple of months I’ve been getting hints that it’s still around. I’ve been reclaiming my own joy; creativity, physical activity, rest…and with that, I’ve felt it was coming back; that fabulous zest for life that is my legacy. Our legacy ladies. Everyone’s legacy.

No, it wasn’t hidden by the old stack of House & Home magazines in the corner, or next to an errant knee high and old slipper that continually fail at making it into my laundry bin. No, I found it in the loo at a crowded bar,dressed up and fevered to the point of sweating through my clothes and being yelled at because of it.  Yah, it’s true, we find miracles in the darndest places.

At some point (and yes, it was a sober some point as all I’d had for two days was gingerale and tea) the reality of reality sets in.  When you find peace in a tiny stall with a toilet, you should know that something is wrong.

One cannot seek meaningful solace next to the shitter darlings. One can only hope to apply fresh lipstick and get their kit together.

If you find yourself in a similar circumstance sweeties, look at it less like a dirty toilet in a pathetic re-run bar, and more like a time machine, transporting you from whomever made you want to shrivel up, or feel shrivelled up, to all of your gloriousness as a woman who is true to herself.

In those toilet-hiding moments, we find our je-ne-sais-quoisness.  These are the moments that give you the confidence to strut.

Last night, after having suffered for someone else’s comfort, and being yelled at and treated poorly, I made a trip to the lady’s time machine where my wee little girl brain asked me what in the hell I was doing suffering for someone else who was supposed to be not just a friend, but the best of friends.

The night got worse before it got better, but it was at least efficient.

Quite often women retreat to the bathroom as their only place of quiet and peace. Whether it’s out and about, or at home. Quite often they are there because someone has attacked their self worth. Those quiet, albeit gross moments near the toilet are generally where you can find your value again. Dare I say your,  I-Don’t-Give-A-Shitness.

It’s sad that we are forced into the shit to find ourselves, but that is life. No mud, no lotus right? Whatever…

Just remember if you find yourself in the loo with a tear in your eye, it’s a grand opportunity to make things better.  I mean, after all, how much worse can it get than hiding in the same place a thousand other people have pooped? Not much.

 

Honouring Nuit Blanche: A Writer Upon Waking

morning hairI woke up to find half of the day gone.

If you’re a hardworking, anxiety-addled-type-A-creative-spirit like myself, you know what these days are like. The days when you have been looking forward to. The days you’ve carved out time to just write, or draw, or paint, or contemplate.

You wake working the clock backward; what needs to be done, what do you want to get done, and how much time can you spend on each thing in order to make it happen. Is combing your hair absolutely necessary, and underwear,…really?

Coffee first. Steaming hot, rich, rocket fuel. Ah yes, gimmee some of that lovliness, and back the hell away until I’ve had a few cups.

My hair has more volume and curl than Madonna’s in the 80’s, and I still can’t see properly because I don’t have my glasses on. Sleep is still thickly fogging my vision. Who texted? Who called? Who commented, read, liked……Who cares.

I blink, still unable to see a darn thing. I stumble over my bare feet and a cat toy. More coffee.

12.5

The number of hours of sleep my body required last night.

No phone. No alarm clock,. No cats jumping at the bedroom blinds like lunatic gymnasts. No one to wake me with their snoring.

I needed that.

Time to pack my laptop, my underweared-self, and get the hell out the door before the guilt of must-do’s overwhelm my creativity and desire to write.

All creative folks need that. Protected time, away from anything that pulls at your conscience.

In the spirit of Nuit Blanche, I wish you a perfectly indulgently creative day!

Thank You Virginia

hemingwayaimIronic isn’t it? Virginia was my intentional first name, but my father got it mixed up, and I was christened someone else. Strange that, as I’ve always felt I was mixed up at birth anyway.

Following a little bit of a ranty post, “Things I’m NOT Thankful For”, my pal, and one of my wonderful mentors sent an email, gently asking what the heck was up with me.

You see, even from across the world, she, like me ‘gets it’. Being sensitive is not an easy thing to be in this world. Not at all. We may feel joy more intensely, but we feel our lack as intensely as well.

So, sitting in the midst of my writing squalor, I took a look around, and thought, well, for one thing, my writing area is a cluttered mess which, metaphorically of course, makes me feel like I’m drowning in paper. Drowning is a familiar feeling in the world of finance, romantic comraderie and life in general for single-parents.  It’s a feeling I can sweep under the rug until I take one giant gulp, and have to wave my hands for help.

So, Virginia saw my hands waving, and asked a few gentle questions.

Was it my latest disappointment in the world of dating douchey-men? Perhaps the bills piling up and my panic over constantly trying to make ends meet? Maybe….

But then I decided quickly, “No, I can deal with all of that stuff”.

“Try visualizing the life you want….”

I didn’t have to look around, or think too very hard. I knew. My creative self has been drowning.  Ironic that as a writer, it’s drowning in words on paper. Ha! Ha-flipping-ha-ha-ha!

Someone pour me a mimosa.

Ironic also that I work in the death and dying ‘industry’, and have been internally hyperventilating since my editor and friend died suddenly last month, making my unchecked manuscript that much more of a guilty reminder that I had yet to review his preliminary edits.

On the outside I look like a force of, “Boy, she’s got it all together”, but on the inside,

I’m a calm, braless, intellect addict dressed in batik, listening to early Bob Dylan songs,  painting and writing all at the same time in my seaside cottage, while my five cats lounge in the sun, and my young, naked lover cooks my breakfast.

How’s that for visualization Virginia?

So, as the rest of Canada slips into a tryptophan comma, I shall begin digging out from under the piles of paper, articles, flyers, lyrics and poems that have gathered in my very tiny, intimate writing space.  Following which I will settle down to methodically put together my novel with the ghost of my brilliant editor guiding me.

Thank you Virginia for having the good sense to ask the obvious.  As always, this Thanksgiving, I AM thankful for the wonderful women in my life who raise me up and carry me along when I’m too dog-tired to do it myself.

 

 

A Writer’s Slow Torture

cohenIf you’re a writer, you’re likely reading this, thinking to yourself, “I’ll just finish this and then write.”

Writers are inevitably readers. To write well, one must read. A lot.

Unfortunately, one must also pay the bills. This often means, for those of us posting blogs, scratching out articles, and completing the novels our souls just can’t let us forget, that we must also work at something other than writing.

Fortunately, I happen to have a very full-time gig doing something that I’m good at, and that I feel called to do. Instead of being a cog in a corporate machine, I get to do meaningful work. But it’s not pounding out the stories, ideas or observations that constantly rap at my concentration and drive me to distraction.

Alas, it’s not writing, and writing is what I crave.  The more I do it, the more I want to do it. It’s a vicious cycle darlings.

Between the craving, the suppression of my creative observation of mundane life and fascinating people, and having to work for a living, well, let’s just say, it’s enough to drive a girl to wine, men and ballads sung by Aretha Franklin played at a startling high volume.  Le sigh….

If the road to hell is paved with good intentions, then nine-tenths of it is thanks to writers and artists who, like myself, must also work at something else for a living.

So, if you’re a writer like me, I hope that you make a promise to yourself to set aside some time to perfect your craft.  The real challenge is to set aside time when you feel rested,  and full of energy, not just the 10pm onward time when all you really want to be doing is snuggling in, or sound asleep.

Without writing time I feel like I’m being smothered. I feel like a part of me is dying a slow, painful death. It’s time to re-establish my routine, and to commit to what brings me joy and vitality.