Sunday, 4 January 2009

New Leaf

Well, here we are. Welcome to the kitchen for another year. It should be a particularly Scottish kitchen, what with the new Broon’s cookbook JP bought me.

I am late out of bed to see in the first day of my New Year’s resolution. 2009 =my year dedicated to creative output.

Like many creative people, I possess an uncanny ability to distract myself from writing. Most of the time I do this through work. I throw myself into work so much that when I come home I am still wearing the stress of the day like a net. I can see the light but I can’t climb out.

The parts of me that exist at work are the creatures I call “goofy Canadian Sophia” and “angry German Sophia.” The first one shields my emotions by being chipper and cheerful, layering funny big chick overtop of my voluptuousness. The second pins my brows together in a strange desire to succeed, to move forward, to fix, to streamline the universe. This is the one that clings onto me after the workday has ended.

Home again, I slowly unwind and morph into what JP calls “sultry goddess Sophia.” She is the one who swishes around the kitchen in long skirts and takes a silent, deep delight in the extra flesh on her hips. She is also the one who wants to write.

But after spending so much time without pleasures, she wants to relax, to play. Since I don’t have a television, I spend a lot of time on the Internet. One of my favourite past-times is flicking through blogs. I love blogs, am utterly addicted and eternally gratefully to Moe for badgering/encouraging me to start this one. When I am blog bouncing I search for writers who create a shift inside me with their stories. They can be funny or wicked or wise, but if the writing is strong and especially if the metaphors are slightly twisted, then I am putty. How I love turning to putty at the alter of language. But as much as I love them, too much blog reading just becomes another distraction.

Setting aside a day to be creative is what I have come up with in order to force myself to start getting used to being alone with the universe. Writing is alluring and frightening at the same time. It requires such isolation, beyond just being alone in the room. Distractions keep me away from this daunting between-place, but in the end ignoring it does no good. It calls and calls until the only thing to do is find a way to listen.

So the new Sunday rules are thus:

-First of all, no work. No cleaning, no cooking, no work on the pod cast (I am afraid anything work related might awaken angry German). I tend to do most of my housework on Sundays, but now if it all isn’t finished by the end of day on Saturday, nothing else will get done. This means I must clear a space for Sunday to happen, or else it will happen in filth.

-no video game playing (I am locked inside The Longest Journey at the moment and was up until 2.30am trying to get to chapter three. Hence I am up late today. Hmmm…I wonder if I was trying to put off starting the first day of my resolution?)

- I can read, but only books (book reading has gone by the wayside with all my Internet wanderings)

-No web surfing or email writing. If I want to write to someone, it has to be a letter, by hand. This is a way of forcing myself to slow down, to focus on the person to whom I am writing rather than flinging some words their way through facebook or yahoo. If you receive an email from me on a Sunday, please scold me.

-I can write this blog, in my journal, or whatever the hell else I want. But I have to write something, and it has to be the best thing I can pull out of myself at the time. If all it turns out to be is aimless wandering on the page, complaining about the crick in my neck, so be it.

There you have it. I sit now in my newly cleaned living room (finished yesterday afternoon!), surrounded by four books. I have a choice between Helen Dunmore’s Love of Fat Men, Tom Robbins’ Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas, Henry Miller on Writing, and my new book of Japanese Death Poems. Or I can go into the bedroom and get whatever else I want (yes, I sleep with my books).

But it will probably be Tom. Tom is my solace, my drum around the fire, my safe place. He is a basket of ingredients for the brew in my mind. Nevermind that the mushrooms are gnarled and smell of chaos. That’s the point.

I don’t know all of this might pan out. All I can hope is that this practice allows some positive habits to form in me, so that over time I become less afraid to approach the page. I think if I make a genuine effort to give more energy to the things my mind and spirit truly crave, I will be better able to balance my life in other areas, for no other reason than I will simply be happier.

The only thing I have left to say is that yes, Moe, my camera has arrived and the “first photos” were taken with my lovely new toy. It is one of the best gifts I have ever given myself. Hurrah!

3 comments:

C.S. Perry said...

Weird. I'm reading "Nexus" right now.
Miller is good when he's good but he can be as distracting as any of the things you mentioned.
I like that I can just open his books to any section and take off...no expostion needed.
It's not a bad way to spend a Sunday.
Especially when you're burned out from work.

your new best friend said...

new camera goodness! i never felt more like a giant tool than when i chose jitterbug perfum for my book club & everyone hated it. but then i felt better & gleeful that only i liked it...heee hee.
brava for carving the time for YOU & your happiness. it ties in so nicely to health...happiness, that is. i am writing my memoirs this year - oh! and drop me a line about your dates in canada & when i can expect to see you. i am planning to escape, but want to make sure it is not when you are scheduled to arrive - that would be dumb.

Mr Jenners said...

That clashes dreadfully with my New Year's resolution to only read emails written on a Sunday.