Posted by: mew | September 16, 2009

keepin’ on keepin’ on

“Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end; then stop.”

— Lewis Carroll


Apparently, lots of folks give up on The Artist’s Way around Week Four.   That may be happening in our Artist’s Way cluster, as well.  I’m not sure.  I know that I was tempted just a few days ago to say to Hell with it… and yet, I know that is just my inner resistance speaking.  It can speak rather forcefully sometimes — sounds a bit like a preacher in a pulpit, yelling and carrying on, whenever something in me feels threatened or scared.

Creative recovery is threatening.  At least for me.  “What have I been avoiding doing because I was too scared to act on my dreams?” sounds a bit like, “How have I been wasting my one precious life, frittering it away on things other people thought were important?”

This is the kind of question designed to have my foot sheer toward the pit, to borrow a phrase from my favorite Neruda poem, “The Poet.”  (Which I cannot seem to find online to give you a link, because typing in Pablo Neruda “The Poet” yields such predictable results from search engines.  God, they are rather unimaginative programs; aren’t they?)

And it doesn’t help much that we’ve been uncovering “buried dreams” this week.  I did almost every exercise from Week Four, but I may or may not be able to blog about them.  Some of them were so painful to unearth and contemplate that I ended up alternately in tears or furiously angry — with myself, with the world, with the early artistic abusers in my life, with American pragmatic, workaholic culture and its impoverished, exclusionary American Dream™, with the IRS … and so on and so forth.

Yet I wasn’t writing the morning pages to process any of that stuff.  Nasty combination.

Anyway, I have decided to keep going until I get to the end.  I owe it to my artist.  For anyone in my cluster who needs to end the journey now for whatever reason, I applaud what you’ve done so far and send you my best wishes for a continuing exciting and fruitful creative life.  Of course, my hope is for all of us to continue.  My clustermates are an amazingly creative and inspiring bunch.

But I think our intuitions will tell each of us what’s right for our individual journeys … and that will look very different depending on where we are.


Today will mark the end of reading deprivation, and I think that will go a long way toward improving my mood.  Also, I began to write my morning pages again today.  All of life, and not just The Artist’s Way, is full of these stops and starts and course corrections and resuming where we left off — maybe even something we left off years ago, an abiding dream that refuses to die.  Here’s to small victories on a long and winding path!

These Morning Pages got written in a brand new notebook, and I think I did need to do that, to somehow mark the start of something different.  When we began TAW, I’d just kept writing in my morning pages notebook the same as always.  But now I realize each time through this course is like stepping off down a new path.  In a creative life, there is always so much left to discover — of ourselves, of others, of the divine, of the world, of life.  (And really, what life is not creative?)

This section of the path has been incredibly dark, as though I were miles below a constantly dripping forest canopy, and the canopy itself was situated under a glowering, steel gray sky.  I slipped a couple of times on the muddy forest floor.  But the bit ahead is looking a little more promising.


Week Five?

Thanks for listening, by the way.  I know this blog is off to a rocky start and all over the map.  Lately it seems to center a lot on my personal journey through TAW.  Funnily enough, my other blog, the one that was supposed to be like practicing scales for a beginning musician, has found its theme and seems solidly on track.  This one, supposed to be my main one, is still finding its footing and right now serves as a repository of all the stuff marked “Other.”

I’m learning, though.  I suspect blogging has its own learning curve.

(Photos courtesy of Icanhascheezburger, Stockvault, Morguefile, respectively.)



  1. and yet another syncronicity with you & I – I began a new morning pages journal .. like starting over at week 5!! and yes, a few drop out at week 4, well in my experience anyway… it can sometimes be a very confronting road.. I know it has been for me

  2. Hi So glad you are still here.
    Here is a link to poetry and other stuff you may enjoy:
    I’m hanging in for the long haul.

  3. This is so common, it is a LONG journey but hold on tight. I, too got a new notebook, something more feminine and pretty.

    Just little changes here and there will inspire you to go on.

    Hang in there!

  4. you know how many times I’ve shook my fist at the sky and browbeat myself because of this action or I didn’t make that choice or whatever? Girl, I have a MARKETING degree that I still owe $30,000 and couldn’t give a crap about.

    I guess I’m trying to say that we all have the anger and looking back from a different perspective and not liking some of the forks in the road.

    I think processing all that anger and disappointment makes you realize a few things (at least it did for me) A) life ain’t over yet. I don’t have to act like it’s too late because I’m still breathing B) it all got me here and so maybe there’s a higher organization that I don’t see. sappy but true C) who says we just have this one life to figure it all out???

    • Brandi, thank you for your solidarity. I love your honesty 🙂

      To respond: A) Life ain’t over yet. So true. I was talking to my mom around her 60th birthday, and she said, “If I’d known at 30 that I would have 30 more years left, I would have taken lots more risks.” And since then she has risked more for her own joy, and she is lightening up a lot. I was 32 when she said this, and it was an arrow to the heart. She may have 30 years left even now, nobody knows.

      B) I feel just this way. I know it didn’t sound like it when I was pouring out the bitterness — but I do.

      C) hmmm… let me think about that one 🙂

  5. I love it! I’m limping along with my artist way – I think I may have to take and rewrite your first photo.

    • I love what you did with it. That’s the bee’s knees.

  6. I’m so glad you are staying on for the long haul, Meredith. Like you, I’m plodding along and still enjoying the journey though I think I’m finding it much easier this time around. Maybe it’s because I feel like I have already released the angst and pain that belonged to past experiences….not sure. I look forward to reading your Week Five check-in ~ 🙂

    • Thanks, Serena. I’m enjoying getting to know you, as well, and I must say, with all the upset with Michelle’s move, you stayed so calm and smooth in those rough waters, I’m growing to admire your style. Hopefully I’ll process more of the angst this time around, too.

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