Thursday, November 5, 2009

morning pages . . .

Years ago I was guided to a book call the Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. I can’t even tell you how many years it has been since I read the book. But I keep on re-reading (if that’s a word) it when I am blocked creatively. Not only that I read it because it is such an inspirational book.

It has exercises that are given to help free the mind and allow the creativity to just flow. It is for any kind of artist or person that wants to just be. It helps from the blocked person to the person that has so many creative ideas and it harnesses the best part of being creative and allows you to work with it. I absolutely adore this book. She has others, but this is the grounding book for me.

The book starts out with the doing the exercise of the “morning pages.” When you immediately wake up in the morning you grab your spiral notebook and write for three pages straight (no more), always by long hand whatever is in your head. It does not have to make sense. If you have nothing to say then write down you have nothing to say. You just write until stuff comes up. There are some days you struggle because your head is just empty. This exercise is to dump out what is in that cranium so that you can allow the creativity room to breathe. It is great! Most importantly it’s a discipline. You have to do it everyday. What’s funny about it is that you don’t have to think about what you’re going to write – it just comes. All you need to do is have paper and pen/pencil in hand and write. It does work. As for the other exercises that are in the book, I have not yet gotten intimate with them due to the fact that I am in a mad affair with the first exercise. I am starting to break away and move on in the book to start the other exercises. Mind you I have owned this book almost 12 years. Okay, I’m a little slow, but I am devoted – can’t complain about that!!! Maybe that’s why I’m still struggling with this creativity thing – at least expanding it more.

So, I was doing my morning pages this morning. All of a sudden I realized I was writing about my childhood summers. I started to remember things that I haven’t thought of in a multitude of years. Things started just pushing out of my head. Names of people, things I used to do, the warmth of the sun while we laid in the park. The innocence of summer and all the things that now I am terrified and always worried that something would happen to my daughter – like walking through a huge park, in New Jersey, at night, with no one around. Yeah, used to do that ~ but it was safe yet it wasn’t but it was different. Everyone knew who you were because you were so and so’s daughter, or cousin. Couldn’t get away with anything because the whole neighborhood had eyes. By the time I would get home my father would have already known what’s up.

As I look back it was great! Spending my school days in Bronx, NYC and then my summers in New Jersey. For some, unless you lived in Jersey, it’s not that bad!!! It was and still is, depending on where you are, the suburbia of NYC as far as I’m concerned. Still two different worlds but still fun.

I had some not so good memories too, but those are the ones remember the most. It sure was nice to remember the good times. Gives me a warm fuzzy.

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