In early September I spent two of my most enjoyable hours ever in the studio of Regine Verougstraete, a new friend and Belgian artist who now lives in Los Angeles. I want to tell you about those two hours, and every time I sit down to write about them, the story gets lost in the flood of recalled sensations and the fears that I will tell it wrong and no readers will care. As a long-time blogger, I've generally stopped caring whether or not others will always enjoy what I write, and, instead, I write with the awareness that they may not or, worse still, that my words may never even be read. When it comes to topics that matter to me a great deal, however, I find a mountain of swirling distractions that keep me from even being to craft the sentences.
So today I have given myself permission not to write about my session with Regine and, instead, to just dance around with the memories and allow those memories, in turn, to dance with the distractions of this specific day. I remember Regine's voice. And her sparkly eyes. I walked to the table and unrolled the drawings she sent to me, which were waiting for me when I returned from Seattle in October. I told myself I would be silly to share any of these drawings in my blog. I am not, after all, a fine artist. I draw (my inner critic reminded me,) a bit like a child. And in the face of these objections, my very strong, fine OTHER inner voice who is learning to quell that critic, said that in fact it is more than okay to share a drawing with my blog readers. This very fine voice said that in fact I practically have to share one of my 15 drawings with you. That it would be a travesty not to. (This VeryFineVoice is a kind and gentle friend to me, just as she would be to you.)
And so I chose one to show you, just because. Number Nine.
The other matters on my mind today are related primarily to my work. I am thrilled that last night I received new photos from a client whose website will soon be ready to launch. Today I should work with these photos and see how they look in her site.
Alongside the thoughts of this project are others related to a recent email exchange I've had with a guy who is a bit newer to this whole other dance I wasn't talking about when I began this post. The dance in question is the one with The Work Force and the realization that Corporate America holds little appeal for him while forging ahead with His Big Idea, driven by his entrepreneurial leanings. It swirls with passion and I am delighted he thought I might be the right person to help him share his passion online. I want to tell him to go for it, to ignore the voices he says generally tell him he's crazy, while encouraging him never to be defensive about his dreams but always strong and focused and quietly defiant with the inner awareness entrepreneurs often have that This Big Idea is a very, very good one. I want to encourage him in a way that doesn't sound condescending or patronizing and I don't quite know how. Perhaps I'll invite him to read this piece, and then I think perhaps not because this piece could possibly steer him away from wanting to hire me as his website designer, after all. Which is not what I want, at all.
In the midst of these thoughts come others related to the music I'm playing today and how it alternately pleases and annoys me. I think of my nephew and wonder what he's doing right now. And I think of Regine again, and decided to write a different blog post about the day we met and how she revealed something very personal with me which I have her permission to share with my readers, and how I decided I would do that, since I believe it matters a great deal. I wrote that piece in my travel blog although I still plan to write about the drawing workshop one here one day, as well.
Now I look at the clock and realize that soon my friends will return with their Christmas tree and I am to help decorate that tree.
I think, too, of the local artist who gifted me with a glorious painting she could have sold for $325 because she realized just how much I loved it although I was not in the market for art. The gift made me cry that day. And now I'm enjoying the pleasure, many months later, of working on a website to promote her art.
Turns out lots of other things are on my mind, too! I haven't worked out yet today and I'm giving myself a hard time, since exercise is important. I drank alcohol last night after deciding I wouldn't. I think of recent disappointments in love and how in spite of my pain I continue to feel delighted optimism because that's how I'm wired. I hear the dogs barking and wish they would stop. I remember an email I was supposed to have sent before Thanksgiving and still haven't followed through. There is a load of laundry I meant to begin two hours ago but I didn't. I'm closer than ever before to finishing the business-related website that will separate my online professional endeavors from my personal ones. But I still don't know if I will launch it before the end of the year. The word "I" has rarely been used more than ever in this blog post, and it's considered bad form. And still I think perhaps I'll tell you more. I spent hours, the day after Thanksgiving, asleep on my sister's couch, because I have a cold. Instead of giving in and continuing to rest and let the cold have its way and disappear naturally- which I've believed was the best way to heal since sometime around 1994, I've chosen to stuff my body with pharmaceudicals and am, therefore, perhaps doing my body an injustice. But at least I won't become that much further behind in my work. I think of my novel and my other book, too, and how little I wrote in each of them this week and wonder how I can call myself a writer. And then I remember that if a friend were telling me all this, I would encourage her to be very, very gentle with herself.
My Buddhist friend Sean uses the phrase "Monkey Mind" and I think it is very descriptive of my world today.
Sometimes I wonder what it would feel like to have only a few simultaneous thoughts on any given day, or to find it natural to follow a prescribed set of rules and habits, or to choose a single career path, once more get a "real job" that offers a regular paycheck - whether I've worked efficiently or not - and vacation and sick days off with pay, or even what my life would have been like if I were born in North Dakota, USA, or Buenos Aires, Argentina.
None of that matters very much. But one day I will tell you about the time I spent in Regine's studio. And because that will be on a very calm day when slightly fewer matters are warring for my attention, I optimistically believe that I will tell the story well and you will know just how very fine and good that time was. Maybe it's okay that this is not that day. I tend to think that Regine would smile and nod and give me a hug and say it's very much okay...