Lately I’ve been in the habit of spending my days fulfilling my commitments to other people – writing assignments, creativity coaching sessions, responding to correspondence, etc. It’s all good work that I enjoy, but there’s been a nagging sense of something missing – a barely perceptible existential cloud. Not serious but not great either.
So last night I made a date with myself to get up at 6:00 AM, go to my dining table (as opposed to my computer, which is associated with “real projects” – my own or someone else’s), light a candle and just write for 20 minutes – about nothing in particular. When the alarm went off this morning, it felt like an act of utter futility. But I gently urged myself out of bed, sat myself down with tea and timer, and just started writing. The phrase, “Write into the sunrise” popped into my head so I let it lead me. I wrote about the gulls and crows that seem to greet each day with the same level of noisy unnuanced enthusiasm, about the silver sheen of the water, about the glimmer of apricot light on daybreak’s indigo clouds… Nothing in particular, but I found myself paying more attention than I usually do. The morning light moves swiftly – it’s impossible to track it – but the glide of my black pen across the gleaming white page made me realize how important if not essential it is to make the attempt. It expanded my sense of possibility. It dissolved my existential cloud.
I’ve done this kind of exercise before – many times – I have the mounds of notebooks to prove it. I’ve often enjoyed it but there has always been a vague sense that it wasn’t real writing. There was no purpose. No one was going to read it. I’m beginning to think that that mode of thinking is a kind of madness – as though nothing has meaning unless it has been so decreed by some ego – whether it’s our own, someone else’s, or a cluster of unexamined socially endorsed assumptions.
We write or we make music or we make art because we can, because it’s a vital part of our humanity. We don’t need a reason. Just write into the sunrise, for heaven’s sake. Fall in love with your day.
Yea…. a date with oneself (like the old days with the artists way!)….. YES!!!! so glad you did that. I feel very much the same way.. decided to move to santa barbara and live in a semi sanctuary with all my unpublished “works” to see if anythikng is viable: hahhhaha to whom? find stories in there, a friend would tell me…. but more than that they are simply blogs before there were blogs, steps along the way with various insights and foresights and hindsights as well as backsights (is that even a word? I dont care. hahhaha). what is precious to me, is what new insights come, what new and often strange intimations that come along the way like what you did… you LISTENED to something and THAT is beautiful, since I truly believe that we need to befriend that entity (call it Spirit, Higher Self or what you will) since to me THAT is where true happiness and bliss is. Its as if something is calling us more and more (in these “urgent” times) to become more real, to be our authentic selves, to do what we really are being called to do.. and when we do it, a form of GIDDINESS will prevail… and believe it or not the root of the word giddy has much to do with wisdom, being possessed by God and infused with many profundities..I almost cried hahhahha when I saw the sameness between being giddy and so happy… and its right here within all of us waiting to greet us every morning.. There needs to be a book written called (or at least a subtitle) Breaking the Spell of Necessary Suffering. Who said suffering has to be necessary and inevitable. I think Happiness is necessary and inevitable and Im about to prove it with my life, as I hope others do as well. Ahh look Donaleen what YOU started!!! Hahahahha have a wonderful day!!!!!
Wow, Bob. That’s great. You’re bursting with wise words and have been for some time. You should write that book, “Breaking the Spell of Necessary Suffering.” I love that “giddiness” means “possessed by God.” As the shamans tells us, our only obligation is to be ecstatic. That’s actually starting to make sense to me.