Sunday, August 23, 2020

WANING AND WAXING

 The ebb and flow of my creative spirit has been very evident in the past week. When I look back two years ago in the comments I recorded in our coaching program, there was the same push and pull, riding the roller coaster, swinging from apogee to perigee and back again. I'll have a day when I spend a couple of hours on writing or revising a poem, and the next day it will seem as if I can't get anything done, I'm unmotivated, even almost paralyzed with exhaustion. One day I'll be moving forward at a fast canter, and the next day I don't even want to get on the horse.  Some of it may be understandable physical tiredness--I got only 5 hours of sleep, or I walked for hours in the heat uphill and down at the Wild Animal Park. It could be Covid-19 effects: depression, uncertainty, weariness, and loneliness. Why else would I chat at some length with the census taker who came to the house? Or look forward to going to the dry cleaner's?

I am trying to keep moving forward by baby steps when I can't take great leaps over obstacles, doing just one Post-it Note assignment a day on my book, printing and sending one card, or slicing oranges and blackberries for my infusion water bottle instead of making an elaborate recipe for a meal.

I think I am learning to accept the vagaries of my creative work and life. One day, when I have decided to do some cleaning, I might spend two hours cleaning the refrigerator and getting rid of science experiments that have wandered to the back of a shelf or two bottles of some kind of salsa that my son bought so long ago that they have expired.  The delight of having a clean and shiny refrigerator rewarded me for the work.

The next day, I had scheduled some garden work, and planted sunflower seeds in a good many empty corners of the garden.  It didn't take long, but I now have to water those areas by hand as well as the new plantings in the garden at the front of the house.  That gets me outside for some Vitamin D, so I am always happy to do that.

On Thursday, when my business partner was here, she helped me choose the size of my upcoming book on marriage, as well as a selection of photographs we are considering for the cover. That took care of several Post-it-Notes in one day.

I think that as I look at my calendar, I think that I should be able to work on all the creative projects I have lined up every day, but in fact my days are quite different. For most of my life, Mondays were always devoted to poetry, and much of the time they still are.  When our children were little, I always arranged for a babysitter or organized a babysitting coop so I would have at least an afternoon to write. Tuesdays tend to be the days I run errands or catch up on other projects. Wednesdays are the days I talk to a couple of my daughters on the phone or Skype, Thursdays are my work days on my greeting card business with my business partner, and now we're doing some of the projects connected with my book.  Fridays center on my horn lessons, which can take anywhere from two to three hours, and they are often the days I write the first draft of my blog post.

Saturdays are rather free form, although I soak my phalaenopsis orchids over the course of the day. I don't have a green thumb but almost accidentally when I bought an orchid in Laguna Beach the first year that we stayed there for our anniversary, I put it in my greenhouse window, which faces north, and it prospered. Over the years, others have given me orchids, and now the whole window is full of them so once a week I soak the pots in water with fertilizer, and they flourish. 

Yesterday, however, my daughter Mary and her family came over to celebrate my birthday belatedly, her daughter's Saint's Day (the Assumption of Mary on August 15) and her Saint's day, (the Queenship of Mary on August 22). They had been in quarantine for two weeks, and it was wonderful to be back together again. We had lunch and dinner together, played board games, and they are coming down again on Monday before their oldest son Jozef gets his boot off after breaking a bone in his foot. Once it's off, they will spend the last week before school starts online with trips to the beach which he had to miss because of his boot.

On Sundays, I'm able to go to Mass again, outside, but with many of my dear friends from the choir recognizable above their masks. Then I have a family Zoom gathering and a Beginning Experience community experience in the afternoon, usually capped off by a nap. I suppose I should accept the schedule of my days and how different each one is, but work to use more of the little slices of time for my various creative projects.  It seems to be something that I will be adjusting almost daily--and as a rebel, I don't like things to get into too much of a routine or I begin to feel restrained--not a good thing for a Texan who never wants to be fenced in!

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