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# Had a great morning run (or maybe more precisely midday run, since I returned from it around 2 pm); facilitated by the rather chilly temperatures, but still. Followed by a very late and somewhat decadent breakfast with tea, toast, a muffin and yoghurt with fruits and muesli. After that, this and that & nothing much. More amoebas were painted, among other things.

A little melancholy, although not in an entirely bad way, because the general mood is already somewhat autumnal. The first chestnuts are falling from the trees, small ones, but already brown and fully formed, the shells splitting when they hit the ground. The street I live in is partly lined by hazel trees (actual trees, not shrubs), and there are bushels of nuts everywhere, getting crushed by cars. On my way back to Puchberg last Sunday I noticed how in the gardens most of the apples on the trees were already quite red. On the one hand I'm looking forward to autumn, I love the beauty of it as well as cow-free hiking tours, but I'm not ready for summer to be over already...

# The Artist's Way, check-in week one, or what passed for that. It's been ten days, actually. I'm doing this online so that I'll have it in one place and can come back to it without having to decipher my handwriting and probably messy editing...

1. morning pages: check. 10/10. Not much of a problem. It was nice being given permission to just write what comes into your head, which I never would have done otherwise, and probably also helped me get into journalling again (if that lasts). Three pages are easy, I only ever had slight problems Saturday morning, probably because I talked myself out at the therapist on Friday. Thematically it's been mostly introspective, with fillers about being frustrated, being tired, the pigeons outside, the lack of a view, etc., when I can't get going. Vacillating between anger at how things are and self-analysis. I wouldn't say that there've been any huge revelations so far, or big changes, but I like the playful angle, that you don't have to think, don't have to consider whether what you're writing is good or bad, don't have to re-read and judge yourself. It's probably harder to do for people who never write; for me, all I needed was the permission to be terriblebad at writing, which is not something I allow myself to do otherwise.

2. artist date: check. I have absolutely no idea if this was done the right way, but I enjoyed it. Again, this seems probably aimed more at people who need to give themselves permission to take time away from (e.g.) family. For me it was a kick in the ass to get out and be productive instead of wasting time. Took the camera and biked along the Wientalradweg, to catch the evening sun for my pictures. It felt good, I felt free, I took pictures. There isn't much to say, otherwise.

3. the other stuff:

Affirmations. Well, sortakinda. I tried? In this case I actually get the point, because it seems obvious that in order to make the brain jump out off its trodden track you have to tell it to do so firmly and repeatedly. It still feels weird. I'm keeping it in the back of my mind, though, and try to remember not to keep constantly beating myself up for being a worthless failure. Because, seriously, why? Who gains anything? It's hard to ignore the inner voice that keeps protesting that I am a failure, though. Grrr. Shut up. I'm done constantly sabotaging myself. It also made me realise how completely toxic last year was. Perhaps not the book-keeping class in and of itself, that might have gone differently, but certainly the way I used it as self-punishment.

The 'Zeitreise' didn't really work, for lack of traumatising events that might have stifled my creativity (that I recall). No horrible teachers, no 'monsters' that I can think of to exorcise. My parents, especially my father encouraged my creativity, even if he also perhaps tried to dominate it a bit too much, and even if the encouragement stopped at the point of encouraging me to pick a profession in that field. There are perhaps some more general issues with my parents that might play into it, but the main problem is a lack of confidence, the source of which I can't pinpoint, because it feels like something secondary, something that hasn't always been part of my life. I did realise, though, that people do like my work and are actually praising and encouraging me, but somehow it never quite gets through. For a moment, maybe, but it doesn't leave a lasting impression. I love praise, but I also distrust it on some fundamental level.

Imaginary lives. Doing this quickly now, because I really hate those imaginary scenarios, Really, really, hate. I get incredibly anxious and can never think of anything. Artist (ceramics, possibly photography), gardener, hermit, carpenter, perhaps writer, if I had sufficient imagination.

Skipped the walk, but was on a longish hiking tour last Sunday and did two morning runs. I feel this is maybe aimed at Americans who tend to walk less? Probably should have done it, though. Maybe next week.

Unexpected happenings: The permission to produce terriblebad things apparently spilled over, I bought a set of water colours and did the equivalent of the morning pages; i.e., not think too much about what I'm doing and just do it, never mind the result. Of course thoughts and worries about the lack of quality are harder to ignore because while in writing you move from line to line and can immediately ignore what you've written before, you can't paint and not look at the painting all the time. Tried to vey vaguely paint a picture of my inner self today, with fairly disastrous results, because I tried to find an image for the crippling negativity, and it came out as a sort of scrawly, criss-crossing grey line that had neither beginning nor end, dividing the different parts of myself. I didn't think a lot about this part, but every time I dipped the brush into the colour, I continued where I'd stopped, and in the end closed the circle. The result felt wrong to the point where I could't even just tear it up and toss it out, but had to overpaint the wire-line, making the colours spill over, breaking up the forms, resulting in, uh, best not talk about it. I'm looking at it as therapeutic. 'Looking' in the metaphoric sense. Uh. Uh.

What came up in today's morning pages is that I want to try to approach things a little more playfully generally speaking. I have this tendency to look at things and imagine every aim, everything I could or should do, as this huge thing I will never be able to reach or accomplish anyway, blowing it up completely out of proportion, so that I might just as well give up already, and this is what I do. Which obviously isn't helpful at all.

And it's not as if I'm accomplishing anything the way things are now. I'm not successful. I'm not happy. It's not as if I have anything to lose trying a different approach for once.

 

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