Saturday, April 19, 2014

Q is for Questioning

It's the A to Zed Challenge! I'll be posting the first half of the month from Ottawa where I'm staying with my youngest and his partner and their newest - a little guy who was born the end of March. Yay!

Theme? Writing and Life is what comes to me... how to balance the writing life with the other tugs you may have...

The ABCDEaria of the Writing Life -


Q is for Questioning

Questioning what you question? Everything. Ask and then listen. Actually listen, then ask,then  listen again. Yes - make your question the filling of a listening sandwich. Lots and lots of listening. Asking questions bugs the average person but that is because often the question is just a way for the questioner to insert their own ego into the mix. But questions that arise from deep listening are questions that might scare the recipient a bit, but will be rewarding for both parties.

Not so long ago when I was an undergraduate (yep, that wasn't that long ago - late bloomer) I had an English prof who taught our small Honours 16th century Literature class very well. Each of us was expected in turn to come with THE question for the class. It was a brilliant way to work (thank you Dr. Huebert!) and we all learned so much from that exercise.

We should question everything after scrutiny. Of course we aren't questioning ANY THING - we are questioning the people who appear to be in charge of those things. So we might need to remember to be respectful.

How does this help me in balancing out my life? Well, a person who reflects and then questions needs to extend that to themselves no? I need to question why I think I have to do certain things and avoid other ones. I need to question my commitments, my choices, my schedule - everything!

Here's the wee fella I am missing so much. His father, my youngest, asked so many questions that I paid him quarters to be quiet for stretches of time when we moved across the country on the train!


Friday, April 18, 2014

P is for Peculiar

It's the A to Zed Challenge! I'll be posting the first half of the month from Ottawa where I'm staying with my youngest and his partner and their newest - a little guy who was born the end of March. Yay!

Theme? Writing and Life is what comes to me... how to balance the writing life with the other tugs you may have...

The ABCDEaria of the Writing Life -



P is for Peculiar

Peculiar? Yes, you know - downright odd. Gawd I love being older. Not that I'm old but I have white hair and people know that I'm not young. I'll give you that much. And it has its rewards, yes it does. For one thing, you can be peculiar when you are older. Yep! You can be downright barmy if you like. People expect it. Sometimes I mutter but only when I'm in a large city. In Prospect or North West River I try not to act too odd because, especially in NWR it would reflect badly on the fella whose family hales from here so...

Peculiar, of course, can also mean something that belongs to someone or something - there was a smell in the air peculiar to kindergartens. 

Now why would they both mean the same - something unusual and something that belongs to something or some set of someones? I can't figure it but anyway I'm not talking about that meaning - though I will if I want to as I'm peculiar that way.

Why is peculiar a good way for someone who is trying to balance their creative pursuits? Because people will think you are peculiar if you tell them not to visit you when you are writing because they simply don't get that as a 'normal' way to behave - then they'll talk about you to others who will then not ask you to make cookies for the church bake sale because you are a bit 'you know, funny'. Excellent good I say!

Here's a photo of me working on Rorric's quilt. So fun to do, so grandmothery and yet creative too. An excellent way to marry the creative drive with the other stuff! And just so you know - I made it out of old men's shirts or uh...old shirts that belonged to men at some point - it is impossible to say that right! These nice stripey materials are peculiar to the sort of 100% cotton shirts one might find in a church basement jumble sale!






Thursday, April 17, 2014

O is for open


It's the A to Zed Challenge! I'll be posting the first half of the month from Ottawa where I'm staying with my youngest and his partner and their newest - a little guy who was born the end of March. Yay!

Theme? Writing and Life is what comes to me... how to balance the writing life with the other tugs you may have...

The ABCDEaria of the Writing Life
O is for Open 

What's that you say? Open means willing and able to contain more, to say yes, to be bold...

oh shag it - here are just a few of the many meanings that apply to this wildly huge word -
from, of course, The American Heritage Dictionary.

a. Affording unobstructed entrance and exit; not shut or closed.

All right? Got it? Open - for we creatives it means willing. I'm open for ideas, for the imagination...

or

c. Carried on in full view of others; not hidden or private: open warfare; open family strife.
or
8. a. Available; obtainable:
and perhaps my favorite -
12.
a. Characterized by lack of secrecy or reserve; candid: Please be open with me. 
b. Free of prejudice; receptive to new ideas and arguments: She listened to the proposal with an open mind.
c. Generous: He is very open with his time.
You do get it don't you? Why this is so important for a creative householder to be open? We simply must be - open to wide ideas and long views, open for complaint and praise, open for possibility and open for business. 
I feel it deep inside of me, this desire for openness, for a landscape so wide and wild and free that one cannot hide in it. And here I am willing to go out into the vastness....

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

N is for Nothing and plenty of it!






t's the A to Zed Challenge! I'll be posting the first half of the month from Ottawa where I'm staying with my youngest and his partner and their newest - a little guy who was born the end of March. Yay!

Theme? Writing and Life is what comes to me... how to balance the writing life with the other tugs you may have...

The ABCDEaria of the Writing Life -


N is for Nothing

"I've got plenty of nothing and nothing's plenty for me."

It goes on but I won't. Cuz it will lead to me singing all of Barbra Streisand's hits and I ain't got the time for that. Plus, as I write this (though not as you read it) I'm still in a home with a baby! Though I think the little gaffer might like Streisand.

Ahem... to today's topic. Why does the artist in need of balance need nothing? Well the answer is self-evident in the question but I will elaborate. We don't HAVE anything. We just don't. We might have moments where we rub up against stuff, money, success, love, a garden and a big blue dragon, but HAVE it? Nope. When we think we can actually have something, like hold it in one mode forever, like a baby's expression, like last month's rent, like the jeans I wore in grade nine - well, that my friend is delusion and delusion doesn't help us keep in balance. It helps us be good corporate citizens, buying and longing, and striving and all that, but it keeps us unbalanced as we strive for something that doesn't remotely exist. We must want nothing to create because that is what creation comes out of - a big nothing - and it goes to that all the way along - EXCEPT while we are in process. Sure, I'm a house-holder not a yogi so I know we have to pay the bills and it is nice to have family and friends who have our back but don't rest on it - don't make it the reason for creating - create for the good harmonious feeling of it - or the hellish impossibility of it (same coin really). Sell it so you can make the next making but that's the only reason.

Okay. That's it. Can't help it. I put in the letter and the rants flow out.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

M is for Merry


It's the A to Zed Challenge! I'll be posting the first half of the month from Ottawa where I'm staying with my youngest and his partner and their newest - a little guy who was born the end of March. Yay!

Theme? Writing and Life is what comes to me... how to balance the writing life with the other tugs you may have...

The ABCDEaria of the Writing Life -




M is for Merry


To be merry is a gift and it bestows on the person who is merry as well as those she is around. Having a talent for joy is no little feat. It is like most talents one hears about - it takes work. It may come naturally to some more than others, I don't doubt that, but it needs tending all the same.  My brother has a talent for merriness and I have watched how he takes care of it over the years. Life has handed him, on average, the same sorts of lemons and diamond mix we all get. Which would you rather be handed on the desert? Not diamonds, you can be sure. My brother gets that and seems to have made a conscious decision to like what he has, whether up or down, gold or dross, he enjoys the hell out of it. To be merry isn't to be confused with giddy or silly.

In the King James Version of the bible you may find this verse:

And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.  Luke 12:19

Solomon said " A merry heart doeth good like medicine."



John Lyly said " A merry companion is as good as a wagon."

Being on the look out for opportunities to be merry makes me sure to balance out my life of art and ...well...life. I cannot take myself too seriously and that my pals, is a damn good thing.

So take your medicine, develop your merry muscle.