Wednesday 2 January 2008

Making art begins with making hay while the sun shines. It begins with getting into the now and enjoying your day. It begins with giving yourself some small treats and breaks. "This is extravagant but so is God" is a good attitude to take when treating your artist to small bribes and beauties. Remember, you are the cheapskate, not God. As you expect God to be more generous, God will be able to be more generous to you.

What we really want to do is what we are really meant to do. When we do what we are meant to do, money comes to us, doors open for us, we feel useful, and the work we do feels like play to us.
Julia Cameron, The Artist's Way

Do you believe this? I kinda do, you know. (Of course, I also kinda don't, but if I was gonna wait to believe anything without any residual doubt, I'd never do anything). What Cameron refers to here isn't so much expensive extravagances, treats and breaks. Different things for different people equate to luxury - she refers to one woman in her course whose luxury was raspberries. For tops of $4.50 a week, she did something which fed straight into her spirit, into her creativity, her openness. My luxury is candles. Yep. And tonight on Freecycle I got a whole stack of them for free. Cool, huh. Because I'm really broke :)

I started writing a short story today. Yes, I did. Got a glimmer of a thread. Thought, "Hey, that sounds alright." Sat down and started writing. It's been seven months since I've written any kind of story and I've started one on the first day of the year. And done some centering prayer. Didn't think I'd achieve anything, that after more than a week's break I would take days to get back in. But 10 minutes in and there, there was the peace. It felt like cream and tasted like silk and it sits underneath everything.

Tonight, I feel like all things are possible. My boat has righted itself (my parasite cleanse is over; so is Christmas :) The earth is so full of love and hope. And the more this is expressed, the more love there is. Like yeast spreading through the Body. Like a kid with a fish and some bread and Jesus takes them and threads them out by the unlimited power of God into fishes and fishes and loaves and loaves.

So yes, Ms Cameron, I do believe in such things. It's such a shame, though, that the name it and claim it brethren still come into the room when I think things like this sometime. It leaves a strange taste in my mouth but still, nevertheless - I wanna walk into that Godness.

And so, while on dreaming big dreams, I also say this: I hope to go overseas. I hope to visit two continents. I hope to write a novel, or at least try. I hope to walk in all the stuff I've learnt and I hope to continue retrieving my personality out from underneath the heavy mantle of busted confidence and guilt trips that accompanied so much of 2007 (and hey, you know what? I kinda like the girl upon reacquaintance. She's got some spunk). I hope for more self-forgetfulness and more loving over everyone I meet. Yeppers. Most of all, I hope to have less of my own expectations, more acceptance of what is. Less future tripping and more life lovin'. Yep.

I hope for opportunities for community. I hope for new things to taste. I hope for giant wads of excitement. I hope to swim at least once in the ocean this summer and to do it at least once in the dark. I hope to ride my bike in the forest. I hope to see even more beauty in even uglier places. I hope to think, feel and do things I never thought I had a hope in hell of doing, and things which I'd forgotten I really wanted to do. I hope to write essays which are one seventeenth as good as a Dillard one. I hope to write something which someone somewhere publishes this year and pays me money for. I hope for love - yep, I do. I pretend I don't sometimes, to guard against possible future hurt, but I really do. I hope to remember to dance with my dog more (he did enjoy it today. In fact, he enjoyed it so much he got a bit ... well, amorous. Yikes.)

But more than anything, more than all of those things I desire, my biggest hope is to stay centred in God. Because then, if none of these things comes to pass, I have lost nothing. Because s/he is everything.

What do you hope for?

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