Sunday, June 24, 2007

Okay, Okay, an Artist Date

My husband was out sailing all day yesterday so I did my first Artist Date.

Spending three hours cleaning house, making iced tea, and pounding chicken may not sound all that "festive" but it was to me.

First off, I cranked up the music, which I don't get to do that often. Then I cleaned. For me, cleaning is theraputic. It is the way I create order out of chaos. I love making the glass-topped tables shine, sucking up the kitty litter on the carpet, and getting rid of the galaxy of seeds my husband left on the counter when he toasted his bagel. A mad cleaning binge is how I make myself feel relaxed when I've had a particularly stressful time. Kind of like a more labor-intensive sage burning.

Also I danced.

Then I made four pitchers of different flavors of iced tea/coffee for the week: blueberry decaf for my husband to drink during the day; caf Constant Comment; caf peppermint (which required a trip to the roof to cut some mint leaves--to my surprise, they survived the winter and my lack of watering); and I turned our leftover morning coffee into iced coffee. The secret, you see, is to melt the sugar in hot water so it doesn't turn to grit at the bottom.

Then I stuck my nose in all four pitchers and inhaled deeply, because blueberry tea smells good. Which prompted me to go eat the dried blueberries we bought at Costco. Now I am full of anti-oxidants.

Then I prepped dinner (chicken cutlets with lemon, white wine, dill, and butter) by pounding the hell out of the chicken. If you think banging something with a metal mallet while dancing and singing isn't festive, you're in need of a re-think.

While I did all this, I thought about creativity and what it means to me. I take the definition literally: the act of making something new. It can be made of parts already built by other people. But they should be put together in new ways. Hence, I think of playing certain computer games as being creative (yes, that was my own work.) Cooking is certainly creative. Ms Theologian tells me that captioning pictures of my cats is creative. I will argue to the bitter end that Excel can be creative, especially since a blank spreadsheet sets my fingers itching in the same way a blank canvas does a painter.

But cleaning can be too, particularly you live with my husband (who is equally creative in his messmaking.) You are creating order out of chaos. Serenity in your life. You are taking what you have and building something meaningful by enforcing your will on its tendency to collapse.

At least, that's my argument for not bothering to leave the house.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Have You Discovered Your Secret Selves?

Have you discovered your secret selves yet?

Once you finish your narrative time line and cups, you can have a lot of fun with the task about your secret selves.

I have at least one secret self who is a nun. I call her Mary the Martyr.

Keep on trucking with this, guys. This is a fun task, and I'd love to hear about your secret selves here or in separate posts.

Friday, June 15, 2007

The Daily Walk: An Unintended Consequence

Guess what? After two months of daily walks to this oak tree where I sit and write my morning pages, I've actually lost weight.

My walk is about 20 minutes to the oak tree and 20 minutes back after I write.

A hidden benefit of Vein of Gold!

Thursday, June 7, 2007

The Artist Date Goes Bad

Well, here's an artist's date that did not go so well: my husband* and I decided to go to the Huntington on a free day. The Huntington is a great museum with libraries and fantastic gardens in Pasadena. It's $15 per adult, so we don't go frequently. But, boy, oh, boy, was the free day crowded. I cannot tell you how much bumping and shoving there was in the pursuit of art. Roughly half of Los Angeles seemed to be there.

When we arrived, we wanted to get some lunch and ended up in a "cafe" with equal parts wheelchairs, walkers, strollers, screaming babies, and screaming adults. It was madness, I tell you! Madness.

I'm posting this as a non-exemplar, so if you have an artist's date that goes bad, you don't feel so dysfunctional. :)

*I do know that artist dates are supposed to be conducted alone. Sometimes I break that rule.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Hi gang. I've officially begun The Vein of Gold now...and what i notice in myself most of all is resistance I don't wanna!! I don't wanna do my timeline. I don't wanna revisit my life. Anyone else experience this? Any tips on how to get through it?


Friday, June 1, 2007

Wizz Fizz

Inspired by TGR's artist date at the food market, I took myself to a lolly shop today and browsed the sweets of my childhood. I ended up buying a bag of Wizz Fizz. I took it back to work and opened it up at afternoon tea time. One of my coworkers saw it and made several exclamations. There's nothing like a blast from the past to kindle people's creative childlike sense of fun and play.