Muddling Through

Learn your own process – trust your process.

In creating, once the work reveals its own identity, however obscurely, success is more often found, then seeking to reveal this identity, rather than imposing upon it one’s own feeble notions.

I need to allow this bird dancer to become the best expression of what this set of circumstances will permit. There might always be a “next time” for the wildness that I was seeking, that this bird does not seem to want to be. Softer palette, more reference to classical tutu that I have been consciously and subconsciously fighting.

However, once I sketched out a preliminary maquette, I saw a “something” there, that I hadn’t really originally envisioned. Need to allow the construction process to permit working the design as it moves forward.

Egad – it is really getting time to CUT!

Being Able to Write Again

I am finally recovering from my Creative Writing & Mental Constipation course I took this summer in Missoula. Last year, the general consensus is that Bolton’s course from 2004 was not as good as the one this year by young Grad Student writer guy. Maybe from some perspectives, but the first one was much better for me – I gained tiny bit of confidence to give myself permission to jump in and put the words out there.

This year I found myself back in the tied-up-in-knots-can’t-write-a-word state I experienced at the end of my Honors Creative Writing course I took my final semester in college. Whatever “they” real writers do, doesn’t work with my process at all. I have processed my denial-anger-grief-acceptance cycle to know that I will never be a “real writer” by whatever standards they use at CutBank and other journals. However, I am regaining that sense I had at the beginning of the summer that I have a lot to say, and have begun to find my own voice in how to say it. This year’s Creative Confusion Seminar was just a little detour, but you can put all the “real writers” on their little island together, and hey. I won’t even try to attend your party, so you won’t be troubled by having to vote me off the island.

Depression and Disaster

The mood is pretty hard to keep “up”. I have a lot of trouble just going forward. Working all the extra hours and the fatigue it engenders does not help. Grieving for New Orleans victims & survivors and the memories of 9/11 it touches does not help. Trying to pull myself outside of the wrapper of shame from the little Ghost Girl of my childhood doesn’t help.

Last year I came back from Missoula empowered, energized.
This year I came back so in touch with those old wounds, I was in mourning.

Auctions for Animals

I have been focusing on hurricane relief – participating through NOLA Volunteer community forum links to many various grassroots efforts to get direct aid to the folks who need it as soon as possible. As the Biloxidoc would say – the American Red-Tape Cross can do somethings well, but in others they just don’t even begin to try. He is starting his Send Me Your Panties campaign for college sororities and fraternities to get underwear for folks living in shacks or tents in their backyards of their destroyed properties who haven’t had a change of clean clothes since Katrina/Rita. Yes, can you imagine living in the same pair of underwear for 6 weeks.

I am working with two Adopt-A-Families, trying to get them some stuff they can’t get, or that they just plain need absolutely everything.

And of course the animals – I have to ration my reading of animal stories. By now they are getting much more focused on the tragedy. Either the poor creatures are close to dying of starvation or dehydration or they were rescued early, but now have been transferred to out-of-state KILL shelters. Saved from the flood only to die before their owners can find them. I just plain don’t want to find out how bad that confusion is … I know there are some folks kicking ass on the internet to try to point folks to the information – but there are just too many databases, so much happening so fast.

I try to focus on the happy picture – the one kitty in the cage with a sign – do NOT send – owner found. I try to chant about the stories of mass death like the NOLA high school, and then move on but it is hard. How do you keep your sensibility and humanity and stay upright and not want to crawl into a hole and weep at the end of every day?