Love and Loss and Walking Through

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Everything I Know About The Human Heart Part 2

My heart loves immensely.

I love that my heart loves. It collects people, places, things, ideas. My heart is what makes me a writer and an artist.

Love ignites my curiosity and imagination. Love gives me ideas. Love lets me stretch myself, lets me be brave enough to walk into unknown places, consider wild ideas, and meet people who would otherwise scare me. Love shows me the way into creating things that didn’t exist before now.

Love includes. It includes generosity, kindness, compassion, forgiveness, joy, happiness, patience, wisdom.

Love includes loss.

These last three weeks I have been walking a pattern of love and loss. Back and forth, one then the other.

Loss hurts.

Among a layering of losses, the largest. The health of both my parents is failing deeply and rapidly. Knowing loss is coming prepares me some, but never enough. Knowing rises from my mind. Loss, for me, is all feeling. Not mind. Not word. Not logic. Not reason.

What surprises me is how my heart finds ways to accept loss, to grow large, and hold the pain in a cradle of love. It’s doing that now as I write.

I watch my parents experience what is happening to each other. They know what’s coming. Their pain and loss is terribly visible, but there is sixty years of love that cradles it.

It amazes me, heartens me to witness how bright is sixty years of love. It gives me the strength and courage to keep my heart fully open through all that is coming.

Loss hurts. My parents are in the deepest place of it right now. Yet it is not breaking them.

I think of our family’s home where I grew up, and the cedars, six of them, that grew by our front walk and at the side of the sundeck. I never knew the age of those trees. Dad figured maybe 150 years old. One hundred and fifty years cradled deep in the earth.

I watched the cedars shake and bend through every winter storm we had.  Watched them give up branches, sometimes, to the winds that howled around them.

I am imagining I, my parents, my sister and brother are our beloved cedars.  Standing in the storm. Shaking.  Bending.  Letting go.  Our roots cradled deep in a sixty year love. A love so visibly bright it heals me even as the storm blows through.

You who are reading my words, I have never asked for anything from you, but I am asking now. The storm is huge and the wind strong. Please lend me your love, so that I may stand as my beautiful cedar trees, shaking and bending and letting go and never breaking.

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What Happens When I Don’t Write My Morning Pages

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‘When I Took It All Apart, There Was Nothing Left’

Here’s what happens when I don’t write morning pages for three and one-half months.

I get bitchy. Make that all caps. BITCHY.

I also get stuck. There’s a log jam of Mount Everest proportions inside my writing-drawing-artist-self.

It’s very uncomfortable.

Actually, it effing hurts.

I have a build-up of creative need. A need to connect with what I am feeling and thinking. A need to connect with my creative energy. Make stuff. Write. Draw. A need to connect with other creators.

I am fulfilling all of these needs exactly right now. First I write morning pages. Yay! And about bloody time too. And now I am writing this post.

Yesterday I decided I’d had enough of paying attention to every room in our new home except my studio. Enough of setting up all other spaces except the one space that is vital to me.

Vital only to me.  Note the ‘only’. I set up all the family-used spaces first. I do what is expected of me. I don’t do what I need for myself alone. I push me to last.

I am such a good girl.

I am sick of being such a good girl.

This morning I get angry enough to send my husband and son retreating (running) to the workshop and the downstairs suite. They get the hint. No more Mrs. Good Girl.

Amazing what not writing morning pages does to me. Here is the list.

Not writing morning pages throws me off balance. Instead of moving between my need to create and the needs of living a life shared with others, I attend only to others’ needs. I lose sight of, and feel for, what I need.

Not writing morning pages, I lose the truth of myself. I am an artist, a writer, a creator, and it is necessary I do this every day.

Not writing morning pages, my family forgets my daily movement into my creativity. They forget the habit of saying, “She’s creating. Don’t interrupt her. Leave her alone.”

Not writing morning pages, I stop standing my ground and claiming the time and space I need to write and draw and create. Not only physical time and space. Mental, emotional, and spiritual time and space as well.

Not writing morning pages for three and one-half months requires the dynamite of anger to clear the way and get everything flowing again.

Really, it is much easier to claim my space, write the morning pages, and make my stuff every day. No log jam. No need to shove and struggle until I finally blow up. No need to hurt myself (or others).

Apparently, I have to remind myself of what happens when I don’t write my morning pages.

Do yourself a kindness.

Write your pages.

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Mentioned in this post:

Julie Cameron’s morning pages, from The Artist’s Way, Tarcher-Putman, 1992, pages 9 -18.  http://juliacameronlive.com/

Morning pages do so many things for me and my creativity.

Morning pages move me past my internal critic.  https://catfinkknowtrustchoosecreate.com/2016/03/31/writing-past-the-internal-critic/critic

They are the secret agent who clears the way and connects my mind and heart, readying me to draw and write.  https://catfinkknowtrustchoosecreate.com/2016/04/30/morning-pages-to-write-or-not-to-write/

Here is the irony.  Last week I wrote about creating daily, then promptly did not do that for the next week.

I am serious when I say do yourself and kindness and write your pages.