“Artists are people who are not at all interested in the facts—only in the truth. You get the facts from outside. The truth you get from inside.” --Ursula K. LeGuin

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

What Lies Beneath?

I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of being bombarded at the beginning of the year by goal-setting smart-alecs.  Like I’m supposed to have someone tell me to set goals.

I’ll set my own goals, thank you very much. And where in the hell did New Year’s resolutions come from anyway? They irritate me every New Year, and I’ve seen a few years roll by my dust bin.

The world can make you feel guilty about most anything. That’s the culture we live in--guilt, fear, and intimidation.

So, guys are we going to take it lying down, or are we going to claim our own lives, live on our own terms, and cut out the crap?

When you figure out how to do it tell me, but that is my goal. It has been for a while, and it will continue to be. And if I have an attitude then so be it.

Julie Cameron would say to put my gripes in my morning pages—that device where you write out the shit so you can get onto the business of writing. But we’re writers here. We don’t have to soft-soap anything. We know there will be days when we want to quit, when we feel like dog doo, and when the world outside our window looks like a tsunami ran down the streets and lapped against the side of our houses. But then the sun comes out. The world glows.  We are wrought with new ideas, even standing in line at the Post Office becomes an adventure. We hear new nuances, snippets of conversation. We sing the song of life.  We become lost in the lyrics.

“Why do I care if I make a fool out of myself?” Wrote the Disney Imagineer Don Hahn,  “It’s called living, and while we are yet alive shouldn’t we do things that living people do? So embrace your inner idiot.”

I’m taking incremental steps toward reaching the goal of living life on my own terms. Jonathan Mead, a fellow in Portland Oregon, writes a blog “Paid to Exist.” where he touts the same thing. See, there are a lot of us out there.

As I was leaving for the #Tony Robbins event I grabbed a novel to read on the plane. It was #Rosamunde Pilcher’s #The Shell Seekers. I had already read it three times, but I figured since I hadn’t yet achieved her eloquence, I would read it another time. I wanted to visit Scotland and smell the wild Thyme again. I wanted to follow Penelope Keeling through her life again. So I read it a fourth time, lovely, lovely Pilcher.

And yesterday, I picked up one of Pilcher's old books. The opening line didn’t have it. It sounded ordinary in comparison to her writing I had just read. It was a revelation.

People do not spring to life fully formed, they develop, they hone their skills. That is what Pilchers’s Publisher told her, that she hadn’t delivered the goods yet. And so she asked what he wanted. “A  Big fat book for women. A good read. Something to get the teeth into. And something, above all, that tapped into the life and the experiences of her generation.”

So she delivered the goods, and The Shell Seekers hit the New York Times best seller list.

Okay, let’s get crackin’

Live long and prosper and follow me. Join the party.