January 6, 2014

The Wish Thing

What is up with this wish thing?

I celebrate being wishless.Which, as Grace points out, really just means feeling content.
But, then, in the blink of a "send" button, I am not so fine with it.

My brain starts doubling back over itself. What if it is not "content?" What if it means I am in a rut? Or, worse yet, in a place where "rut" would look good? Because what if it means that...

...I have just given up?

Even as I type this, I know it is ridiculous.So the big question is what triggers the doubt?

The answer is so simple and, boy, does it make me feel small. It happens when I lose track of me and start watching what happens around me. Specifically, when the creative people who are in my life or its periphery get big contracts, great reviews, public recognition. Things I once thought I could reach for but,in the end,required a path that simply was not right for me.

That happened twice last week. 

Why does it still affect me? I think its because I am new and a bit unsteady in the face of the age-appropriate but polar shifts in the ground beneath me.  I have entered the year of turning 60 and it feels like Nature is doing something to me besides putting hair on my chin. On one side, it is pulling from me things that Used to Be. Fierce ambition, independent and immortal parents, 20-20 eyesight, little girls with problems no bigger than their pink barrettes, the adamant refusal to settle for anything less than exactly the way I wanted it.

On the other side, it is making me tighten my grip on what I cherish: solitude, pine forests, lettuce in my garden in the spring and the fall, muddy dog paws leaping on my clean pants, snores from the pillow next to my own. Good talks with good friends, learning a new word in Hebrew and actually remembering it when I get to Israel. Finding that my words here made a difference to someone in another hemisphere.


Both are really powerful forces right now. No wonder I got caught in the middle.Just writing this makes me feel a whole lot better.
On my way to work

Thanks for listening.




11 comments:

  1. and to think we're finally at the place where we SEE these thoughts/inclinations for what they really are.

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    1. Its like Grace writes below, the place that comes after all the other stages, the place of Being Self.

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  2. hmm... good thoughts... the uneasy feeling is that contentment has the potential to lead to complacency which can be the death knell of the art making process... however, being real... at 59 & 67 years of age respectively Old Man Crow and I have let go of the expectation of riches and or royalties form our art & music making and there is a lot of freedom in that space. However it is not hopeless! We have a plan aka the Dead Artist's Society! a group of artists, poets & musicians go on a south sea sailing trip but the boat is mysteriously lost at sea, secretly another boat picks us up and takes us to a remote island paradise where we set up camp and continue writing songs,cpoetry & making art with a lovely languid island influence. A trusted friend back on the mainland sells all the work we left behind now that we are "dead artists" to help sustain the lifestyle on the island and as time goes by the pieces of island dreaming work that occasionally surface... don't be surprised if you read about this one day... still looking for that friend who will sacrifice the boat.... maybe me?

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    1. once again please excuse the typos! was just too excited about sharing this long held dream! oh and yes as for the last post Old Man Crow & I laugh every day no matter how dark the world gets around us...

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    2. Yes, Mo, you put it exactly right: if I am content, am I complacent? Not just about art, but about everything? And your lost at sea dream...Gilligan's Island with musicians instead of The Millionaire and his Wife!

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  3. Love Mo's comments. I turned 60 last year and sighed a huge sigh of relief, it gave me a feeling of greater freedom to do what I want, follow my own dreams, not have to worry so much about other people. This has had a slight set back in my 30 year old daughter contracting ME, but I do intend to live my own life again as soon as I can.
    I think 60 is a point when you feel you can grow older, I don't feel old, gracefully or not as you please.

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    1. So true, Debbie. Of all the things I feel, old is not one of them. Almost childlike in how true everything is.

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  4. maybe it's that Developmental Stage. the one that is beyond "adulthood". maybe i
    might think of it as entering one's Personhood. so, childhood, adolescence, adulthood, Personhood. and i think in the stage of personhood, there gets to be a lot of ReView.
    Do i LIKE this?
    Why?
    What if i......?
    Maybe you really Would like getting that Big Stuff in the Marketplace of the World. Maybe you really Would. but maybe not. maybe it all was just something that you Assumed would be satisfying and worth whatever it took. Truth is, you always Can change direction and go back toward it. it's all there...waiting. Anyone can have it if they're willing to do what it takes to get it.
    a lot of questions.
    but i don't equate contentment with complacency. sometimes contentment allows the
    space for some Fine Tuning, some going deeper into everything.
    and the thing is that days=years. time goes by. if you spend some years achieving something, then you have SPENT time or, SPENT a life. so...i guess maybe that's what rises up too. you realize you are spending your Life.

    all interesting, huh

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    1. Oh I knew pretty early on that being Big wasn't worth the price, since after all these years the commodity I know I need above all else is my freedom. Sometimes I just get this burps, almost like being an adolescent girl, the way the changes move through me.

      What I love the most about what you wrote is that contentment gives you time to go deeper, to fine tune. To be, not to chase. That helps me alot, Grace.

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  5. Hi Julie, I've turned 60 in November...I am an old woman now (but I do not wear purple!). All the young teachers at my school could be my kids. And sometimes I see that funny Expression on their faces when they listen to me ranting and talking - well, the same expression I used to show when I was YOUNG and thought "what the heck is that old guy talking about?"
    Well, that's the way the cookie crumbles - and the good thing is, that I realize that I can step back, concentrate on the things I really want to do.
    During the last year I painted and stitched and felt so good - this year it's going to be even more painting and stitching.
    Have a great day,
    eva...not very busy today

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    1. And all that focus shows in your work, too.

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