Saturday, March 6, 2010

What is Daily Work?

[image from S.A.E.N. website] It varies. This morning my work included realizing, at 6:00 a.m., that I couldn't get back to sleep, getting up, meanwhile noticing my tendency to dislike this - to think "not enough sleep" and predict a tired, ragged morning. Well, what's that but approaching the moment with an expectation. I liken this to looking through a big cast-iron construct we used to call monkey bars, or a cage.

And then, what's so awful about being tired - or have I said that before? I remember Pema Chondron in one of her books saying, Sometimes it seems we have a preference for darkness and speed. Preferring speed I can relate to. Getting somewhere, whoosh, zip. And of course, knowing where you're going. I have been in a very creative space for the past two weeks, almost hyperenergetic some days. This led to a lot of writing. I love this space, that feeling, my brain always alert to pick up another thread for the story, to understand what I'm writing from a different angle. Then there's the hope that this will be a good story, that someone will want to publish it. Hope is a thing with feathers that bites you. I leave it up to you just what part of the anatomy it bites.

Yet this morning things are coming to me to say "Slow down," like the term Wu Wei on a website. Chill out. The blogger hadv reminded me the other day that doing nothing is a good vice to cultivate. Is this that moment? even as I am fascinated by studying "The Arc of the Story," and asking myself, is that arc really the same for women's fiction? Or is the concept that "a story is a war" inherently masculine? Isn't it dualistic?

I love to think about ideas like this - narrative theory was my specialty - but is this a time to sit back instead? To pull myself away from the screen and the book and the cloud of the story I'm writing that is gathered near my head like a thought balloon that rises from a cartoon character's head, and . . . just sit?
p.s. Yes, it was.

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