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NF-Lee's 3/4 Frodo sketch

Frodo's autumns: poems by jan-u-wine with paintings by Millet and Carlsen.

Posted on 2011.10.09 at 09:00


mariole at 2011-10-10 14:36 (UTC) (Link)
> I have lost my mojo

Yes, that's it, exactly. I used to spring out of bed because I couldn't wait to get started on my latest project. It feels as if my life has shrunk- I don't do that anymore, don't do much anymore except work. Even getting outside is getting less frequent. I love to hike, but the day job crowds it to the weekends, so it has to compete with my other activities plus weather. I really really really really really miss my home gig. An artist like me just doesn't do well trapped in an office with a bunch of boring office people. I just don't care! And so my life is shutting down. It grieves me.

I was born in St. Anthony village on the border of St. Paul and Minneapolis. I lived there 8 years. I have fond memories of Minnesota. My cousins still live there, way out in the countryside, and I visit them now and then. I'll never forget those crisp fall days, or the gentle warmth with which Spring would start its miraculous thaw.
mechtild at 2011-10-10 20:33 (UTC) (Link)
A Cities woman! (Although you weren't a woman then.) I'll be in that neck of the woods on Thursday, driving to the airport. I'll honk the horn in your girlhood's honour.

It feels as if my life has shrunk

Yeah. It's just like you're saying. Except that I only have a part-time job, so I haven't even the explanation of virtually no spare time. I've got spare time, not that I'm still not shirking work that needs to be done around here, but no zeal to put it to creative work that requires, well, zeal. I thought the appeal in Cameron's book was that it challenged readers like me to just do it. Write, make, even without zeal. Do it and the zeal will come ("Make believe you're brave/ and the trick will take you far/ you may be as brave as you make believe you are", as Oscar Hammerstein expressed a similar concept).
mariole at 2011-10-13 04:28 (UTC) (Link)
I didn't really get her asserting that zeal will come. The quote that stood out was, "I'll take care of the quantity, the Muse will take care of the quality." It was more like actually putting the rubber to the road, and not allowing oneself to be paralyzed by potential criticism (self or other) and fear.

But you're certainly correct when she says it can't become discipline-- discipline is short-lived, whereas love is what keeps you going. So I suppose that translates as zeal. :) The real trick is to find what you're zealous about. Have you tried doing the morning pages? It's a great way to clear out the garbage and discover some ideas that appeal to the timid inner artist.
mechtild at 2011-10-13 12:08 (UTC) (Link)
I need to read the section on morning pages again. I really didn't quite understand what they were supposed to be. Just start writing, stream of consciousness, whether it's "my leg itches i'm hungry the cats should be let out must check bulletin board cold will get sweater" or something that requires more thought. And she says don't reread them or keep them in one place, but later asks people to think about trends or themes in their morning pages. But if they haven't reread them or kept them, how can they remember them well enough to know? Or maybe that's one of those mystery aspects one must take on trust: "if you've been spilling your morning mental product every morning for weeks and months, you'll know what your recurring concerns and themes are, believe me, bub."

Zeal. By zeal it was what I had that you were talking about: couldn't wait to jump out of bed to get back to work on my story. Gee, that was great; more zeal than I've ever experienced in my life except religious conversion -- that tied, lol.
jan_u_wine at 2011-10-12 01:38 (UTC) (Link)
dear Mariole, I hope you will forgive me for busting in on your convo here. But I just felt quite sad when I read this. And yet, I know these feelings very well. It's difficult to work at ordinary *stuff*, isn't it, when you've so much inside...Forcing yourself *to* the ordinary just....breaks something within, or puts a wall up between you and the joy that is inherent in creating things of beauty.

The only comfort that I know, at all, is in believing that creative gifts do not vanish...they are not *gone*, only taking a wee respite, and that time and circumstance will bring their return.

On the inside panel of my writing desk is a card that a lady from the Tolkien Society sent me. I look at it when I feel especially mojo-less. It says, "no matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow".

May it be so for you, Mariole. You are a maker and a pursuer of beauty. You have more to say and I have no doubt that you *will* say it.

(btw, my folks come from MN, my father from Dover (near Rochester) and my mom from Osakis. I still have some cousins there, as well. I have loved each and every one of my visits)
mariole at 2011-10-13 04:32 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you so much for your kind note! I do try to think that I'm just slogging through some kind of fallow time, and that eventually a fertile patch will follow. But it's tough being fallow.

> Forcing yourself *to* the ordinary just....breaks something within

Precisely. It's like I'm internally screaming, "Get me out of here!" each time I enter the building. Fighting that emotion down is deadly to all emotion, at least to me. I can't seem to separate creative me from working me. It's all me, and when I'm unhappy and frustrated, it creeps into my creative life.

I greatly appreciate your wonderful words about me being a creator. I haven't been one for almost a year (time of my last story posting). I sincerely hope I find the thread. I feel as if I'm getting stronger, so there's hope!

> I have loved each and every one of my visits

Me, too. Minnesota still feels like home to me. :)
jan_u_wine at 2011-10-13 14:46 (UTC) (Link)
Yes, it IS tough being fallow....but nature allows the fields to be fallow so that they can regenerate and come back to full and beautiful growth. I think it is so with us....the pot is *simmering*, whether we feel it or not. Every experience, every moment means something, gets thrown into the mix. Eventually, there will be a moment that 'tips' the balance and the flood-gates will open again.

You *are* a creator. Then and now. It's going on, inside you....just dimmed and damped-down by other *stuff*.

I feel for you and *with* you. Writing is not the same for me,either, these days. I had a golden summer and now it is all-but winter. But I think that keeping your hand in, no matter if you have the emotional pay-off or not, is key. You have the skill-set. It is the pleasure you are missing, I think. Like all else in life (where pleasure has dimmed or disappeared), it may reappear. It may not.

In the end, what remains is Gandalf's question to Frodo:

what will you do with the time given you?

Write, because it is the best part of yourself, with the hope that it will become, again, the joy it was in the past? Or not write, and let the fallow field die off entirely?

Write. Write. And when you are done........


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