An old prompt from a couple hundred days ago…
Prompt # 108
I had stoop time with Emma today. She was glad I didn’t croak in the hospital. Me too. There were crows. People yelling. I got to hear about what she is doing and she heard my hospital saga. We talked more about sustaining our creative lives like we do. I like how we come back to that. It’s the touch point at the center of everything. It’s the koan we wrestle with. How do we do this writing and art and still survive. How do we keep ourselves in food and our bodies alive. How much writing is needed. How much air and food and rest. How do we find balance?
I got some great feedback from Susie Fought about balance in response to this writing:
When Emma and I do intense visual jouranling time, paint splashed hours can go by before we realize how hungry we are. We are not balanced at all. We work till we are falling over sideways with hunger and fatigue and that giddy laughter that happens when you aren’t balanced at all but having fun.
Susie said: the “balanced” thing can be seen in so so so so so many ways. “over doing it” on something that makes you giddy CAN be a part of the balance. actually IS absolutely part of the balance.
I have never thought about balance in this way. Even though we were tipped over into working too many hours and we forgot to eat and we got loopy we were pushing our way all the way into the art. All the way into the writing. And when we finally did eat our quesadillas stuffed with spicy beans and avocado and good cheese and salsa, that food was the best food ever. We ate it with all of our attention and settled into exhaustion once we were done. Even though we weren’t being balanced it was a kind of balance because we were claiming art and rolling around in it in ways that life doesn’t encourage us to. We did it like we are used to working hard in a paying job when there’s no time for lunch. The way life demands we behave all of the time, doing things to the exclusion of everything else only it’s never art.
I am liking this idea. Because what happened for us I think in those moments, what happened for me anyway was complex and rich. I was learning. I was playing with my child mind. I was writing and listening with my intuitive mind. I was diving into this joyful place where all that existed was creativity boiling up and spilling over.
So I’m still thinking hard about balance. Especially post hospital. I’m still feeling weird. So balance is precarious right now. I am requiring more rest. Staying close to home. Feeling raw and tender in all of my places where fear lives. I feel sandpapered and wicked scared of nothing I can make out but it feels like dark horses galloping over the horizon. I feel like the end of the world approaches and I’m looking in all directions. I’m in fight or flight even though they set me free from the hospital and the breast factory told me my breast is cancer free. I’m still terrified and I don’t know of what. I feel crappy and I don’t know why. I’m battling with cigarettes a little and I do know why. Because even though they don’t make my body feel better they make me feel more normal.
And maybe I can channel some of this terror into an art frenzy. A little tipping over into too much art and writing and creativity. Maybe I can sink all the way down into it and find my childlike joy again and new words for what is happening to me in this moment.
What about you? Where does your balance lie and what happens if you go and go and go into your own creative. Into paint or words or clay or visual journaling. What happens if you make extra time to dive all the way in. Have some food nearby but see if you can tip yourself over into that other out of balance that we need I think. To make, at least for a little while, art the most important thing. Try it on. See what happens.
bones and ash,
the roots of weeds
Drunk on music,
who needs wine?
let’s go dancing
still got feet.