While I’ve been making great progress in my fitness goals, my creative path had a few more bumps in it recently. I had been chugging along at The Artist’s Way, feeling pretty pleased with the habit of morning pages I was building and the first few artist dates I’d had.
And then…….the mean reds hit, and bad. I stopped wanting to write in the morning because I stopped wanting to be faced with whatever might spill out of my mind and across those pages. I stopped doing the tasks because they involve self-reflection, and I didn’t want to see what might look back.
But I kept exercising, and writing a few blog posts, baking, hanging with my daughters, chatting with my sister, and the other things that usually help me through it. I reread some comforting old favorite books and made some comfort meatballs. I gave a presentation at a faculty meeting that was received well, including praise and support for a project that took up a fair part of my fall semester and helped me build my leadership muscles. I kept thinking that I wanted to get back to my path, but just wasn’t ready.
Last Saturday evening, I took my girls to a party (with boys!) out in a suburb a good drive from our house and decided to hang out in the cafe at Wegman’s while I waited. I grabbed a book I’ve been reading (review soon), and on a whim, took along The Artist’s Way and the notebook I’d been using for my morning pages and tasks. I wheeled around the store with a cart for awhile, just mentally drifting, and then settled in at the cafe.
And I wrote. I took out that notebook and started a new piece, a personal essay that brought back old memories and wove them together with who I am today. I scribbled down page after page and already see where I’ll able to add more detail and nuance. It was an artist’s date after all, one that didn’t cost me anything or seem very special at the outset, but where I felt that surge, that sense of myself as a writer that had gone missing, buried in the mean reds in my mind.
It might not be Tiffany’s, but I think I’ll be revisiting that cafe soon, on a date with myself, finding my way back to my artist’s path.