Lights on a Path

I’m nearing the end of Week 2 of The Artist’s Way, a workbook for creative recovery. Today, I am letting myself blog.

Writing to the public web feels like an act of faith. The Internet can be flat, cold, and textual. People can be cruel. For all the progress in technology, there’s not much warmth from the cloud. I need faith in readers that are generous and kind. It’s a high standard.

I do feel warmth from some corners of the web. Sometimes Instagram is warm and glows with the heartbeats of warm people. Cute otters can float at the Vancouver aquarium into your subway commute. Sometimes humble hearts bless others on the Facebook. Twitter can feel redeemed with the chatter of healed souls.

But mostly, I need faith in readers on the other end of the web. I need faith to shine my soul’s small light. Upon the receipt of said light, there may be scoffing and mocking. But my light needs to glow enough to exist in the fray.

In the twelve-week way, Julia Cameron sprinkles lights on a path to becoming an artist. Let your small artist voice come to the surface. Like the recovering addict, you need to reconnect with your soul. She affirms the creativity within, which is a source of what comes out.

In the weekly exercises, she says that I should list twenty things I enjoy doing. Then she says, pick “two favorite things that you’ve avoided.” (p. 57). She continues, “[W]e are trying to win you some autonomy with your time. Look for windows of time just for you, and use them in small creative acts.” (Id.)

At the end of my twenty things, I wrote, “blog.” It takes a focused window of time to write coherently. But today it’s worth the effort, at least for Week 2. (I haven’t selected my other favorite thing yet, it’s still being avoided).

So, I’m letting my words bounce freely. Let them out to a personal blog. My words can float with no response, that’s just fine. Who knows who is out there, they may not have healthy hearts or souls. They may be trolls under bridges. They may be “blocked artists” or “shadow artists” who feel “missed purpose and unfulfilled promise.” (p. 28–29). Maybe they prefer to tear down what is bravely built up.

But as a recovering artist, I believe human hearts can be redeemed. Hearts as seen on the Internet are only a sliver of what is beating within. It’s worth it to let some of my words go, if only to make progress for my own artist’s way.

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