rejection

So I get a rejection notice today for some music I had hoped to sell.

After the flat, crushing disbelief, I pick up the pieces of my shattered self and retire behind a huge wall. If they don’t want me, I don’t want them, I say to myself. I’ll never try to sell my music again.

It takes a while for the emotional shock to wear off enough so I can think and feel okay again. And this is a fairly minor rejection, in that my food and shelter do not depend upon making this sale. It’s not a public humiliation. No one except Nick knows that I submitted my stuff, and that it wasn’t good enough.

But as thinking returned, I began to wonder why I had submitted my music to this particular organization. The thing is, I feel so outside the general population and the way it seems to work, that it amazes me to think why I should hope that that world would want my productions. I not only don’t believe in many of the ways North America behaves, I believe they’re wrong. Entertainment media becoming more and more shocking in order to win ears and eyeballs for advertisers who want people to buy things they can’t afford and don’t need, to fill the already overstuffed pockets of a few multi-billionaires while most of the world starves. Wanton destruction of earth and air and water. Deliberate forsaking of quiet truths to build up scientific narrow-mindedness. Why would I care that an organization that plays by those rules does not want my personal, emotional, musical contributions? It makes no sense.

I’m lucky that I have a full time day job so I don’t have to make my art conform. I’m not going to starve if no one wants it. Deep down though, I want to communicate my thoughts and feelings, so I do want an audience. But there again, I have found people here and there who listen and appreciate what I’m doing.

Every time I think I can produce something that will sell, and I try to conform to my inner guide saying this is what people want because this is what sells right now, I flounder in a morass of helpless despair. Because that’s not really what I want to say. And when I say, or write, or draw, or photograph what I really want, no one, or at least very few, want to buy it.

I think I’m still waiting for parental approval that might come only if I can show that someone appreciated my work enough to pay for it. And I think finally, my eyes are opened enough to say fine, I’m not going to get parental approval. I’m never going to get parental approval. But I can enjoy my work, enjoy the process of producing my work and that’s what life really is about. No point in spouting my ideas about the true meaning of life, and then sneaking out the back door to secretly beg for handouts from the organizations and processes I’m criticizing.

So enough. I’m going to keep playing my music for me, and those who are interested, and make my own drawings and jewellery and photographs and whatever, and not worry about trying to market them.

Says I, so bravely, today, still dreaming of someone three hundred years from now finding my stuff and exclaiming, “Boy, she really had something there!”…

#rejection #rules of the game #creativity #approval #selling

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life after life

Nick and I have been looking at stories of near death experiences (lifeafterlife.com,nderf.org). They are quite moving, and I find they offer reassurance about what comes after death. I haven’t experienced it, so of course I don’t know, but I find it really puzzling why those who have don’t talk more about caring for the environment.

There are thousands of stories out there, and we’ve only heard a few. Maybe those who feel able, and who choose to speak about what happened have different goals. I understand many people who have died and come back feel the experience is too private to talk about, or that they just don’t have the words to explain. For those who have spoken, though, it’s hard for me to see why they don’t speak out more about loving our planet. Many are shown how intertwined we are with living things. Knowing how urgent are the problems of how we treat animals, the planet and each other, I’m very curious why more of these NDE’ers don’t speak out against the abuses the human race perpetrates.

It’s possible the problems are so overwhelming that they feel helpless. I’m wondering, too, if one is the kind of person that doesn’t recognize these issues when one is alive, then going through death may not be enough to create awareness. Maybe for each person there are other more important issues.

It’s possible we just haven’t come across enough stories yet. It’s also possible, I suppose, that it really doesn’t matter, that polluting our air and water, mistreating our animals and using up the earth’s resources doesn’t matter, because maybe it’s all an illusion.

But as many of the NDE’ers talk about love and the overriding importance of love, how can we not be guided into showing more love towards our location and our neighbour creatures?

Maybe caring for the planet really isn’t as important as caring for humans. But if that’s the case, humans breathe air, need water, need food. How can it not matter that we are rapidly putting these necessities out of reach?

#near death experience #questions #love

restart

Just because I came up with an important realization did not make the writing go perfectly easily this morning.

Even though I had renewed energy and motivation, and even though I knew that I’m perfectly capable of writing and writing well, I still had to deal with the nuts and bolts of the piece I’m working on. I have to discover the environment of my piece, decide what the location really looks like and how it works with the characters. And that necessitated a fair bit of gazing out the window, drinking tea, rearranging pencils, and generally trying to stay focused enough and disciplined enough to work a few things out.

So not a lot of words got written this morning, but I did get one or two ideas solidified. The most important thing I think, was that I felt like trying. I felt up to the challenge and attempted to write, instead of finding some other worthier distraction, like doing the dishes.

But I haven’t yet gotten back to that place where the words flow on and on until I feel that sense of release that comes from a sudden insight.

Here’s hoping tomorrow’s work goes even better.

#writer’s block #recovering #nose to the grindstone

blocked again

Working hard on a piece of fiction, and by working hard I don’t mean pounding the keyboard for hours non-stop. Instead, I mean wrestling with my internal demons preventing me from actually putting words on the page.

I sip my tea, look out the window, examine the ends of my hair, look out the window, turn on some background music, read what I wrote yesterday for the seventh time, think about the characters, wonder why one of them doesn’t fit the way she should, drink my tea, look out the window….

Part of me is just so angry. Why can I not just type my 500 words and have done? I worry I don’t know where the plot is going, that maybe there isn’t a plot, that the characters haven’t been described enough, that the location is too boring. In fact, apart from a nice beginning, I wonder why I have the nerve to think there’s a story here.

Relief came with one of those intense conversations with Nick. I realized I’ve been struggling with a part of me that is trying to prevent myself from writing. I finally saw how I was feeling inadequate and incompetent, unskilled and unworthy every time I sat down at the computer. It’s familiar territory, though, and once I recognized I was under a kind of emotional attack, I could see a way forward.

With a little kindness and compassion for myself, a couple of helpful insights from Nick, one little twist to the plot and suddenly the fun returned. I can see a way to help the characters along so we can all discover the story together.

Phew. Another storm weathered. Hope the forecast stays good for a while.

#writers block again #creativity #emotional block #writing

whether to eat

At the health food store where I work, the most popular supplements, bar none, are for weight loss. It’s on everyone’s mind, women and men alike. When Dr. Oz suggests some new pill-based approach, we get waves and waves of slightly embarrassed, hopeful and even desperate inquiries.

This morning, in his newsletter, Dr. Mercola offers an intermittent fasting idea that grabbed my attention, for yes, I, too, long for an easy weight loss solution. The interest in the paleo diet spawned this particular approach where you fast every other day. As I contemplated actually trying this, a growing unease finally registered.

Here I sit, in the midst of a world where so many people don’t have enough to eat that I hear radio commercials from the US government asking the already impoverished middle class (what’s left of it) to give charitable donations to help hungry American children. This is completely aside from, and additional to, the requests to help alleviate Third World hunger.

With climate changes already underway, our store has noticed drastic decreases in the availability and increases in price of spelt (poor crop last year), pine nuts (insect invasion), almonds, walnuts, and raisins (California drought and fires). So the thought occurred to me, fasting intermittently would be a good thing because I would save money because I wouldn’t be eating as much.

This has got to be crazy.

The point of civilization, I thought, was to learn to live together compassionately. Share the work and share the wealth. Water, air, earth – these are resources of the planet. And here I sit, knowing there is more than enough, very much more than enough, money in the world to easily arrange for a guaranteed minimum income for all. There’s more than enough food in the world to guarantee no one need starve.

It is 2014.

I’m part of a species that hypnotizes its haves into giving up its basic human right to eat, and its have-nots into deeper despair.

#diet #paleo #hunger #charity #income gap

a new start

It’s a relief to have started a piece of writing after facing a blank screen, procrastinating, and attempting a number of false starts.

It was hard to get past the critical voices… “No one cares about that” “Been done before” “Why bother”…yadda yadda.

I finally began a piece of fiction, just for me, I tell myself, and I’m enjoying it! I’m loving the imaginative work of trying to understand a character instead of making them say what I think they should say. It’s fun and surprising to listen quietly and hear dialogue that doesn’t seem to come from me. And although I think I have a sense of direction, it’s exhilarating when the characters themselves seem to take me in unexpected directions.

It’s been a very long time since I’ve written fiction and, having emerged a bit disoriented from the fastest half hour with my new characters, I’m wondering why I’ve not done this more often!

I feel somehow nourished by this new world. By giving it voice I’ve somehow given myself a connection with another universe that enhances mine. I find myself thinking about these new friends during the day, hearing them comment and enjoying them.

Long may this feeling last!

#writing #fiction #beginning #imagination

mowing the lawn

Another sunny morning and my optimism returns.

We use a manual mower to deal with the grass our never-ending front yard. Yes, it feels like more work than the electric mower but it’s so much more enjoyable. I don’t have to wear ear protectors. A friendly woman walking her dog actually spoke to me and we had no problems exchanging pleasantries while I continued mowing.

push lawnmower

I don’t feel that annoying thrum through my whole body. And because I’m wearing moccasins (without inserts), I’m getting my #earthing time as I walk with the mower.

The grass doesn’t get cut as ruthlessly evenly when using a power mower. But I temper my perfectionist aspirations knowing that the satisfaction I get from seeing a regimentally-cropped lawn is nowhere near as great as the satisfaction I feel knowing I had enjoyed myself while creating the more tamed-looking yard. I heard the birds, felt the brush of the warm, fresh breeze and left the perky wild strawberry blooms to live out their moments in the sun.

Truth be told, I’d rather be reading, beading, drawing, writing, playing music, eating or sleeping! But if I have to mow, this is really not a bad way of spending the time.

#lawn-mowing #manual #quiet