Some days the line can feel sharp as a razor’s edge, in fact.
Like walking a tightrope in the sky, strung up across two high-rise buildings. (One might imagine. I mean, we’re artists not dare devils. Or are we?)
As artists and creative critters, we walk a line between love and ego with every piece we create.
If we dare to create the work we deeply want to create – the kind that screams to be let out but also scares the hell out of us for risk of exposing too much of our fragile selves – that line can cut like a hot knife down the center of our insides.
It’s a cut that can feel like it’s opening us and killing us at the same time.
It kind of feels like a punishment instead of a help when you are in the midst of what seems like a major existential crisis and the only slim advice you get is “relax” or “it will all be okay” or “the universe has your back.”
It feels like you’re bloody (bloody, tho?) doomed, in a way, when you’re bombarded with these disjointed pop-spiritual messages that sound as though all you have to do is simply fit in to an angel-cookie-cut-out version of the higher truth or plug-in to some secret code for self-love that everybody else seems to have figured out but you.
One of the things I rail against is being told how it is, how it has to be, how it’s always been. I’m not interested in being force-fed (or force feeding anyone else, frankly) a slew of complicated systems or beliefs or rules. I want, desire and actively seek out a spiritual connection that works.
That’s why when I delve into spiritual (and creative) study / reading / practice / action, I consciously try to be sure I approach with a mindset of willing openness, of loving curiosity, of a strange sort of reverent playfulness.
Incredibly, there’s still a lot of noise on the interwebs about being “authentic” and “keeping shit real” in our lives, in our work, in our relationships, in our swim suits, in our Instagram galleries.
(By the way, whomever started #nofilter, I’m starting #damnrightitsfiltered. If I wanted everything to look like it does on any given pimple-faced Wednesday I’d still be wearing jelly bracelets stacked to my elbows and using those trashable wind-up cameras from the 90’s while getting way over excited that they take pictures underwater now! Stop it. Everything should look like a classic black and white Humphrey Bogart film.)
Of course, some of the noise about keeping shit real comes from yours truly, mind you, so the irony that I’m calling us out on it is not lost on me. Smug-Allison-Marie is even a little proud of that noise because it’s important noise to be making (she believes).
But somewhere amidst the chaotic weirdness of $5 selfie-sticks and $zilliondollar celebrity, we seem to have confused “being real” with being loud, obnoxious, rude, disrespectful, ignorant, and in an obscene number of cases . . . NOT REAL.
So two things right off the top: #1 I’m not talking about jealousy in this post (WTF?) and #2 I’m fully aware that exactly no one wants to talk about shit like this (hence the trickery, but let me explain).
Shit like what, you may well demand to know since I’ve just confessed to the old bait-and-switch title of a blog post which may or may not land me on the wrong side of the tracks with WordPress / Google / Nick Jonas.
It turns out that although we most often think of ourselves as struggling with jealousy (where did you even come from, Nick Jonas?) what we actually struggle with, technically, is envy.
“In this country, we use the words “jealousy” and “envy” as synonyms but they are not. Envy is the feeling of wanting what someone else has. The linguistic root is from the Latin invidia which is connected to the modern word ‘invidious.’ Jealousy is the feeling of wanting to protect what is yours. The linguistic root is from the Latin zelos which is connected to the modern word ‘zealous’.”
But the thing is, no one Googles envy for the same reason no one Googles sloth. (If you do though? The “medium-sized mammal” comes first with adorable photos; the “deadly sin” comes in second. Go figure.)
Lazy sounds like a thing we should probably work on but also feels like fuzzy socks. Sloth sounds like one of both of us should be roaming ancient Jerusalem sacrificing our livestock when shit hits the proverbial fan.
Hello, gorgeous – would you come closer for a sec? Sssshhh come come come closer closer closer . . . I have a secret to tell you.
Oh. Yes. ;)
Actually, I have 43 secrets. (*politely checks wrist where watch would be if anyone wore watches anymore now that Fitbits are apparently every sick thing in an ever-expanding arsenal of sick digital things all diligently calculating a million new ways to remind me that I haven’t done enough today*)
Don’t sweat it though, babe, these secrets are fast and they are powerful if you listen tight.
You see, secret friend, I have been secretly working up to this secret blog post, secretly, over the past secret six weeks.
As in: drenched and soaked and sealed and locked in secret. Total sexy punk wizardry; total ninja stealth warrior hidden in plain sight.
You know how some people have to clean their entire kitchen / office / living room / patio / house / dog house / bird house / neighbor’s house before they will finally just sit down and start doing their creative work?
I’m not one of those people. (Nor do these people ever seem to live next door to me, proving that no good will ever come of this kind of neurosis.)
I can write with a messy kitchen / teetering piles of papers / tipping stacks of half-read books / vases full of but-they’re-so-arty-though dead flowers / unwashed dishes (… you guys can’t actually see me, right?) doing their unkempt thing all around me.
I can write through the Apocalypse. (Done it, actually – see how that turned out here. Spoiler alert.)
You’ll either find this to be the toughest or the easiest thing in the world to do.
If things get brilliantly bizarre – which they totally might so, I beg of you, please don’t rule that crazy goodness out – you’ll find it to be both at the same time.
There’s a lot of noise right now about resolutions and this new year being the most “fucktabulous” or whatever the latest punchy catch word is but experience has proven that until the year actually ends itself, there’s no sure way to tell what in the confetti is about to drop.
A proper year takes its grand old time undressing and I don’t know about you but I can’t wait that long to see if when I turn around my life in retrospect had been fuckalicious. I mean, who could possibly predict how many other fucksational ways we’ll have come up with to use curse words on kitschy cocktail napkins by then ( . . . wait for it . . . ).
But there is something that could rock your world right this minute even if the rest of the year falls to hell in a fiery hand basket. Continue reading →