20 rules for dreamers

  1. There is no right answer.
  2. Start with options.
  3. Choose flow over force….
  4. …but force if necessary with value-driven action.
  5. The first two hours are a warm up.
  6. Anything can be done ten minutes at a time.
  7. Accept the possibility of making no progress, or a mistake, or a shitty first draft.*
  8. One thing at a time.
  9. Even the greats don’t know what they’re doing half the time.
  10. If you’re not facing your fear, you’re not working.
  11. Limitations are opportunities for creative solutions.
  12. This isn’t about feeling good.
  13. It’s about getting on with your life.
  14. Negative thoughts can be written down, tape recorded, or otherwise set aside so that you can get back to work.
  15. Leave room for what you can’t imagine.
  16. It doesn’t have to make sense.
  17. You don’t have to achieve anything.
  18. Final grades are based 50% on effort and 50% on self-honesty.
  19. It’s okay to take it slow.
  20. Make your own rules.

* See Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott.

what waits within

where is the grief
inside you living?

what waits within
like song inside a bird

what seizes your heart
in spasms of fear and glory
waiting, waiting
to be heard?

tell me, tell anyone, tell someone
even if only
in the faintest of whispers

until you touch the place inside
where grief melts into music.

to the artist of spirit

your art is the roots.

let it lie dark
and rich like the mud.

your breath
is your navigator.

show others the way through their breath
their limbs
their movements
make them like trees
make them bright as stars.

let go of “purpose.”
do it because it moves you.

someday is not your concern
for your time is now.

in time
your shallows shall swell
with the tide.

what you have so heavily resisted
shall become your bread and butter

and the heaviest burdens upon your back
shall become your ballasts.

go.
move.
it is the only way
if you are to light the way forward.

meet me there

we must experience suffering
to release it in the magic of creation.

that’s what real art
conveys:

this tension
this opposition
between what hurts us
& what moves us.

what touches us
& makes us catch our breath;

when life slows to a halt
& the message becomes clear;

when exhilaration gives way to exhaustion
& breathless reunion gives way to solitude:
meet me there.

it begins with a deep breath
and goes something like this….

the second phase of creation

your creations become something altogether different
once you expose them to air.
they oxidize
if you will
like blue blood turns red
when it breaches the skin
or reel of film blooms
in a dark room.
when your inner life is brought
to the light of day you are no longer
in control of what
it will become.

it no longer belongs to you.

you have relinquished ownership.

suddenly
it belongs to everyone
& transforms into something
unrecognizable.
it is natural to fear this process
if we consider the act of creation sufficient
in an of itself
but the truth is this is only
the first step.
we must have a sacred space 
to expose our beloved creations
to the light so they may become
what they were meant to be.
they must enter the second phase: 
surrender.