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Inward journey

I have come more to believe that all write a letter to the world. Our own individual letter. Maybe not everyone is driven by the need for personal expression, and the need to perfect that expression, but many are.

In the quiet snowed-in days I have experienced I have been alone with my own need often. Given these days, and my mind's rested state allowing me to work through my need, I have been able to think through my expressions and where I am.

I have a need to create. It is as strong as it ever has been, but because I have not had a specific vision, I have not created anything. I have been waiting and listening, every hour of every day, for a clue to my inner self.

Since I reconnected with that self a year ago, I have written very little. I am growing to realize more recently that this is because previously I was writing from my surface. I was writing reactively. My characters and stories were rising like dreamscape parades of the trials and torments of daily life, and of memories. I had thought that this was the ultimate way to write, that these visions tapped my deepest nature, until I started meditating.

I thought it might be that I couldn't write anymore because I was distracted by my new interest in new age spirituality, or that I had grown up, in the sense that others had expected me to conform to the worldly cares of a working existence and none other, and that I now had a career and a spirituality, and that was what I truly needed, though these thoughts were edged with deep pain and bitterness.

All of this might be true. This is the first moment I have had enough clarity to even write this through. I feel now that when I reconnected with my soul, when I understood and became my self that was neither male nor female, that calmly and lovingly observed the world, was deeply content with my place within that world, I realized that writing from my surface was writing from my specifically feminine sturm und drang reactionary self, that was tormented by the actions of others, or occasionally catapulted into bliss with the smile or kindness of a savior.

When I understood my self that was neither male nor female, when I remembered my state of being as a young child, I was no longer able to take pride in my intense passions and tribulations enough to sketch it onto a dreamscape any longer. I feared the time for creating was over.

However these days as I have meditated on this other self, which for a while was in part Jane, I realized that there is an enormous gulf which separates this inner self from my daily life. I have found items, ideas and objects in the past year that bring my inner self closer in my daily life. I have wanted to create to those specific movements or markets, specifically the Japanese styles gothic lolita, mori girl, or fairy kei, but I find something within those movements, an enforced homogeneity, which is the very death of that individual self. Yet I cannot separate myself from the fact that so many other people around the world are exploring these ideas out of the same impulse as myself, to take a journey back to that primal state of consciousness by surrounding themselves with the objects and clothing they experienced in childhood.

Last night, in the depths of the desperation that I often feel, after thinking hard all day and having nothing to show for it, another day over, I took some notes down on what I remember, and what transports me, from my own innocent world. What I wrote greatly satisfied me. It took the sting out of having to go to bed. It took away my feeling of impotence.

I realized the idea for my Etsy shop, The Yellow Apron. I believe I have my vision when I no longer think of whether something will sell, either my manuscript or my handmade items, because creating something that corresponds to my inner landscape is the point of what I am doing. As I have struggled for the past two days, I have come to feel that is what creativity actually is. It is when you lose the thread that connects you to the worldly, to the product, and you focus on your source with a sense of trust that what reflects you will also resonate with another person, and you will achieve communication, and the idea of money completely falls away.

I have realized that creativity is communicative, and it is also noncommunicative. It rises from a place of pain or emptiness within the self.

I have read material on writer's block. The writers of manuals insist that writer's block is your own fear of producing garbage. I could not disagree more. If I had followed their advice, and continued churning out the same kind of work, I would not have had the mental space to evolve. I rejected their advice and stopped writing, and started listening.
One experience I had yesterday was with time. Tuesday I was more task-oriented. I knew what I was going to make, a bracelet with colorful plastic beads, and I made it. Wednesday I struggled. I rearranged beads, observed colors and patterns, thought deeply. I forgot that I was looking at a kit of plastic beads from Target that cost $1, that was intended for a child to make a necklace, not for an adult woman to contemplate her inner depths. I looked at the clock, realized it was 2 p.m., and I freaked out. All I had done was embellish a mood ring and a pinkie ring. I had not made anything new. I felt remorse that I had wasted so much time doing something so pointless. That was a fleeting feeling. Then I spent the rest of the day thinking about that feeling.

Creating takes time, which is another thing that disconnects it from the world. The world requires timeliness. Trends require timeliness. Success requires timeliness, it really does. But for me creativity is not about success, and trends are its death. I identify with some trends, but the true artists I admire give affirmative thoughts to those trends, incorporate them into their work, but largely they are focused on their work, and when the trend wanes, their work will stand up.

I thought I had everything figured out, and after reading Tea and Crumpets, I fell asleep. I don't know how I would have a nightmare with material taken from a cookbook about tea time, but I did. I glimpsed the back cover photograph of the book's author Margaret Johnson. Perhaps I had a self-association with Johnson, because I am likewise an adult American woman with an interest in her Irish heritage.

One way or another, the main character of my dream was her, and also was myself. I dreamed of a party of adventurers in a deserted landscape. Within the party was a scientist. She may have been a microbiologist. She was around forty. She looked good, but she had a feeling of inner torment. She felt that life had passed her by while she had taken the well-trodden road and built her career. She felt now in the desert that she had nothing for herself. She was separated from the other members of her party, walking alone through a canyon. In the canyon she observed a horse being swung down on ropes, back and forth, like a trapeze spectacle. There were no apparent forces puppeteering the animal. It appeared alone, and it was obviously being abused one way or another.

She was filled with passion. She was going to find a way to save the horse, which was muscular and powerful, but unable to free itself from the ropes swinging it through the air. As she watched, the horse being out of her reach or ability to help, the animal clipped some of the ropes with its massive teeth. Immediately this jogged a machination which trapped the horse yet again, resulting in a different kind of swinging spectacle which was meant to be entertainment (though this was obviously practice). The scientist watched as the horse bit through rope after rope, and never ceased being restrained, and being swung through the air.

So that was my dream, and it was interesting. What it meant I don't know.

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