Inspiring Enchantment & Illumination with Tarot & Intuitive Guidance

Excuses

Grandmother Frier © Carol Gerbing
I cannot count the good people I know who to my mind would be even better if they bent their spirits to the study of their own hungers.
— M.F.K. Fisher

Concluding our ruminations today on how we use our age and other methods to stay blocked, it is time to reconsider some of our painful old assumptions. In particular, we should be challenged to examine to what extent our creative choices (especially the failure to even try!) are being driven by our art-as-production-commodity mentality.

“We have,” she warns, “set an appropriate age on certain activities: college graduation, going to med school, writing a first book. This artificial ego requirement asks us to be done when what we truly yearn for is to start something.”

How often do we hold ourselves back from our secret longings, because we tell ourselves we are too old, too fat, too broke, too out of practice, or, worst of all, because it would make us look silly?

Personally, it’s like Julia is reading my mind, when she writes, “If these excuses are beginning to sound flimsy to you, good! Ask yourself if you haven’t employed a few of them. Then ask yourself if you can acquire the humility to start something despite your ego’s reservations.

“The grace to be a beginner is always the best prayer for an artist. The beginner’s humility and openness lead to exploration. Exploration leads to accomplishment. All of it begins at the beginning, with the first small and scary step.”

These excuses are indeed sounding pretty lame these days, at least to my own ears.

Are you beginning to see why there is all this emphasis on our artist dates, morning pages, and all the rest? For me, it’s because they have become a magical potion that has created an intense, unrelenting awareness of my inner artist child self.

In fact, at this point, I feel like I have a five or six year old tagging along everywhere I go, who is curious about everything I do, and mostly wants to play. And when I say no, I’d better have a good explanation. She is fairly reasonable, but I can count on her to whine, “But WHYYYYY?” if I am really making excuses.

She (with my morning pages, with my artist dates) does not let me get away with much. She sees right through my bullshit, which is extraordinarily uncomfortable at times, but so very necessary.

How about you?

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  • October 7, 2009, 1:28 pm Anita Joy

    My inner child artist is an enfant terrible; into everything. I have a dim memory of being scolded for being *cough* creative with my pooh. Could it be that the 'damage' was done in that moment I (we) chose a socially-inappropriate substance to be creative with? Which also carried the double-whammy of being taught that the products of our physical body were unacceptable – nigh nigh self-esteem.

    Just about every parent I know has a Picasso Pooh story about their child which is more often than not retold in a spirit of familiar teasing that ends up being an exercise in humiliation for the now grown-up junior Pooh Picasso.

    Just some thoughts from the far, far side of my Book of Shadows, Shades & Bamboo Blinds.

  • October 7, 2009, 3:01 pm Madeline

    Beth, as you know I am having a cycle of trial and tribulation which will, of course, lead to enlightenment,sooner or later!

    In the meantime, your weekly Tarot card continues to carry deep and accurate messages for me..

    AND I have been off and on with the creativity exercises on your blog (not the BEST way to do the artists way)–this week, allowing myself to rest into my creativity feels like a good strategy–

    Also–all the ideas about AGE.. very very pertinent to my thinking.

    Am I TOO OLD to create, TOO OLD to start a part time practice with my spouse, again TOO OLD to handle the stresses facing me..

    I am getting these "Entitlement" vibes –Like "I AM TOO OLD TO HAVE TO PUT UP WITH THIS.." INTERESTING–as if somehow, at a certain AGE we get a "REPRIEVE from lessons (NOT!)

    Using AGE as an excuse for doing or not doing ANYTHING is– not accurate!

    Till I get a blog of my own up and running again, will bask in the love and light of yours!!!!!!!