Tiny Coconut

I have things.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

No Time For Streaming

I've been journaling, these past couple of months. On paper. With a pen. (It's beyond embarrassing to realize how far I, a writer, have strayed from the actual physical act of writing rather than typing. Suffice it to say that I spent the second week of my journaling with my arm in a brace, popping Advil, and complaining a lot. A lot.)

The journaling is part of the 'program' set out by Julia Cameron in The Artist's Way, which I am apparently the last person on earth to have heard about. I'm going through the book with a group of women from an online writing group, which is keeping me semi-honest.

But here's the thing: The journaling--a.k.a. Morning Pages, which consists of three handwritten pages every morning--is supposed to be stream of consciousness, an emptying of your mind of all its clutter so that you can go through the rest of your day open to creativity and not bogged down by minutia. At least that's how I interpret it. But stream of consciousness doesn't really, well, stream when you wind up interrupting yourself to make pancakes, put a bandaid on an ouchie, listen to your husband's recitation of the day's top headlines...you get my drift.

Seems to me that creativity--not just stream-of-consciousness journaling, but many if not all kinds of creativity--requires a level of selfishness that isn't quite compatible with being the kind of parent I strive to be. As it is, I carve out "me" time as often as I can, yet this endeavor asks me to carve out even more. I wonder if it is possible--or, rather, if I'll resent it ultimately, as it takes me away from my other loves.

Now that I think about it, maybe I'm just defining creativity too narrowly. Maybe I should give more credence to the creativity inherent in parenting--in making up stories to pass the time in a traffic jam, in coming up with fun things to do with a shoebox and dried beans, in devising discipline methods that fit within your basic parenting framework and at the same time accomplish whatever you deem necessary. All of that should count for something, shouldn't it?

Maybe I'd be able to consider this more closely if I didn't have to go help N figure out his new computer game, and then drive Em over to a Valentine's party. My consciousness stream, she is meandering once again...

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