Tuesday, August 12, 2014

It's Time for August Moon 2014

It's that time of year - time for the August Moon...

Which means it's time for daily writing prompts hosted by Kat McNally from "I Saw You Dancing" and the prompts will be just as juicy as last year...

And I will be writing a day behind, like last year, due to the time zones between Australia and America!

Which means I will likely be writing about the daily prompts in groupings, like I'm about to do today...be sure to grab a favorite cuppa because this is a LONG post!

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This year, the writing prompts are being delivered straight to my email, instead of checking in at "I Saw You Dancing" and what I'm enjoying about it this year is that the emails have a little more detail to help me dive in/dig deep into the prompts as they arrive. The first three prompts I've been given so far are:


Lets see what I will do with these prompts...

"share what you want to explore over the next two weeks. In particular, consider the crossroads at which you find yourself, in any aspect of your life"

Let me start with the crossroads:

I am depressed...
  • Depressed about my lack of income, despite my efforts at making a creative career take form
  • Depressed that my workshop offerings at my local community college adult education department have yet to yield a single student and the workshops are cancelled before they even begin
  • Depressed about my lack of a functional studio space
  • Depressed that my lack of a functional studio space means I lack a teaching space too
  • Depressed about getting rid of/giving away so many of my own belongings when I moved to a new home at the beginning of the year
  • Depressed about living in a space that, while MUCH nicer than my old digs, has very little of 'me' to feel at home in
  • Depressed about people on the fringe of my life whose nasty, self-absorbed behavior nags in my memory so much it makes me angry
  • Depressed that these 'fringe-dwellers' will remain in my life due to 'family ties', whether my own or someone else's...

I am depressed...but I've been here before and I know the drill...

Some of these issues have been tucked away and some of these issues I manage to ignore until certain times of the year come around, but lately, many of these issues nag at me so much that it drives me miserable and I sense it is blocking me from financial abundance.

Now, having been at this crossroads before means I have tools to work around these issues, but I also have more tools than before to attempt to work THROUGH these issues...

And yet...
  • And yet, these tools are not exactly providing the strength and fortitude I need to move forward in my life, hence, my overwhelming feeling of being BLOCKED
  • And yet, I can't help but think of how long I have managed to keep pushing through it all and functioning enough to earn a living - until now...
  • And yet, I can't help the nagging feeling that maybe this IS my karma, that I will ALWAYS be surrounded by nasty self-absorbed people, and that FINANCIAL ABUNDANCE is not for me, not in this lifetime
This is the crossroads I find myself at - in need of yet more change in my life, but feeling too overwhelmed to tackle it alone and alone it must be because no one else can do this work for me.

I would love for my intention to be this:

To rid myself of my angry feelings towards those who have been nasty and selfish to me so I can move forward in my life

But I think the best intention I can manage is this:

My intention is to continue with my creativity AND to search the company of other creative souls, because I know that those who serve their creative impulses are people of kindness, generosity and humor, things I need in my life right now since I'm having trouble remembering how to treat MYSELF with kindness, generosity and laughter

"what is it that you do now? Tell us what fills your weeks, days and hours"

My daily schedule is a troubled one these days. Once upon a time, I was able to work WITH Time, but these days, Time eludes me and Time is a tricky devil that greets me every morning.

Kat made a wonderful suggestion in her daily email to 'spend five minutes each Friday morning making a list of everything I’d done during the week" as a way to more easily 'locate the themes that are emerging from my list' and discover 'what is missing'.

I have yet to make the list since this prompt came at me on a Sunday, but I will definitely put this into action at the end of this week to see what discoveries I make. In the meantime, I do know a few things that find regular time in my weekday and here they are:
  • A morning walk most days (despite an Achilles injury I sustained a few months ago)
  • Watering the plants in the Garden Patio after the morning walk so they get water before the day gets hot
  • Breakfast in my 'reading nook' reading books from the library and I have a few in rotation!
  • Sewing work or some creative work making books or mail art postcards
  • Dealing with the dishes and loading the dishwasher - this is the first time I've lived in a place that has one of these, so it's pretty new to me!
  • Some house cleaning, vacuuming or laundry
  • Late afternoon lunch after whatever work/house cleaning I've been doing, which is always accompanied by a new or favorite movie
  • Evening shower before my dear boyfriend arrives home from work - my transition from day into evening
  • Watching favorite shows on Comedy Central with my dear boyfriend before going to sleep - good laughs help me end my day on a positive note!
The weekends are rather haphazard but always spent with my dear boyfriend and I can count on one or all of these to take place:
  • Breakfast out at least once during the weekend
  • Dinner out at least once during the weekend
  • A trip to a garden shop
  • Antique shops or flea markets
  • A fun movie
  • Home cooked dinner made by my dear boyfriend every Sunday night
Just looking at these lists, I think I see some patterns emerging...I'll ponder this and come back to it!

"What do you love? Look at your CD or vinyl collection, bookshelves, magazine subscriptions, Netflix choices, your DVD library, the shows you tend to record...What sorts of themes can you detect? What do you tend to be drawn to?"

This line of questioning is pretty easy to answer...

MUSIC: REM, Joni Mitchell, Beatles; Alternative Latin, Nortec Collective; Classical with an emphasis on classical guitar and featuring favorite composers Mozart and Leos Janacek; favorite movie soundtracks like "Amelie", "Chocolat", "Midnight In Paris" (all with a French theme, I'm realizing!) but above all else, JAZZ...

BOOKS: many, many craft books, with a heavy lean toward Book Arts - making books, whether traditional or art-full/altered, art journal books for healing or celebrating vintage goods, lots of knitting books and a few mail art books; I also have biographies, books on the African American experience, some cookbooks that focus on the art of Tea and lately books borrowed from the library are books on French culture or social/cultural studies such as "Talk Like TED", but lately, I've been collecting books on flowers and botanical prints...

MOVIES: in my personal collection of DVDS, there is a heavy lean toward Costume Dramas, some romantic comedies and movie musicals and there are Pixar animated films bought by my dear boyfriend knowing how much I like them; in my Netflix queue are foreign films (again, mostly French!), more costume dramas, more romantic comedies, some animation and an old favorite tv show (I'm currently going through 'Frasier'!)

COLLECTIONS: this is hard since many of my collections are still packed away but one of them comes to mind - my collection of carved wood blocks for printing fabrics...

ARTWORK: again, difficult to answer since I have yet to hang a single thing in the new place, but most of the art I hung in my old place were life drawings made by me; a print of a young 'Dickensian' girl surrounded by books and French words; photos of peonies or artful calendars with colorful artwork by artists I admire...

'Say someone found all of this evidence many years after you’d gone: what conclusions would they draw about the things/ideas/people you loved?'

Now THAT is an interesting question and I'd say a tricky one to answer but I think the conclusions to be made by what I love to read, listen to or watch could be this:

She was a woman who was interested in the past and the present, yet was excited about what lay ahead in the future. A woman who surrounded herself with color, beautiful music, and beautiful objects. A woman who loved to learn about the world around her and to learn about the people in that world. A woman who loved to exercise her brain by reading, knitting or by creating artwork. She was a woman who was meant to live in PARIS!! ;)

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A warm thanks for stopping by and reading through my entire blog post! I hope you enjoyed my musings today. If you are interested in joining the fun, stop by Kat's blog to sign up for the writing prompts for August Moon. You are welcome to participate in any way you wish, whether by writing publicly or just in your personal journal!

Be sure to stay tuned for more August Moon writing in the days to come!


Deborah Weber said...

Glad to have found my way here via the August Moon to have a peek into your world. I think your intention is brilliant and far more likely to bring you sparkly delights and creative inspiration than you'd manage with the first one.

Anonymous said...

I cheer you on as I have been in this angry place before. It is hard to feel that burning inside, knowing these "fringe dwellers" (such a perfect name for them) are there -- like dementors -- waiting to swoop in on you. I'm sending all my love and encouragement to you, and wish I could take your workshop!

Anonymous said...

I love your intention - so hopeful and generous. I wish you the very best with it

(And hurrah for jazz and Paris!)

Beverley Baird said...

have found you through Kat's August Moon. Love youor openness, honesty and bravery. Al the best with your intention. Very powerful indeed.

Kat McNally said...

Beautifully done, Monica! Of course, I am not surprised, as you always soar to the challenge.
You and I will meet in Paris for an aperitif some day, my friend. That's a promise. x