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Friday, February 12, 2016

Weeks ThreeFourFive

I am still on track with the Artist's Way but broke the rules and pushed fast-forward button.

Week Three was uneventful...did the tasks, wrote the Morning Notes, watched a subtitled French Movie in the quiet of my bedroom for my Artist Date.  I forget the name of it, as it was that forgettable.
Week Four, I did the notes, tasks, and I took myself to an exhibit at the Museum called Between the Covers : Altered Books in Contemporary Art.  I was there for 2 hrs and 25 minutes, and for all but 5 minutes of it I was alone...alone with Book Art!!!  BLISS.  The artists are brilliant and talented and I wish I could have photographed the pieces.  Some of the highlights were : Stones made of books, a quilt made of children's book pages, mobiles, an Einstein bust, a mountain range that melted into a prairie, carved encyclopedias and dictionaries, a hammer handle, flowers made from fabric book spines, "those" magazines literally swept under a rug with more socially acceptable thinking books stacked on top,  a desk and chair made out of books.  And so many more.  I will probably go back with Sunshine Girl. She is never without a book and is pretty damn creative, so she would really love this.
I have been taking a calendar week approach to this ~ Sunday to Saturday.  But the Week Three Sunday was dicey.  Not enough solitude on Sundays.  So Week Four I started on Monday.  My intention was to shift to Monday through Sunday for the weeks, but after starting Week Four a mere 5 days ago, I already started Week Five yesterday.  Why?  I failed miserably at the biggest task on Week Four.  I will tell you what it was in a moment and how I plan to recover the task and do it for real this week.  Or one of these upcoming weeks anyway.
Julia Cameron (who created the Artist's Way) talks about synchronicity in every chapter and it has been very apparent in my life.  Any thought I tell someone or put on paper ~ thoughts about what kind of work I want, what old leisure activities I miss, the tasks for the Artist's Way ~ seem to pop up in my life in what could be tangible events.  It is interesting to see how it will all unfold.
So back to the Week Four Failure ~ I had planned since early January to go the Altered Books exhibit this Monday.  I was astounded when Monday rolled around and there was no mishaps to sidetrack me.  Before I left the house, I read the Week Four Chapter.  Well Hell.  The biggest task of the week was that she said NO READING FOR A WEEK!!!!!  No books, magazines, newspaper articles, on line reading, letters, emails.  If it has words, turn away for one solid week.  I was moments from going to an Altered Books exhibit!!!  WTFriday?!  Well, I wouldn't be READING the books, just looking at the sculptures they became, so I could lead myself into this temptation and still come out clean.  Three artists in and I realized I was reading every sign.  Crap.  I WAS reading.  And promised myself I would not read anything from the moment I left the museum and for the next 7 days.  The museum is in a park, so I took a walk after the exhibit...and read every damn sign I came across.  Then that night, I found four articles on line that I just HAD to read.  By Tuesday morning, I was ready to rally and avoid reading, but I read on the treadmill and told myself, "It's just poetry.  Julia said to get back to what you loved and miss."   Then that night, while I was killing time when Sunshine Girl is in choir and I usually read for 2.5 hours while I wait,  I took a walk in what is/was the mall (it's almost dead).  I stumbled on an express library that also had books for sale.  So guess where I spent those 2.5 hours?!?  And of course I purchased two books before leaving.  Wednesday brought many more articles that had to be read in the name of good parenting.  And Thursday, I woke up utterly defeated and decided to move on to Week Five (which of course meant more reading).  So Miss Julia telling me not to read threw me into a frantic readeverythingmyeyescanpossiblytoucheventhelabelsonclothing.  I am hoping to incorporate the Do Not Read into Week Five, though I did fail again last night.  So maybe Week Six?  And maybe (excuse time!) if it wasn't winter I would not miss reading so much.  I could plant the veggies, kayak, walk outside, fish, use my workshop.  Her thoughts were if you weren't reading, you would be cleaning out the closets, painting the bedrooms, de-cluttering, exercising, cooking...ya know...my REGULAR EVERYDAY.  So I guess I was resentful that the one luxury I have everyday was being taken away from me.  As I write this out, I have no fucking clue if I will go a week with no reading.



Vermont, 2015
not reading, just listening

8 comments:

Bobbie said...

How in the world is someone supposed to go through an entire week without reading?!??? Are you supposed to go into the office and say, "Sorry, boss, Julia says I can't read this week"?

All of that aside, the exhibit sounds fantastic!

Christine Altmiller said...

Bobbie - she addressed that!!! How we can avoid reading even at work because the nature of our beast is procrastination. I disagree with her about letting this program interfere with work.

AntiquityTravelers said...

wow ... really don't think I could go a week without reading ... can't even imagine that! I would say that one week of not 'feeling it' with this program should not throw you off course. skip it and move on! who cares if one week is ridiculous

windrock studio said...


I don't even want to hear about not reading, no way no how! But I sure would love to go to that art book place with you and Sunshine girl!

Skylar Bre'z said...

Sounds to me like there's some important clues within your frustrating non-reading week. What does reading offer you?

I've been "stuck" on reading Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series since December. Watched the Starz show, read through the series once, now re-reading at a slower pace. (Currently on book 6). I just don't want to leave the world she created - so vivid, such a beautiful story. But, as a result of living in Outlander-world, I'm not getting ANYTHING else done. Well, not much, anyway. So, I know the time is coming (quickly) where I have to look at what I'm avoiding by choosing to focus on this world, rather than my own. I'll have to look at what I'm getting from the books that I'm not getting from moving forward in my own life. And, maybe I'll decide that shifting my focus to outlander-world for a while means nothing. It's just a needed release for the February blahs. But I won't know until I stop reading.

CraftyHope said...

I don't think I read as much as you do in a day most likely, but I'm sure I couldn't get through that task at all. The volume of e-mails that would build up in a week absolutely boggles my mind. I can't even. . .no. . .I would give up too.

Now, the exhibit you saw with the altered books sounds AMAZING!! I would have immersed myself in it for hours too. What a shame that you couldn't take pictures. Glad you enjoyed it.
Best wishes for the weeks to come!

Liz E said...

Maybe one of the purposes of not reading is to tune you in to why you read? There are so many reasons. Sounds like an interesting journey. I think you're getting more out of it than you realize.

Amy S. said...

I have picked up this book on SOOOOO many occasions. The only thing I seem to come back to trying is the morning notes. Sometimes I feel like they make a big difference, and sometimes I"m like what the heck does it matter. When Im in full swing, I tend to crave them. But if I skip a day or two it is hard for me to get back to it. This year so far has been my best effort yet. And I did it in part to help me with work. Part of my job is to maintain the blog/news section on my company's 9 websites. And they are all different businesses. So sometimes I can cross blog, and sometimes it's easy b/c there are happenings at the restaurants and what have you to post about. But sometimes I just have to come up with crap to write about. And I have been so blocked at times. But I am happy to report that, I think, the morning pages helped stimulate my writing brain b/c I seemed to have an easier time coming up with and writing about random subjects!!