This Is Still An Exercise

Some of you know that I am involved in writing every day no matter what comes out. This exercise is from Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way. And here it is. Today I’m in the second day of a cleanse and I’m wondering how that may affect my output. I don’t know where this will lead. I just keep thinking and typing with very little time in between. You can do this, too. If you feel stuck creatively this is a great way to get unstuck. I think it helps you with patience, too. You need to do it every day for 30 days. Recently I started learning Tai Chi from YouTube and I like that. I can see how that will take patience as well.

Patience is something I’ve been thinking about for a while and it’s not easy to learn when you want to go at 100 miles an hour or even 50 or 30! Tai Chi is what may be required to finally get me on a more permanent road to consistent health. I don’t like routine, but I may have to have more of that in my life. So…where to go from here.

I took karate for a little less than a year in high school and the beginning moves of Tai Chi remind me of a kata. Though it looks like all the moves of Tai Chi could be quite long when strung together. I don’t know if the uncomfortableness in my back is from the Tai Chi or something else. Time will tell. Patience.

The idea of Tai Chi is interesting to me – that we can do these basic moves to strenghten our bodies a little at a time and become very, very healthy. I can’t help noticing how many times I’ve written Tai Chi here today and we haven’t even reached the 10 minute mark. If you are wondering if this will get better, I don’t know. I really don’t know what’s going to come out. That’s the way the exercise works. Keep going.

A little over 3 months ago I started reading the 23rd Psalm every day and then I got to the point where I have it memorized. So I now recite it mentally most days. Did you know it takes 45 seconds to read it? 45 seconds a day. By day 66 I had it memorized. I check back occasionally to see that I’ve still got it right. I decided on the NIV version. Don’t know what that is? Google It. Here it is:

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
He leads me beside quiet waters,
He restores my soul.

He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me.
Your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
You annoint my head with oil.
My cup overflows.

Surely goodness and love with follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

45 seconds a day. You can check it. I expect it’s correct. I don’t have time right now as I’m still in the middle of this exercise. I could be talking about The Tubes next or bowling or cookies or just about anything. It is freeing to do this. The important thing is to not judge it and just keep going. I don’t do much editing, except in my head and I do correct most spelling errors if it doesn’t take me too long. No set rules.

The original method involved a paper and pencil and not much else. Blah Blah Blah is ok, too.

I wonder how much we miss because we judge ourselves and others too harshly. People can shut down their creativity because of the judgements they run into.
Let’s not do that.

Today the sermon at SBPC was about the Holy Spirit and how creative He is. I had forgotten some of the passages and perhaps not heard others.
Did you know the biblical account has the Holy Spirit involved in the second sentence of the bible? I guess I knew that, but it had never been pointed out so explicitly before.
Or I hadn’t been paying attention…

So it’s Sunday afternoon and I’ve got a little quiet time with my wife taking a nap and our son gone to a friend’s house. I guess we have to make time in the time we have
available to get done the things we want to get done. That goes for writing just like anything else. Boy, my fingers are really moving along this keyboard. Little did I know
in seventh grade how much these lessons would help. I know many people who have never had typing and do this two fingers at a time. My old supervisor & friends, Dave, is still
a two-finger typer. He goes pretty fast with those fingers. But, this is second nature to me. Did you know that they originally designed the keyboard around human capabilities?
They couldn’t have the expert typists go too fast so they designed the keyboard with that in mind. If you went too fast, those old mechanical hammers(?) would get tangled up with
each other.

When I was in seventh grade I was using an old typewriter at home that did just that. I remember using whiteout and ever before that – special tape you inserted to mostly erase
the letter you just typed and if it got too looking too “corrected”, you had to start the whole thing over. It was amazing when we got an electric typewriter and then an electronic
one. I guess that’s just the way my family was. My mom was using a sewing machine in the 1970s that was foot-powered! She pumped a – can’t think of the word right now – oh, pedal.
She pumped a pedal with her foot and that powered her sewing machine.

My dad loaded his own shotgun shells in the garage with a device you attached to a workbench. It attached with a vise-like apparatus that was part of the machine. You loaded the wadding and the shot into the shell and hand-cranked it shut. He taught my brothers and I to do this and it was fun once you got the hang of it. I didn’t realize until much later that my dad was a semi-survivalist. We didn’t even live out in the country when we did this. My cousin said when she told people about how we butchered a flock of chickens on a weekend, they would inevitably ask her where we grew up. Encinitas, California! (Technically, Leucadia, which is part of Encinitas.) Two miles from the ocean – maybe less.

My mom had sewed all kinds of things for me ever since I could remember. She even sewed me a Spiderman costume when I was about 4 yrs. old. I was not as appreciative as she would
have hoped as it didn’t look like what I saw on the cartoon on TV. I told her maybe I could be Tarzan instead. She was not happy about that and I did go to Halloween as Spiderman.

That was when we lived even closer to the ocean and had no idea how fortunate we were. We could walk to the beach in minutes when I was very small and it’s only in recent years that
I found out that when I was a baby and the years preceding my birth, people believed that living near the ocean was for poor people. I kid you not. Ask someone old enough to know.
Amazing what that judgement cost people. If you had bought a house on the beach in 1962 for say, $30,000 or maybe even less, it would be worth at least $2 million today. That’s in San Diego County, but I’ll bet there are similar stories around the United States.

I guess I’ve reached about the end of my time. Let’s not judge our creativity too harshly. It could cost us dearly. Besides, you can edit it later.
Don’t edit yourself out of your masterpiece!


2 responses

  1. Hi Charlie,

    Have you seen 750 it’s a great site for doing your morning pages. It will recognize your achievements each day you write at least 750 words.

    1. Thank you, Tammi! I checked it out, but the only advantage I understand right now is that it is private. For me, at this time, that is not an advantage. I’m ok with this being public up to this point. We shall see. 🙂

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