Success is as dangerous as failure.
Hope is as hollow as fear.
What does it mean that success is a dangerous as failure?
Whether you go up the ladder or down it,
your position is shaky.
When you stand with your two feet on the ground,
you will always keep your balance.
What does it mean that hope is as hollow as fear?
Hope and fear are both phantoms
that arise from thinking of the self.
When we don’t see the self as self,
what do we have to fear?
See the world as your self.Tao Te Ching
Have faith in the way things are.
Love the world as your self;
then you can care for all things.
“A line will take us hours maybe,
Yet if it does not seem a moment’s thought,
Our stitching and unstitching have been naught.
Better go down upon your marrow bones
And scrub a kitchen pavement, or break stones
Like an old pauper, in all kinds of weather—
For to articulate sweet sounds together
Is to work harder than all these, and yet
Be thought an idler by the noisy set
Of bankers, schoolmasters, and clergymen
The martyrs call the world. “
So there you have it: writing is hard work. Now, the question remains, what will you do with this condemnation? Will you pitter and patter and moan and groan (which is my general state): or, will you buckle up and DO the hard thing, the work?
If you are depressed you are living in the past.
If you are anxious you are living in the future.
If you are at peace you are living in the present.
source: Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching
Don’t do it.
For he love of all things Didion!
I mean, I get it, there is this undeniable sex appeal. This intrique: scattering your notes across that old bistro set, the heady demitasse begging for your lips: what’s the WiFi code? Nah, I write longhand.
I fall prey to this allure now and again. Loading my satchel with pencils, paper, notes, books. Stalking southbound traffic to my favorite watering hole. Order a Gibraltar, catch up with barista, discuss life. By the time I’m sitting down to write, like an hour later, my coffees cold and the cafe packed.
Cling-clang cutlery. Blah-blah-blah business meeting. “Well I just don’t know about Johnny Depp anymore, why is he so… extra” “Girl, that latte art though.” “Third quarter” shakes head “third quarter, down, down, down.” Steaming, always grinding. Cling-clang. Blah-blah-blah.
Meanwhile my fingernails are digging into the wood of my pencil and just before I think I am going to… SNAP! the pencil breaks. Crickets. Everyone stares. The business man, the gossip girls, the mustache twirling hipster, even the pour-over pauses in its drip, letting out a hesitant sh*******t!
And I scurry home, past the bookstore. Down 39th Street, by the old folk artists coop that may or may not double as a junk yard. Climb the two flights of stairs to my apartment, counting the first, wooden set stapled with AstroTurf, and the second wooden set awaiting carpet that may never come.
I brew up a fresh cup. Sit down. And that’s when it happens…
Never again, I tell myself. But next week, I’ll try once more…
I’m curious: what’s your writing habit? What fuels you’re creativity? Boosts you morale? What get’s you going? The more self aware, the more writerly I become, I find that solitude is key. Quiet. Voiceless and calm.
How I used to be a travel blogger is beyond me. The world kept closing in…
Will Write for Food. Or Coffee!
Being an artist, whether poet or ventriloquist, violinist or Beck, it's a taxing gig. Low pay, long hours. Sleepless nights,spotty work. If you find that my writing provides any pleasure, any sense of joy at all, I hope you will consider throwing me a bone, or an espresso.
A strange thing happens when you begin to contemplate the end. It’s as if setting such a definitive goal opens the world to endless possibilities
A phone is buzzing
It’s occurred to me that with the end comes the potential of a new beginning.
There are many types of death. Just as there are many types of love in which the subject, or subjects simply depart from one existance to another. Trading this for that, and in exchange receiving a fresh beginning and a new life, a new identity.
We are flowers forever teetering from Spring to deep Winter.
Forever waiting for Summer. For Fall
Our chance to really live.
Only to rise and be struck down.
Spring. Winter. Awakening. Death.
Where is Summer?
Where is Fall?
This realization came so urgently, slapping me across the face, I shot right out of bed that morning. Before the sun herself could shine and make me straight again, before the day could cleanse my palate as it often does and, in the deadpan winter, shuffled across my frozen, miniature tundra in snow flurry Kansas City, and drained my savings account in exchange for a one-way ticket to Morocco.
That will show em, I thought. Still unsure of who them was. For some reason, whenever I looked outside my window, hoping to spot them, all I saw was the hollow reflection of myself…
A phone buzzed, gliding smoothly across the bistro table. I don’t recognize ringer until realizing it’s mine: I’ve never heard it ring.
It was a cold spring night.
The city still reeling from the previous year’s terror attacks and whispers of Al Qaeda carried through the streets like cautionary tales foretelling the bogeyman. Maybe that explained the police on every corner, their unwieldy machine guns and serious frowns. They had no effect on me. That’s not true: I found it absolutely intoxicating, that life or death appeal is what lured me here in the first place.
“Nobody said it was supposed to be so cold in the desert.” I said, catching my scarf as it fluttered in the sharp wind. It only occurred to me then that I hadn’t checked a single forecast.
Moona laughed, “That’s because this isn’t the desert.” She said, looking up at the snow covered mountains. “It is winter isn’t it?”
“Is it?” I cringed as another gust came down from the mountain, lifting table skirts and extinguishing candles.
The waiter returned with my drink just in time for us to leave. I paid, left a few coins tip, downed the drink, shay ma nana, tea with mint, and flagged down the first cab on the square. A big burly man, mustachioed and jolly.
“Where from? Where? Oh, Kansas City! I have cousin in Kansas City, maybe you know him? Welcome to Morocco, America. We love America. Welcome to Morocco!”
He shook my hand as we paid and crossed the street to the souk on the other side. The shops were being washed out, dirty water came surging over the cobbles. And the streets were being watered down, to keep the dust from rising when the tourists arrive.
“And that is how we do it in Morocco.”
“You know it… Do what?”
“He just ripped you a big one. Do you realize what you paid him. What, like twenty dollars.”
My heart sank with shame. OK, so I didn’t check the forecast. But what about the exchange rate? The currency? The mysteriously scrolled dirham papers, lined with calligraphy and stained in pinks and greens. I could count to one-hundred in Arabic by then, but what did that mean of money, of value. Not a thing.
I had just paid twenty dollars for a two block ride down the boulevard.
“Now,” Moona said with her big smug way, “you are in Morocco.”
I’ve been smitten with @smdanler since, embarrassingly late in the game, encountered her interview on @litupshow. Just received my copy of #Sweetbitter -and just in time for the #readingwomenchallenge with @thereadingwomen.
Have you been called to any challenges this year? Resolutions? What are you working towards?
P.s. if you’re interested in the Reading Women Book Challenge, let’s start a book club. Maybe? Yes? No? 😉