∀ Lavender: what would it be like to walk through a field of you?
¶ Prompt from Julia Cameron’s The Right to Write.
We know already, writing doesn’t come from within — well it does — but it comes from without: without excuses, without ego, without judgment. It flows. It flows through. It flows from. It flows to. Here is the next exercise: for one half-hour, write a series of questions and answers, one from without and one from within, surprise yourself, and remember, trust what you have to say. (Again, all about Jodorowsky this season, so I will add that he wrote: “El cerebro hace preguntas, el corazón da la respuestas.“ The brain asks the questions, the heart gives the answers. So let’s get to it.)
Can I write this exercise on the blog?
But won’t it be too personal?
Trust that it will.
And what will people think?
You don’t care.
Isn’t that what makes people mad at me, not caring?
I do care, but you don’t care. It’s a game. Being hurt, being open, being stubborn, being honest. You do care, but I don’t care.
What does that mean?
If you stopped for a moment, and actually listened, you would realize the answer to that and to any question.
How can I share my work?
You do, you are.
What I mean is, how can I share my work and be witnessed for them?
You are, you will, with time.
What do people want to read?
Honest, thought-provoking, emotional, vulnerable, empathetic, tender prose with a purpose.
Is my writing that?
Don’t judge, but trust that it is. By the way, it is.
What book should I read next?
Finish the one you started.
How can I publish?
By yourself, or by sending work out like you are doing.
Will people care?
Yes, but I think you mean, “should they?” You are worried they won’t, but you care, and they care, and we all care. To “should care” isn’t really caring. So accept that some do; and when others don’t, shrug your shoulders and write something else, something more.
How can we reach a deeper level of understanding between one another?
Looking into a person’s eyes, shaking their hand not out of habit, but to feel the other person, to share palms in an instant.
Why do we judge one another?
Because we need to place things in boxes.
But why are people so messy then, if we need to place things in boxes, why are our lives still so messy?
I said, “we need to place things in boxes,” not that we do, or that we do it with any efficiency or pleasure.
Is it crazy to be talking to myself like this?
Do I have an ego?
No. David Hume proved that the ego as we know it, as we accuse others of having, or of not having, doesn’t exist. An ego is that which lives though the body changes. But nothing outlives the body, and nothing about you lives outside your body. Your every cell lives and dies every couple of years, and then you die for real, kaput.
What about our thoughts, aren’t they the product of our egos?
No, because thoughts are always changing, and coming from all sorts of places, not any one place. Thoughts coming from an “ego” is as silly as “ego” controlling our thoughts. Not possible. So if our thoughts are always changing, and are the result of everything we consume, not just what’s in our own head, then what’s the point of stabbing ourselves with the word “ego,” this thing that is said to persist but can’t? “Ego” doesn’t mean anything if it isn’t stable, the way names and labels are stable, and mean something. That’s what people do when they label you with “ego”: they stamp you, but even stamps rub off, go away, disappear.
So there’s no ego?
No. At least not as something that lasts forever.
People’s opinion lasts a long time, though, right?
Hm. Sometimes, which means, not forever.
Why do some people say I have an ego?
Because other people say you do. If people didn’t talk behind your back and didn’t say you had an ego, who would believe you did? You don’t. Here’s the skinny: There is nothing beyond what we touch, feel, share, see, and witness; or what others touch, feel or see. That’s why it hurts to be ignored, because our words and our actions go unseen by others, while we bare witness to our own isolation. What others call “ego” is what sees us when no one sees us; what others call “ego” is what you want others to see but they don’t want to see. Funny how the people who don’t want to pay attention to you, are the ones who claim you have an ego. The people who love you don’t say you have an ego, because they actually pay attention to you, they actually understand you. It’s one of the great tragedies of being human, withholding love from another, because we ourselves feel unloved. Withholding sometimes brings us what we want, but not always. Yet giving always pays. Giving always feels good. So smile, live, and pay attention, even to another, especially to yourself.
Aren’t I just defending myself here?
Yes, but you said it yourself, you ought to stick up for yourself more, and what better place than here, your home.
What’s your favorite element?
I meant, out of earth wind fire or water?
I like them all.
What is your favorite, c’mon don’t be cheap, if you had to pick?
I like water because of the flow and the unstoppable nature of it, its unity and triforce of states; I like fire because of the light it emits, because of its heat, because of its shape-shifting, its destructive and regenerative properties; I like earth because it feels good on my toes, because of its fertile capacity, because of its color and because of its taste — salt, cumin, truffles, lavender, all of these are all earth — and then I like wind because it smells good, clean, but also because it can be invisible, because it gives us life and breath, because of its transparency. I like of all these elements. But wind is tight. Ok, wind is my favorite, though I’ve always wanted to be earth, and I’ve always been jealous of fire, and water makes me happy. I want to be wind over water by earth on fire.
Why can’t I be simpler?
Because you aim to be complex.
Why do I aim to be complex, when what I really want is to be understood?
Because you want to be understood as being complex.
But why, when what I want is to be understood period?
Then keep doing what you are doing and your ship will steer to calm warm waters and then people will hop aboard; but if you sail deep dark maelstroms, just because you get kicks and thrills from hurricanes and stormy metaphors, then expect to man the ship yourself.
Who will get on board?
People you invite.
Should I finish here?
Do whatever you like.