Saturday, February 19, 2011

Writer's Retreat 2011 - Getting Started

A day into my time on Orcas, and this is the first I've written.

Last night, I had strange dreams which have set the tone for my day. First, I dreamed a cartoon in sort of Japanese Anime-style. The main character was a hero resembling Aladdin. He was being pursued by an enemy and was threading his way along a wooden plank overlooking a lake. As the enemy drew nearer, Aladdin came to know that the only way to escape was to plunge into the water and die. He does so and his will to escape pulls him to the lake's bottom like a sinking stone. As he sinks, he hears the singing of the sirens. They are telling him in their song that he has to give himself over to life; he must learn to see life and be alive. As he sinks, he drowns and releases his hold on trying to survive. In doing so, he is born to a sense of wonder for his life and of all that is living.

Strangely, my readings today have a reoccurring theme and seem to tie in with my dream. In The Hero Within, I keep reading of the theme of the wasteland, and the hero's call to adventure.

"...the heroic journey does not require you to become something greater than you are. It merely requires absolute fidelity to your own authentic path."

Great. How many ways have I deviated from that path? I've cultivated a career that I find unsatisfying so that I can make a lot of money. I've remained stuck in an unsatisfying relationship because I'm afraid of being alone. About the only quest I've been on is one for instant gratification. Food. Drink. Clothes. Car. Since graduating from college, I haven't been able to commit myself to anything. How many false starts have I made, only to abandon them when it turns out that focus and effort is required?

What does this have to do with writing? I'm not sure. Not yet. But this weekend is about exploring and following the flow. I'm going where I'm led. So far, I've had that very bizarre dream, and some interesting reading. I've also gotten caught up in wikipedia surfing on the Fisher King, the Mabinogian, the Grail, Cuhlwch and Olwen, the Book of Taliesin.

No stressing allowed. Just let one thing lead to another and see where I end up. Usually, I get flustered, desperate to accomplish something, and I freeze. This weekend, I am allowing myself to just be with myself and flow. Allow my process to flow and NOT freeze up because I don't think it's going in the right direction. Whatever direction it is going in is the right direction.

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