Taking Julia Cameron's Artist's Way, I went hook line and sinker for one of her two key tools: the so-called Morning Pages. And I've stuck with them religiously for the past seven and a half years.
But a second key tool, the Artist Date (with which you 'fill the well') did not go so well. You're supposed to do an Artist Date alone and it's supposed to feed your soul. You can go to the beach or to a junk store. You can go to the movies or get a massage. You can't sleep. And you have to do it alone. As good as I was and am with the 'Morning Pages', I've been that bad or worse with the Artist Dates. There just never seems to be enough time! Yes, because I'm a living person, I've accidentally done things which would qualify as Artist Dates. But I never did them as a result of planning or deciding to give myself that time. The Artist's Way assignment is to do at least one a week. I've done so few that it isn't worth counting.
But the effect that this vacation has had is to make me realize that I actually can not afford to dismiss my need for these.
And so today, Day 1 of my new life since vacation, I scheduled an Artist Date. Okay. Guess what. I never got around to it. It was supposed to be watching an episode of The Comeback and spending at least thirty minutes looking through a fashion magazine. But I did feel compelled to do something else which totally qualifies - gardening! While listening to the birds. You may remember that picture of me 'crawling around in the dirt' as I planted the garden? Look at that garden now! Wall to wall green! Alas, it's mostly weeds but my OCD goes haywire with mad joy weeding and I had the time of my life. In fact, when my allotted hour of weeding was up, guess who didn't leave the garden.
An interesting twist on the old 'weeds' problem was caused by the fact of our ignorance as first time gardeners last year. We didn't realize that it's a bad idea to let anything go to seed and let the dill and the mustard greens do just that. This year, we planted neither dill nor mustard greens but look what I pulled up out of the rows where the basil, garlic, sugar snap peas and zucchin are struggling to reach the sun.
Guess what we'll be having for dinner for the rest of June. And guess who is going to schedule that Artist Date for tomorrow.