Friday, May 16, 2014

136/365-2 Discipline

"Morning Pages"

I call it disciplined; many members of my family call it anal retentive or OCD.  With many aspects of my life, mostly the creative ones, I am incredibly disciplined.  With things like keeping my email inbox cleared out, not so much.  With the things I choose to be disciplined about, I am ever faithful to the practice.  

In thinking today about how to photograph the discipline in my life, I decided to focus on the one thing that binds it all together - the practice of morning pages as put forth by Julia Cameron in her book The Artist's Way.  Morning pages involve writing for thirty minutes first thing in the morning -  before our left brains become fully engaged in the day, while our subconscious thoughts experienced during sleep are still close to the surface and before there have been day's events to color our every thought.  I have engaged in this practice faithfully for nearly five years.  Many decisions have been made, problems solved, emotions unpacked, and creative endeavors begun as the result of the writings in my morning pages.  Good old fashioned composition books, which is all that I write in, and pens are much cheaper and just as effective for me as therapy.  Not only do I need this process, but I do enjoy it.  There is something magical about taking pen in hand and expressing my deepest feelings, opinions, worries, and joys without being concerned about how they will be received by another person.  Mostly I find that it is the process of choosing the "best" words to express myself that is important for me.

I need structure.  I need discipline in my life or I will get nothing done.  I don't do well with "free" time.  Even when my schedule is not mandated by external forces, like now between school terms, I have to write things on my calendar or they won't get accomplished, even with all day to do them.  So Monday is sabbath day; Tuesday is sort last semester's school materials day; Wednesday is begin housecleaning and go to the library day; Thursday is lunch with friends day; and so on.  Most people probably don't have to schedule such things.  I do.

As long as I can keep the discipline of writing morning pages in my life, I am able to maintain a reasonable sense of clarity and balance.  With that I can accomplish a lot!

135/365-2 Relax


Obviously I forgot to post this last night.

Commencement itself was not necessarily relaxing, but it signifies the end of the semester and the end of this school year, which means it also marks the beginning of a period of relaxation for me.  Yay!

Though I can't stand  Pomp and Circumstance because I have played it SO many times (and that was just last night, not all the many years previously),  I do enjoy playing for graduation.  It is a time for all of us in the music department to play side by side, faculty and students.