“Big Magic,” A Book Review (Sort Of)

I just finished reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s book about creative living called “Big Magic.”  I don’t want to spoil what “Big Magic” is, so I’m leaving it to you to find out. I recommend it to everyone–because we’re all creative people, in our own way. What this book will teach you is how to become brave with your creativity, not care too much about it, learn to trust it, and then enjoy it.

I loved how she explained throughout the book that we shouldn’t choose the way of the creative martyr or tortured artist, but to consider a new way of taking on creativity: through the eyes and energy of a trickster: playful, fun, light.

Here are a few quotes from the book I wrote down to keep as a reminder to be unafraid of creative living and learn to work with trickster energy and not the martyr:

On fear:

” We all know that fear is a desolate boneyard where our dreams go to desiccate in the hot sun. This is common knowledge, sometimes we just don’t know what do to about it.”

(Isn’t that the best explanation of fear ever?! I thought so.)

On hiding behind your weakness or fears:

“Fear is boring because it is the same everytime: leads to nothingness. Because it’s the same thing everyday.”

She admits that sometimes we need fear (the kind that, keeps us from danger), and that it is inevitable–fear will always be there. Instead, she suggests allowing it to come with you and creativity, but that it has no power. You’re the one in charge. It just gets to sit there and watch. There’s a wonderful speech she writes to fear and it’s too long to type again here.Go get the book. Look for it. Copy it down and pin it up on your wall.

On trusting your creativity:

“Why wouldn’t your creativity love you? It came to you, didn’t it? …Creativity drew itself near, it wanted a relationship with you.”

“I don’t with for passion to strike. I keep working because I trust that creativity is always trying to find me, even when I have lost sight of it. ”

On the sacredness of your work, or not caring too much:

“What you produce is not necessarily always sacred, I realized, just because you think it’s sacred.”

“It was just a thing–a thing that I had made and loved, and then changed, and then remade, and still loved, and then published, and then put aside so I could go on to make other things.”

On being brave enough to be OK with interesting:

“Don’t let go of your courage the moment things stop being easy or rewarding…That’s the moment when interesting begins.

Every part of this book was insightful. I learned so much and now that I’ve returned it to the library, it’s going to go to the next person. I hope they are as touched by it as I was. I hope they decide to be brave and embrace their creativity.

And just a thought of mine: YOUR CREATIVITY IS NOT USELESS. It’s something you’ve been curious about, created, and have either kept it for yourself or have shared it with the world (which I hope you do!) But it’s something you made. Creativity came to you specifically to start and finish that project. It is never useless.

2015 New Year’s Resolutions

Be consistent. I got this from Gabrielle Bernstein’s video. I had an “aha!” moment when I watched that video: You can make great change just as long as you’re consistent. Being consistent makes it hard to give up the moment you “fail.” Being consistent makes it easy to make change because you are understanding that you’re human. It’s a way to acknowledge that you are ready for change. Change takes commitment.

Love yourself and others. Jesus said to love others as yourself. Work on loving yourself and spreading that love to others. This could be a simple as not participating in body-shaming of yourself or something else (yes, celebrities count too!). Be love to yourself and others by making a healthy meal and inviting loved ones to partake. Be love to yourself and others by making a commitment to focus on posting positive things on social media, such as an encouraging quote, story, or song.

Those are mine.

What are yours?

More general goals for me? I’d like to read more. I’d like to write more consistently on my blog, practice yoga and meditation daily, and continue journaling and writing poetry.

Happy New Year! May you be blessed.

Winter Ghosts

When the leaves are changing and the wind blows
cold and the storm clouds pile up on the horizon,
I will remember the warmth of summer nights and
the look in your eyes when I said we’d last forever
under a blanket of stars and planets and pale
moonlight.

When the snow starts falling and the festivity starts,
I will remember how it was when I was with you, making
snowmen and kissing under the mistletoe and
the look in your eyes when you said we’d last forever
on a frostbitten nights standing on a blanket of white.

When the new year starts, will you think of me?
Will you wander as far as I have?
Will they tell our stories bundled up by fires, roasting marshmallows?
I will long to hear your voice
telling me we’d last forever– but,
until then, our secrets are protected
in the snow, in the stars, under the mistletoe.

Catching Up: Poetry Challenge, Days 20-23

#20
Clementine was young, vibrant, and vulnerable
yet apparently, replaceable but
one night she decided to make her world
technicolor

Sweet and plump nothing ever phased her
until they phased her out but still
she waited,
brilliant and cold
capable of holding her own

But eventually, her world turned winter white
an ice queen, waiting, and then
the snow began to fall
snowing every day till there was no technicolor left

But still Clementine danced under the falling dust,
she lay in the powder and watched the snowflakes fall,
kissing her forehead, nose, and cheeks
later that night, she stared out the
frosted windowpanes, waiting

The next day roses appeared
and everyday after that
a blanket of thorns, a vision of red
pure and seductive, she realized
someone noticed
someone else was watching
and waiting, too.

#21
Doe eyes and precious she needed protection
or so her daddy thought, until her fairytale world
came crashing down in flames and she had to become
the protector of her heart

#22
Nevermind the raisins but my baby never enjoyed raspberries
the older she got the more I wondered why she didn’t like
anything she had before
on her fourth birthday, the number I hated,
I watched her cut off all her hair
and cry because she felt so wild

oh changeling
you’re still mine
oh changeling
we can make this work, can’t we?
oh changeling,
where has my other baby gone?

You love to sing, and dance, and tell me stories
I wonder if she would too
You say there’s nothing you can do
you really hate school
I wonder if she would too
Do you ever talk to her
tell her the secrets you know
that she should too?

oh changeling
you’re still mine
oh changeling
we can make this work, can’t we?
oh changeling,
where has my other baby gone?

#23
No!
“Nothing you can do will ever make me
wish away the stars or cast out all the
secrets my pinky finger has promised to keep
you can try, oh try, I dare you, but I’ve built
a wall
with no cracks,
I’m sure of it.”

Poetry Challenge: Days 16 through 19

#16
The diamonds across the street are blinding me
I cannot see the other side of the lake and I know you are there
waiting and watching and wanting me to find a way
to the other side but I can’t and you know I can’t
Yet they keep shining, hitting the sun and their fragments
keep blinding my eyes and I cannot see yours
green and dark like pines at midnight.

#17

Passion lies in the dark waiting to be whisked off its feet
waiting for the skeletons to create color on empty canvases
rough, uneven, waiting to be dripping with paint

in the folds of curtains, plum and velvet
ghosts dance and wait, patient,
wanting to return to the light when they could dance
freely without anyone judging them or
telling them to go to the white light

Angels, don’t dance in the dark
don’t hide the feathers that make you whole
skeletons weren’t made to be
without breath, without love.

#18

Alice never thought of leaving,
she never thought of leaving the dinner table
and walking away, down the street
tonight the rain is pouring and
she knows the rain won’t stop
her whole life can fit in one tiny
neon pink backpack and her teddy bear
from when she was five
hangs out the side
looking for love in the place she knows best
on the tracks, in the snow, rain turning to ice.

#19

Rain pours, thunder rolls and the stone comes alive
Without blinking, without touching I try to run by,
past the angel of stone, reaching, moving
without me knowing
growing closer and out of fear
I switch eyes, twitching, wanting to feel the
refreshing clearness blinking can provide and
I remember a science show I watched once that
had these same creatures and I remember him, that
mysterious Doctor, telling me not to blink
and to run.

Poetry Challenge: Days 13 through 15

#13
Crimson is the color of my blood that the ice queen wants to take from me
she wants to remove my sadness and give
me something special instead
I think it’s Turkish delight but all that
is
is fantasy and I cannot breathe
because, is it,
getting colder in here?
My blood is white,
dripping with ice crystals
in front of her
my queen
dangling my sadness
in front of me
like it’s hers to take away.

#14

Sleep, where have you gone and why
are you not coming back?
I need you now, my eyes are too red
and my heartbeat slow–
my eyes are slipping,
I cannot see properly.

You know this cannot last forever,
nightlights and goblins and monsters under my
bed
when I sleep, it never arrives
I toss and turn and pray to make the demons
run away
but love is more powerful than my insomnia
and I know one day
when I sleep
I will be next to you
and the monsters will watch, before growing bored
and leaving.

#15

Liquid ink, black as darkness
midnight, starlight
drips off the brush,
searching for vibrancy
and
my canvas, a skeleton,
waits for color.

Poetry Challenge Day 12

A simple whisper, “I miss you” travels out
to the horizon, a message in a bottle
only seeking you
I wish you could come back to me
but you are here, forever,
watching the ocean
drift in and out

If you were here I’d bring you coffee and the
favorite scone you like
from the coffee shop where we met
out on the sidewalk, looking at me
like an angel
waiting to save me

the ocean drifts in,
the ocean drifts out,
dangerous- my solace and peace
and faith and hate.

Poetry Challenge Day 11

We were meant to dance among stars and gather secrets to take home with us
you arrived in the middle of the night, a storm
a dark storm
a storm I’d never seen before
all I wanted was to follow your happily-ever-after voice, soothing as I
to you tell me your past, as I share with you mine–

you taught me to listen to the stars
their tears, their music, their pain
I felt the universe weeping
and all I wanted to see were planets dancing among them
simple spheres in the sky

I try to tell my mother but
all she says is
“night
is nothing but night”
but you provide the magic I need
to prevent myself from bleeding
inside, on the outside, in the middle of the night
you make me understand that time travel is nothing
without you– the only thing
I want more than you
is the light
in your eyes
when you tell me the universe only weeps
because it is lonely

we are drifting along
no gravity
listening to their secrets.

Poetry Challenge: 9 and10

#9

Pumpkin

Stepping out onto my front porch
the trees are swaying, leaves are falling
I can feel the change in the air
the arrival of fall
Father comes home with the pumpkin
and we carve

School is unnerving
I cannot stay here
I wish to be out in the forest in your backyard
carving our own pumpkins
and thinking of costumes
and tricks to plan instead of treats

I fold the white piece of paper and pass it to you
the teacher sends me to the principal’s office
she doesn’t understand
that the air is changing
our youth is waiting
for us to go outside and play.

#10 June and Arthur

Our love was full of youth
and I want to grow old with you– I imagine
watching the children dance and sing and grow
and leave home and make their own lives and
watch how our own hair turns gray
and we acculumate all the things that
make our lives complete
but really, it isn’t the things at all
it isn’t in the songs, or the journals
I keep under my bed
one day, when we look back on those days
we will remember
that we were meant to be
a part of it.