:: WHY WE BE ::

Boo to false, self-imposed limits, we say. These champion oracles want to live enthusiastically. Follow our trip through projects that challenge, frustrate, and/or scare us. In the end (which is really the middle) we want to live like big bright free and authentically awesome people.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Stick it where the sun don't shine, MP's!! (Holly)

On Sunday, I told my morning pages to stick it where the sun don’t shine. Actually, what I said was “eff you morning pages”. Only I used the real F bomb. Essentially, I did this for three consecutive pages. Only to be interspersed with “Eff you so and so (anybody who I felt had “done me wrong” in the last 15 months or so)”.  My rant was only interrupted by the occasional lucid and conscientious “I really need to pay bills and go to COSTCO today”.  So, yeah…."eff you morning pages" and "eff you so and so" (fill in the blank with any one of about five or six people).  Then I saw a bunny rabbit hop by in the newly fallen snow, and I thought about the CNN news article about the Owl attacking the Chihuahua. 

Chico suffered a puncture wound when he was attacked by an owl while on a late-night stroll with his owner.

Ummmm…..I think maybe I’ve finally arrived at the “Anger” stage.  Maybe I’m sick and tired of having empathy for others. Well, at least today. Okay, this week.  So, what does it mean that I’m in the anger stage? I don’t know. I’m too angry.  I hate being angry.  I’m really an optimist at heart. No, I’m not. I’m a realist who would prefer to be happy. Unfortunately, reality is not always all that pretty.  So, maybe anger is okay?  Well, it’s okay if we don’t stuff it and let it get pent up.  The only way is through, Sugar.  Right, P? That’s why I succumbed and even wrote those damn morning pages.  I didn’t write them most of the past week.  I was sick and tired of hearing myself drone on.  I didn’t want to hear what I had to say. So, I shut the hell up.  Clever girl that I am, I knew I couldn’t stay in this pissy mood, so out came the morning pages-even though I knew what they were in for, that I was going to abuse them.  I had thought about all the different ways I could abuse my morning pages the 20 minutes before I crawled out of bed.  My beloved pages took the beating with style and grace.  At least they’re getting some attention….unlike my “required” Artist’s Date.  Or, the Artist’s Way chapters for that matter.  Or the extra credit tasks. Yeah, right. 

So let’s talk about the Artist’s Date- I haven’t gone on an artist date one single time since I started Artist’s Way this time around.  Ironically, while I was in my blissful denial and oblivion about my artist’s date, I opened up the book I got my hair chopping quotes out of to read the daily meditation for February 1st and you know what it was about???? I should take myself on a “creative outing” it said.  On and on about what that could be and that I should carve out the time and go by myself.  What? Is it a conspiracy?? This chick did the Artist’s Way, I bet!! She goes on about how hard “creative outings” are to do, but oh, so important.  Ugh!! Can’t I just not do it and say I did?? What is my problem here? Why should it be so difficult? Can I blame the winter? The snowstorm? My crappy minivan with crappy tires? How about my crazy long and hilly driveway on a cliff?
Mine's the hilly, snowy one on the left.

Surely anyone who’s had to deal with my driveway in the winter would write me a note to be excused from any activity I want to be excused from, right?  Well here’s what happened on Sunday a few hours after I told my morning pages where to stick it.  It had snowed (again) the night before so my iPod and I went out to shovel.  Having gotten about 150 “fuck you’s” out of my system, I was feeling pretty groovy.  I was getting a workout in, listening to some good tunes, and having a pretty productive day. 

View from the garage.
I was almost done, getting a little tired, and was sweating in my ski jacket, waterproof mittens, and prAna hat.  I looked up from the packed snow I was trying to break into pieces and noticed that it had started to snow.  It was truly beautiful. I thought, hmmmmm……I could just lay down right here, right now, in the middle of the driveway and let the snow fall on my face.  How peaceful would that be? Instead, I decided to go to the kids’ swing set and get up in the little fort area at the top of the slide.  I made a snow pillow and lay down for a half an hour.  I let the snow fall on my face. I thought about the spring and my hostas and other perennials poking up.  I thought about the song birds in my yard and resolved to feed them when I got up.  I wondered what my Owls have been up to. I breathed. And then, I breathed again. Deeply. I felt better.


T-Free said...

Awwww... so peaceful. I think that due to the yucky, snowy conditions, you should definitely count outdoor silent snowfall meditation as your Artist's Date. That looks lovely and peaceful, and if the Artist's Date is a time for reflection on life and beauty by yourself, well, that is really what it sounds like you're doing here, right? I love the boots picture, too.

I spent yesterday morning shoveling the road in front of our house clear of snow before the 8-10 inches we're supposed to get arrives, and counted it as an upper body workout. Haha.

Thanks for sharing your latest with us. Rock on, Holly Coffee! Spring will be here before we know it! :) xoxo.

Wendy said...

Holly, this was great. If you ask me, the snow fort relaxation WAS an artist date - who's to say you have to go somewhere? I've done (half) of the Artist's Way, and it seems like a lot of the people I've talked to get to the point where they also, just quit. All that "who wants to listen to me drone" stuff... I SO feel you!
I think this must've been where I quit. But you're plowing thru, working thru the emotions - and that's awesome. Go girl.

And I LOVE the snow on your face in the fort thing.
I felt like a movie was playing in my head as I read your blog this morning.

And DAMN! Now THAT'S a driveway.
You are a warrior.

patresa said...

as a tool designed to scoop out the cloggy drain gunk, i'd say you used your morning pages quite perfectly. spew and get on with it! awesome.

and i absolutely LOVE AND ADORE that you took a snow nap in the kids' fort. YES! that is PERFECT. wonderful.

only way out is through. amen. sounds like you're doing just fine!

patresa said...

ALSO: the owl attacking the chihuaua makes me think of 2 things:

1. Tired of Speaking Sweetly by Hafiz (Sometimes the Beloved may want to drag you around the room by the hair, shake out all the nonsense.)

2. Chihuauas' reputation of being trembly and anxious.

(poor dog!)

Holly said...

The Beloved sometimes wants
To do us a great favor:
Thanks for your comments, CS. (COFFEE SISTAS) Thanks for letting me use my kids' fort for my Artist Date. Wendy, it is very validating to hear of your struggles to get through all of Artist's Way. The only way out is through mantra will hopefully keep me going. Thanks for the reminder of the Hafiz poem, Peace Mac. I have copied the last few lines below. Which I find a little bit validating, too. It's all good, right? Just cuz HY2011 is better than HY2010 doesn't mean it's going to be all peaches and cream, right?

Hold us upside down
And shake all the nonsense out.

But when we hear
He is in such a "playful drunken mood"

Most everyone I know
Quickly packs their bags and hightails it
Out of town

blj said...

Holly- I think appropriate anger dealt with maturely is a really good thing. You have a right to be angry with a few things that were thrown your way in HY2010 and you abused your morning pages... not yourself or your children or those people you were effing (was I one of them, btw?) I often think I should get a little angrier now and then, might be a better outlet than moping around. And don't put so much pressure on yourself to achieve the perfect artist's date... If you're just doing it to do it, it won't be what you need. Wait until something moves you, like a nap in the snow fort, and then it'll be worthwhile.

p.s. if I can't come up with anything better for tomorrow's post, I'll take Katie's lead and tell my embarrassing story about your driveway :)

Corey ♪ Linstrom said...

I'm glad to see you're keeping your posts going strong. I know it's easy to find the time. Shifting gears is imporant. It's really great to hear the engine wind out and it's fun to have a breather too. Don't beat yourself up for not always maxing out. Why not shift gears with a smile and take a detour with one too? If an arty outing is high on the to-do list but weather or other things are not cooperating, just build an artistic snowwoman. You could make photo exhibit on FB.

I'm glad you push yourself, but balance is important, right?


amy said...


Today I used the F bomb (with an "ing" on the end of it) while looking for my car keys. And my kid started using the F bomb (with "ing" on the end of it) suddenly, too. Only (fortunately) it sounds like she's saying "bucket" when she says it, so I'm safe (for now).

Some days are just F bomb days, and that's all there is to it. I think. Way back in the day when I tried to complete the Artist's Way, I also found artist's dates hard to do. Which is why I deeply loved Wendy's suggestion that your lay-back-and-let-the-snow-fall-on-my-face peaceful moment can, and should, count as your artist's date.

Also, if you need some more names for any more "eff you so and so" morning pages, I have a good handful you can put in there.

And last, we're supposed to have snow here tonight, and if we get more than an inch of it, I think you should drive to Georgia with your shovel and help me clear my driveway. (I'm pretty sure Julia would let us count that as an Artist's Date, too.)(No? sigh. Fine, fine. I'll do it myself.)

Holly said...

Thanks for your comments everyone! They keep me going, yo! Becky, you did not get one single eff you in my mp's! And, thank you for the anger validation. I think you may be right.
Corey, so glad you're reading these, giving me feedback, and just a cool thing to be back in touch after a million years in this way. Balance is something that I am so working on and striving for. It's a major theme in the COFFEE project for sure! Love the idea of a snow woman! Our snow has so far been the nonsticking kind.
Amy, so glad your pumpkin can't pronounce "effing" too clearly yet! Phew! I've had some close calls in this arena myself. Eek! If you want me to say "eff you" to a specific so and so in my morning pages, I'd be happy to. Instead of a prayer chain, I'll start an "eff you" chain. Hmmmmm....well, it'll be cathartic!
I'd also like to report that I've totally made up with my morning pages, they're my very helpful friend again. Well, I guess they were on Sunday too.
Peace out.

Katie said...

Holly this is great. I love that you took a little time out in the fort and let the snow fall on your face. That sounds about the healthiest thing to do after getting all those "f-you's!" out. Also, the sound of a neighborhood when there's snow falling is one of my favorite, most-restful sounds.

Also, Becky's comment was excellent. I second everything she said.

Glad to hear your morning pages are back in good graces!

Tanner May (Tanya) said...

Wonderful wonderful post Holly! F-u's and snow hitting your face while swinging..... perfecto. Once again, I am left thinking you are one strong cookie who comes in lots of shapes, sizes and textures with sprinkles on them. Rock on Holly. F-ing rock on Sister Holly Coffee.

Steph said...

Oh, Holly... I love this photograph so very much. It makes me just feel like I can BREATHE. I can't explain it beyond that. Thank you for sharing this story. I'm so happy, genuinely, that you took the moment to just be still and reflect and BE. Kudos, friend...
And even more kudos for laying into those MPs! I know I use my writing to tell the world what I think and feel, too. It's such great therapy. (am also secretly pleased I'm not the only person who's ever covered a piece of paper with nothing but the f word...) You make ME feel better. Thank you...