A Little Bliss

bliss

I had some old notes for this piece but hesitated to write it now.  Joseph Campbell, quoted in Austin Kleon‘s book (I think it was Keep Going), advises us about moving away from the everyday into a space and/or time to open and create. Campbell wrote:

You must have a room, or a certain hour or so a day…a place where you can simply experience and bring forth…the place of creative incubation…if you have a sacred place and use it, something eventually will happen.

Well, there’s no more “everyday” now, and who knows what that will look like later, what each of us will in future label “everyday”. When people have been universally forced into “other” time and space, can I still write about its value? I can try.

Campbell called the place he described above one’s “bliss station”. I have one. There it is, one end of a futon couch, next to some shelves, where I keep writing materials, meditation objects, and about 1/3 of my plants. And may I introduce Claude, the little blue fellow on the upper shelf, a rounded fellow with a ball nose and a beret, whom I made in a school crafts class when I was about 7? He’s sort of my Buddha. We’ve always been tight.

My bliss station is also early, before coffee is finished for the morning and work begins for the day. If I’ve got myself together, it’s sometimes before sunrise.  Not always.

I hadn’t been there for a while, as this current wave of awfulness started to break. I was sick (not with That) and scattered from suddenly having three jobs to do online, the entire gig economy on my lap. The news. Nerves. I don’t have to tell you. But then I went back to the bliss station and drafted this and started showing up again.

I will say four things are true about my Bliss Station. It was right there when I looked for it. It changes absolutely nothing about the current situation, except that I’m doing what I can to make the most Positive possible. Since I live in an attractive but very small apartment, it has helped these weeks to have designated spaces of all kinds: a work area, a reading corner, the bliss station, and random places to stand to listen to the news or think. That’s 3. The 4th one is that going to back to regular time in the bliss station has felt like Something. There’s things you can do if you put whatever is your own Ground under your own feet.

Against the enormity of what is happening, what are a few words here wishing you some Ground, Something to Lean On, a little Bliss? They are some words I wrote in my Creative Space, wishing you these things. Be well.

 

 

Uplift of the Week

Alice

So many ways to experience Creativity. Including when it sneaks up on you and throws a little surprise party just when you really needed one.

Some days just, as we used to say in Rhode Island in the 70s, rot. I recently had such a day, a bit of an inner Nor’easter.  Well, an inner “car swerves to slam a wall of puddle water onto you” anyway. Somehow, two of my favorite creative people suddenly appeared to offer some serious uplift.

One was “writer who draws” Austin Kleon, who books are delightful, advice-filled kicks in the pants for creative people. His recent newsletter called my attention to the soul-swirling fact that artist, writer, and goddess Maira Kalman has illustrated…are you ready?…wait for it… Gertrude Stein’s The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas.   I know!

And not only that. Kalman has done a short film, performing excerpts from the book as Alice B. Toklas, presumably in her, or someone’s, apartment in New York. It is outrageous and splendid and sort of nail-biting. I will watch it many, many times.

There was no choice but to be lifted. I love to explore and consider Creativity in many forms in our brimming-over world, but sometimes You and Someone’s Art is just a joyful encounter. Someone’s Creativity helps you find the spring breeze on a bad day, and up you go.