Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Guilt, Gratitude and a Full Life

Please pardon me if I ramble, I must dash in twenty minutes. I've gone through a flurry of housekeeping in the last couple of weeks, and plan to do more. It's funny how an accumulation of things will stick around in my house because I feel I ought to keep them. There's the ubiquitous gifts from family that don't quite fit me, we all do that. There's the things I mean to get to, and I hang on to them because I'm not only holding on to the physical stuff, but to the myth that I really will get to them.

I'm ready to dump the guilt. I did so with two boxes of magazines. I've been subscribing to The Writer and Poets and Writers Magazine for several years. (My husband said, "You carry a lot of guilt about writing, don't you?) I really used to read magazines, but somehow when I started getting these a few years back, I ran out of time for them. So I let them pile up. And I kept them because I thought they'd contain valuable knowledge for me, a writer. So there's an added guilt, as my husband could see, that I wasn't really supporting my writing, wasn't really pursuing it and giving it the chance it deserved. Then there's the other guilt, the Buddhist guilt. That guilt says I shouldn't consume more than I need, so I must look at the magazines eventually because otherwise that would be a waste.

So I quickly pawed through the tables of contents, and found I really should have cancelled The Writer after a year. All the articles were pretty much the same half-dozen, telling one how to be a best-seller. They all would start with numbers, such as "7 Ways to Start a Novel," "14 Things Every Writer Should Know to Get Published," "5 Ways You Really Will F*ck Yourself" You get the drift. Now if I can squeeze in the time, I really want to do more dumping of the guilt and get rid of all this stuff plaguing me: too many library books, too many little googaws squirreled away, filling my closets to the brim.

And I really want to write my novel.

The trouble is I have a hard time saying no. A new friend told me I'm like a raccoon (or I think a crow): I like shiny things, I am easily distracted by the new bright luminous thing or bit of knowledge that life has to offer. I am so grateful that I have such goodness in my life: Buddhism, polyamory, my relationships, friendships, Buddhist Peace Fellowship. I'm grateful I can support Buddhism in Portland, but the organizing that comes with that takes a lot of time.

So I have a full life, but well, I may not get that novel done before I'm 50, and I just turned 38.

Speaking of organizing, Change Your Mind Day: A Buddhist Festival was a great success. Pictures are here, more to come. This year, thankfully, Tricycle did follow through and publish a report about us.

Ok, gotta dash...

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