A DREAM STATE is my favorite state of mind.
In actual sleep, my dreams are vivid, epic and stored sharply in my memory the day after.
They provide inspiration and an over-all sense of magic and wonder, which is totally awesome. But what's also very cool, is that the more I dream (or more so - REMEMBER my dreams) the more I can let the magical dream STATE into my every day awakened life: By letting my eyes wonder and see images in the clouds as I walk down the street, or by letting my imagination go wild hearing imagined dialogue when my cats meow, or picturing complete scenes as I drive the streets of LA or walk along the lively Venice boardwalk.
In dreams - everything is possible. There are no stops to imagination and no 'realistic constraints' to make note of. And when I am in my creative sphere, be it in acting, or writing or using my hands to create wearable art pieces... thinking of my process as 'a dream' frees the dream state - if only for a glimpse - and creativity follows along.
Flow seems to like the dream state as much as I do.
*Art By: Adry del Rocio
Dear Green Thumb:
I heard about you in a story
A fable, a poem, a tale
You were the talk of the forest
And a VIP at the market
But an enigma to me
As real as a fairy
And as fleeting as a dream.
'My thumb is a tinted shade of yellow'
I weeped to my garden
But it didn't hear me
Because ... my thumb is a tinted shade of yellow.
To the plant I killed
And the ones I will:
If this is any conciliation -
We all end up in the ground.
Whether our leaves are clean,
Or browning in their tips
Whether our thumbs are green
Or more like my yellow tint
And if we blossom and grow
Then we may get uprooted
And if we stay buried below
We may still be polluted.
So I'll use my thumb
Even if it's nowhere near green
I am in no way a gardener
But my garden will be a sight unseen:
A creation that comes from the dirt in me
And it will blossom to whatever I would like it to be.
Heart: Um... what's going on? I am beating so fast!
Brain: Uh-huh. Are you having an attack? Are you in love? Did you just do cardio? Are you having an anxiety attack? Did you just lift something heavy?
Soul: Oh Brain, why do you have to go there, huh? CHILL. Can't you feel she is just... excited?
Brain: I suppose excitement can generate an elevation of the heart beat.
Soul: You 'suppose?' Brain, I find it so odd that you don't actually FEEL Heart. In so many ways... you two are disconnected. I'm not judging. Just making an observation. I'm all about awareness y'know. Namaste.
Brain: Actually, I think awareness is MY department. And what do you mean by 'feel' her? I don't FEEL anything. I THINK.
Soul: Oh yeah... that ole' thing. Thinking is so... what's the word? Outdated.
Heart: Soul - Are you... having a grudge!? This isn't like you.
Brain: Not like him at all.
Soul: Yeah? Well, I SUPPOSE I do! When one has to carry the weight of a complete SOUL on their shoulders, the job can be pretty tiring.
Heart: Hey... grudges are kind of MY department.
Ego: Um, and possessiveness is MY department!
Brain: Ego is correct.
Ego: I always am.
Heart: Wait a second... Soul... are you... I mean are WE all... merging? Are we finally one?
Ego: I don't know about you all, but I am on a planet by myself here.
Heart: Not you Ego, no - you are like this separate being that is that petulant child we learn to co-exist with. No offense... I am referring to Brain and Soul and I. If Soul is feeling and thinking... it seems like merging to me.
Brain: If that is true, that would explain why you are excited Heart.
Soul: I THINK... And I FEEL that you are correct. Merging is painful!
Heart: And exciting!
Brain: And thought provoking!
Ego: Hey! Why are you leaving me out of this!?
Soul: We are not... it's just happening... there is no place for ego when one is whole.
The day after a birthday, or a symbolic day, I am left with a mixed feeling of content on one hand - 'ah, it happened..' and a disappointed feeling at another - 'ah, it's over.' I find myself eagerly planning my next milestone: a day for a trip I'd like to take... A deadline for a new work in the horizon... A friend's visit from out of town to look forward to...
I eagerly plan for the next milestone because there is a subtle hope in having something on the horizon.
I read somewhere (a newspaper? a website? a travel magazine? insert 'thinking emoji' here) that a person is more happy and excited in the two weeks leading up to a vacation than during the vacation itself. This notion blew my mind, (Well.... clearly not enough to remember the source - insert 'shrugging emoji' here) and made me realize the value in looking forward. In consciously inserting hope into my life. In putting things on the horizon.
So the day after a trip, or the day after a birthday, or the day after a deadline - is the day I come up with something new on the horizon: A hope, a plan, a goal. A date to look forward to. Are my eyes set on a new filmmaking application to jumpstart my next project and provide a work deadline for it? Maybe. Am I looking at google flights obsessively plotting my next travel plan now the world is opening up a bit? Possibly. Am I setting a new goal in my calendar to aspire to? Probably.
And just like that - the day AFTER becomes one of the days BEFORE...
Dear Blog of mine,
Today is your birthday.
365 days ago, you were born into a mother (um, ME) who was then too timid to announce it to the world. SO TIMID, that she had to birth you anonymously and keep you all to herself for the first few months of your life.
It was rocky at first between us, dear Blog, but all beginnings are hard... and by June of last year we found our own dance to groove to, our own musical notes to play, and our own stories to tell.
It was rocky and then in an instant - it wasn't.
Suddenly there they were: short stories about loss and longing and love and fear, a full play we came up with together on this very blog, so many poems that were at times funny but most often melancholic, random blog posts about the tensed reality of our times, creative investigations into words and wisdoms, 'How To' lists about anything from 'what to watch during the pandemic' to 'what are my favorite places in the world', a dialogue between cats experiencing short term memory (yes, for real, I don't know where THAT came from, obviously I am a cat-person), and I even made up my own coded language that I challenged my readers to guess. (The prize for that riddle is still up for grabs FYI!)
365 days of diving in to my inner life, exploring what's there and tossing it out hoping for the best. All I had to do was SHOW UP to you, and you were there, showing up to me in all your glory. Teaching me to be a better writer, a better person, a better thinker and a better lover.
I may have birthed YOU a year ago, as a creative experiment of sorts, but you birthed a creative warrior out of me; a pro that only needs to find some time, a Wifi signal, a seat in front of my laptop - and the muse comes, and the flow flows and the words write themselves.
Happy birthday to US then, dear blog of mine.
Thank you for being my teacher, my comrade, my creation and my creator.
Forgive me, readers, for I have sinned:
Forgot about you when I opened my notebook.
Dismissed you when I held up the pen.
Denounced you when I spoke words of love and hate and power and distress.
You were there all along,
But I didn't see you.
You were the fly on the wall of my words
And I didn't hear you buzzing.
You knocked on the door to my heart
And I was too busy piling armor upon armor on it.
And now what good is it to see clearly?
When the damage is done and the hearts are broken.
When the words have gone and the curtain has fallen.
When the notebook is filled but no words have been spoken.
I didn't mean to forget about you, readers
But I did.
I didn't mean to dismiss you readers,
But I did.
I didn't mean to denounce you readers,
But I did.
What good is a poet without poems?
What good is a reader without words
Or an artist without paint
Or an actor without action
Or a shoemaker without shoes
Or a musician without notes
Or a dreamer without a dream
Or a confessional without a priest
Forgive me readers, for I have sinned:
Thinking I was writing for ME
when all along,
I was writing for YOU.
Dear Imposter Syndrome,
Oh, there you are.
We've met a few times in the past.
Very few times... so forgive me, but I am a bit unfamiliar with the way your rattle through my stomach and make me doubt if I belong in whatever 'success' the world has placed in my lap.
It feels... uncomfortable to be in your presence, Imposter Syndrome.
It feels... wrong.
Do I have an Imposter Syndrome about having an Imposter Syndrome!?
You sure are a heavy pill to swallow, so it seems.
The moment you show up - my mind starts racing with thoughts: It was just luck. I don't belong there! No, there's got to be a mistake here. Wait, you mean I'm seen? Like, for real?? Little ole' me???
With every question my mind goes to, my stomach fills with emotions... with doubt... with fear... with excitement... Strangely, I feel fueled by you.
Are you the messenger of good news, Dear Imposter Syndrome?
Should I accept you with open arms, or dread your arrival?
Or maybe I should stop using 'should' in a sentence altogether.
How about I soften into the feeling you bring along without asking millions of questions?
Maybe you are this milestone that comes and signals to me: '
It's okay. You are here. You have arrived. You belong.'
...And my mind has to catch up to believe it.
Maybe you are that NUDGE my mind needs in order to believe in me, to believe in us, and together we will discover a new phase in the 'Belonging' theme of my life.
Maybe you belong to me.
Maybe you are a part of me.
Maybe suddenly I don't feel that rattling in my stomach anymore.
Maybe suddenly - you are not so uncomfortable anymore.
Lil' ole' invisible me.
The countdown continues and my celebrations await...
But before I go and pat myself on the back on a year-well-done, here are some reflections on what I've learned from this lil' year long creative experiment:
1. Daily rituals are where it's at.
When I was sixteen, I formed myself a daily rule to encourage myself to write and paint (Yes, I used to paint then too. The writing persisted, the painting... not so much). This daily ritual was called 'The One Line Rule.' And it consisted of writing at least ONE LINE a day, and painting at least ONE LINE a day. Most days I did much more than one line, honestly. A start usually leads one somewhere, and that was the gist behind this rule of mine. That, and the DAILY following of it. Today I have a streak of daily rituals - and I believe it's actually far easier for me to do something when I do it every day, then when I do it, say, a few times a week for example.
2. When I commit to something - I fu$$ing do it!
Some people need accountability buddies. Or some need accountability groups. Or some need a coach or a trainer to get them off their a$$ to do their creative work. I don't. I need to keep a word with MYSELF and that is the solid way for me to actually do the thing I plan to do. It's an inner dialogue with myself, and between me and myself - my word is SOLID.
3. Perfectionism is a drag.
A year ago, when I decided to post my in-progress works on this blog, I did it as a an exercise in meeting my perfectionism. My perfectionism was an equal opponent at the time, and I had to battle it pretty hard. I am happy to report that today I suddenly notice that little miss perfectionism of mine has shrunk to about a third of her size. She's not nearly as much of a threat now. And with everything I've learned about myself through writing this year? Perfectionism has nothing on me. I can take her down!
4. I can only cheat MYSELF.
On those days that I 'phone it in' up here... the days where it's one in the morning... and I haven't written a thing yet... and I'm EXHAUSTED... yeah those days when I retreat to writing something 'simple' or box my post in a 'word of a day' type of an entry... I usually still find something there. It may be unexpected and I may be too tired to notice, but the day after - I may find a gem in there. And if I don't? Well, nobody will throw me to the fire here. The only one missing out really - is just me.
5. I still don't know my sweet spot, AND THAT'S OKAY.
There you have it. A year of creative writing down, and I STILL don't know what's my sweet spot in this grand exploration of the world of words... sure, in my writing life outside of my blog - my sweet spot is screenwriting. Simply because it's the industry I live and breathe. But in the creative writing of 'you can write anything' blog world... I tip toe between melancholic poems, short stories that I wouldn't know how to sum up if you paid me, lists such as this one, random personal blurbs, comedic dialogues and personal memoir type writings. I still don't know my sweet spot, and I may never will, and that's totally, like TOTALLY okay.
Remember we met
At that bar on 4th street?
It was rainy that day
And your shoes were torn.
You asked for new socks
And I invited you over.
You stared at my room and asked
'Where's the window?'
My face fell, embarrassed.
I was living my dream
I was living my Big Apple Dream
Without a window.
And you were living your dream
You were living your Big Apple dream
With your wet socks.
Some days you meet your fear.
And some days - you meet you LITERALLY meet your fear.
Let me back up a bit...
I have a home Voice-over studio in my home. Well, calling it a 'studio' is a stretch since it's a space small enough to only fit one person no taller than me... but it's got all the gear and the silencing so a 'home studio' it is! And this tiny studio has been serving me well this past year when I was able to work remotely on various jobs. Today was one of those lucky days where I got to work off of my teeny tiny home studio. No need for shoes! I can slip right in in my PJ's and actually work in that little nook in the wall. A nook that once was a closet and today is my quiet little sanctuary. But this little 'sanctuary' is rather dark, warm and tight. I can get sweaty in that warm space and aching for more space. And it's so dark in there and my small battery power LED light only lives on for a couple of hours at most.
Imagine my bewilderment today when I had a visitor in my little home studio.
And not just ANY visitor: a full blown SPIDER stared at me from the top of my microphone's pop filter as I was about to open my mouth and speak to it!!!
Oh. I may have failed to mention that I AM TERRIFIED OF SPIDERS.
Yup. I have arachnophobia and today I got to, quite literally, meet my fear.
So what happened, you may wonder? Well, the good news is that the spider didn't eat me (don't laugh now - irrational fears are IRRATIONAL y'know...) and the other good news is that I worked through it and did my job DESPITE the fear bubbling inside of me.
Today I met my fear and beat it.
And acknowledged it and continued on.
I met a spider up close, and I lived to tell about it.
In April 2020, while experiencing her first ever global pandemic, Tamar Pelzig pledged to write something every day, even if it's only a word, so she welcomed to the world a daily blog to keep her creative writing wheels rolling.
Header Art: Daniel Landerman