Thursday, September 1, 2011


Welcome to the 40th posting of 'Ritas and Rants!

Tasty Tidbit #1:  Fabulous Quotes from Bread Making Day

It’s your duty to be dirty. 

At least there’s no stooge here.

Thank you for not being stooges.

Squash Gone Wild

The Butt Loaf

I like mine thick.

I’ll go deep.

It’s ALIVE!!

On a side note, I wrote these on the back of a DQ receipt.  At the top it says, “Hot Sensations!”

Tasty Tidbit #2:  Circled

            Ah yes, almost finished with the first week of the fall semester.  We couldn’t start the semester without some good old fashion drama.  For some reason English professors seem to like to put desks in a circle.  It’s supposed to be good for workshops and discussions, great.  I’m not a big fan of the circle, because it’s hard to get in and out, plus it takes up time at the end of the class to get things straightened up again.  I was discussing this point with a fellow student and she was telling me that after our first class, in which we did not put the desk back in rows, the professor that had the room after us was pretty unhappy.  Since we both dislike the circle we decided to leave the desks in rows until the professor showed up.  Perhaps he had talked with the other professor and would leave off putting the desks in a circle, one can hope anyway.  We had barely come to this decision when another student came in the room.  She immediately let us know that we needed to put the desks in a circle.  We explained our position and the position of the professor in the following class.  She didn’t care.  She talked over us and began shoving desks around us forming the circle.  At one point she asked me how many people were in the class, when I told her, she told me I was wrong and picked out her own number.  I wondered why she had bothered to ask me at all (turns out I was closer with my number than she was, ha, ha, mature I know).  We watched as she put the circle into place.  Once the desks were situated, many so close together that you couldn’t fit a notebook between the desks, the other student and I turned our desks into the inevitable circle.  The other woman however would not quit.  She went on and on, basically about how she was right about the professor wanting the desks in a circle.  Her first mistake was coming in and giving two women twice her age orders.  Her second mistake was that she kept talking.  The term ass-kisser came to mind.  When the professor finally showed up he was grateful the desks were in circle position and of course you know who piped up.  The woman I had originally talked with looked at me from across the circle.  I smiled and shrugged my shoulders.  It’s going to be an interesting semester. 


            I’m not sure where this blog is going tonight.  With the school semester just starting I haven’t had a lot of time to think about what I want to write this evening.  Things started off slightly upside down, which is normal for me, but it looks like things are smoothing out.  Tonight on my way home from school and paying the rent, I found myself noticing things I had never noticed before.  I know I talked about taking the time to really see your environment in a previous blog and I certainly don’t want to beat a dead horse to death.  So instead of telling you that tonight for the first time I noticed there is a side road named Hidden Spring, that I saw five U-haul trucks, New Hampshire, Maine, Newfoundland and I can’t remember the other two.  I won’t tell you about the large teddy bear on the side of the road marking where a child had been hit by a car or the golden brown corn across the street that is already being cut down.  I won’t tell you how glad I am that August is over, and that twelve months is too soon to see it again.  Instead I decided to tell you about an experience I had doing something called Morning Pages.  I wanted to tell you how I found my foundation.
            Morning pages come from a book called The Artist Way, by Julia Cameron.  This is not a book just for writers; this is a book for everyone in every walk of life, no matter what you call art.  One of the practices that Julia teaches is Morning pages.  Every morning you write three pages, doesn’t matter what you write, the point is to write three pages.  For me these pages serve as a dumping and a birthing ground.  For the most part they are the former, a place where the extra trash in my mind can find a home, a way for me to unblock so I can be clear and write.  At first I hated morning pages.  Hated them.  I grumbled, kicked my heels, bitched and complained that I “had” to do them, but I did do them.  I wasn’t perfect, I didn’t do them everyday like the program suggests, I missed a couple days or sometimes had to write them at night.  Despite my grumbling I did them and they started to work, which of course if when I stopped writing them.
            I put the stupid pages in a box and went about my business.  About a year later I decided to try again.  Again I wrote three pages a day, sometimes just writing blah, blah, blah to get through.  Sometimes I would write really big to fill the page up faster.  Again I noticed that after doing the pages for awhile something was changing, and again I stopped.  This time it took a lot less time for that “something” to happen.  A few months later I was desperately seeking a way to improve my writing.  I stumbled on the book while I was unpacking and setting up my meditation room, but it took awhile for me to get started on the pages again.  On August 11th, the same day that I started my goal lists to move toward my dreams, I also began my morning pages.  I haven’t missed a day yet. 
            It was two days ago, not even a month after I started doing my morning pages again, that “something” happened and this time I didn’t run away.  I hope you all aren’t holding out for anything too profound, although it was profound for me, it might not have the same impact for you.  It’s a bit like trying to explain a deeply spiritual experience, something is lost in the translation, but I will do my best to share with you. 
            The first couple of morning pages were much the same as before.  Basic mind dumping stuff.  After those first days I noticed lines of poetry, and story ideas popping into the pages as I wrote.  In fact one of the story ideas I will be using for my first story due in my fiction workshop class.  I continued to write and things continued to be mundane and then pop something would show up on the page.  Then on the 30th, something popped through that was altogether unexpected.  I was writing about school.  I was trying to work out how I would balance my schedule; this was when I was still feeling a bit upside down.  I knew that I wanted to do well with my work, but I also wanted to stay balanced with my friends and home life, not an easy thing with the classes I am in, as they are upper division and therefore fairly demanding of my time.  I thought if I could write it out maybe some idea would pop through.  And an idea did pop through.
            As I wrote out my hopes and fears I remember wondering if I could pull this off?  I didn’t want to be superwoman; I just wanted to make sure I balanced my life.  That was when the thought popped in, I can do it.  I know it’s simple, but for the first time in my life, I believed those words.  I wrote them on the page and I was astonished at their presence.  Just four little words, yet they possessed so much power.  It made me think of four cornerstones, which led me to think of all the work I had been doing in my life to build myself a solid foundation.  That foundation had just gone through a major earthquake and I was starting to question and doubt myself.  Those four little words were magic, they were better than magic.  For the first time in my life I knew they were true.  I wrote them again, just so I could savor the feeling of knowingness.  I wrote, I can do it.  The magic was not gone; I could still feel it like a steady pulse.  Something in me knew the truth of those words.  Perhaps it had been buried in my sub-conscious, or some part of my soul recognized the truth, I don’t know.  I just know that as I wrote those words I could feel the strength of my foundation.
            I wrote about my amazement in those morning pages.  I wrote about how I knew that those four little words were right, that they were true, and that I actually believed them.  This wasn’t fake it till you make it, this was actually it.  I was there.  As I wrote and wondered I realized that these four words are my foundation.  Four words, four cornerstones, so I wrote the words on a card, under them I wrote, these words are my foundation, a reminder to myself of the truth.  The next day I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to find the truth in those words, that I would write them on the page and the magic would be gone, but I was wrong.  I wrote the words again and again I could feel a steady strength within me.  I was grateful that I had taken the time to do morning pages, even though they are sometimes mundane and boring.  I was grateful that Julia Cameron found the strength inside herself to write The Artist Way.  I was grateful I found the words of my foundation and felt the truth and strength of their conviction.  So simple, yet so complete, I can do it and so can you.

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