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The Artist’s Way Reflections – Synchronicity

astronomySynchronicity takes up a big section of Week Three: Recovering a Sense of Power (you can read about the rest of the chapter here). Enough that I thought it deserved its own post.

I can see why Julia Cameron put it in this chapter on Power, along with Anger and Shame and Growth. Synchronicity is the power of manifestation, of making things happen, of initiative and setting things in motion.

It’s also an aspect of this book that I struggle with. It goes back to my basic struggle with belief. With one side of me being the most hyper-rational skeptic and the other side believing (or at least wanting to) in magic and miracles.

There’s a task in one of the later chapters to record yourself (she was probably thinking tape recorders at the time) reading one of the essays in the book, and I chose this one because I struggle with it so much. (Next time, I’m picking a shorter section to record!)

Synchronicity, and My History Playing With It

When I was doing AW when I was younger, I believed in this synchronicity stuff more, and generally believed in things that could be believed in more. I was maybe a little skeptical but eager to try it out. And the results were…mixed at best.

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Tarot, Podcasts, Dreams and a Little Music

thestarIn last week’s Artist’s Way Reflections post, in the Shadow Artists section, I wrote about how looking at what I obsess and fangirl over is like looking at a compass showing me what secret yearnings lurk in my artist heart. In doing that looking, I wrote mostly about music and TV/film.

After writing the post, I thought, hmm maybe I need to add podcasting to that list because that’s probably the thing, pop culture wise, that I consume the most, although there are times when I trade out for audiobooks instead. I constantly listen to podcasts. While getting ready for the day or ready for bed, while doing any type of chore around the house whether it’s just washing one dish I need to use or doing a full-on cleaning, while working out, while in the shower or bath, while practicing guitar or keyboard, while cooking, while eating meals, while commuting when that was a thing, while falling asleep back in the day when I fell asleep with my phone. Podcasts in the morning, podcasts in the afternoon, podcasts in the evening. Podcasts all day long. I’m obsessed with so many of them, so shouldn’t that be a Shadow Artist art form too?

I dismissed the thought–the post was already long enough–and went about my day, and I’m sure, listened to more podcasts, which as you can see in my end-of-month Pop Culture Digest post, mostly meant listening to old Bachelor-related podcasts.

Then that night, I dreamt about starting a podcast. I don’t remember much. I hardly ever remember dreams anymore, and this snippet is maybe the only one I’ve remembered at all in the last month. I was going through a drawer of random electronics and cords and shit, and an unidentified friend or mentor (didn’t seem to be anyone I knew in real life), a dude, was telling me not to use a certain mic, and pointing out that I already had a better one, and to use that instead.

It’s not the first time I’ve dreamt of podcasting.

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The Artist’s Way Reflections – Preview Digression on Spirituality

Orkila winter 2This post is off-schedule, a day before launching the first post focusing on a chapter of The Artist’s Way. It wasn’t planned, but I went on such a digression about the Introduction part of AW that I decided to pull it out and make it its own post so it wouldn’t distract from the post about the week.

So, some thoughts on the introduction, and reflection on spirituality in my life:

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The Artist’s Way Reflections – Re-Starting the Journey

complete awIn previous posts in this Artist’s Way Reflections column, I’ve written about having a two-decade relationship with this landmark book on creativity and its basic tools (Morning Pages and the Artist Date) and its essays and exercises and tasks, all aimed and at opening, or re-opening a connection to creativity. Discovering and recovering your artistic self.

And now that the Basic Tools have been covered, next week I’ll move on to the main text of the book.

I’m hoping that some of you will join me on this Artist’s Way journey. Later in the post, I’m going to give a sketch of my plans for doing the book and this column, and different ways to join in. To find that, you can skip ahead to the section titled The Plan.

First though, I wanted to give a little history on my latest re-launch of the journey.

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Playing with a Thoth Deck

thothA week or so ago, I was on the phone with my friend Scott, talking about life updates–my big life updates, his last year of internal medicine residency, how covid is in our regions, his recent engagement and plans to have a wedding at an EDM festival next summer if such gatherings can happen then, he and his fiance watching Breaking Bad (him for the first time), my plans to start recapping Better Call Saul for this site–and somewhere in there, he mentioned that he’d recently gotten into tarot.

Ooooh, I thought. I love tarot, and I love talking tarot with people, and it’s always a jolt when someone in the science or medical world is also into tarot, because I don’t think there are many of us. I got a similar jolt when a classmate posted that they were doing an astrology workshop for an enrichment week activity, and some of the ensuing comments, and not just mine, were about tarot.

It’s a weird tension for me to contain inside myself, the hardcore science and rational side and the metaphysical side. That’s a topic I could write a lot about but for the sake of not going off on too many tangents, I’m going to shelve that idea for another day. Suffice to say, it’s a tension that’s at the core of who I am and I’m a little obsessed with science, with wanting to protect people from bad science or pseudoscience scams, and also with tarot and other such mystical systems, and maybe most of all with the concept of belief itself. But let’s set all that aside for now.

With all that aside, whenever someone first mentions tarot to me, the first thing I want to talk about is decks. There are so, so, so many. Different artwork, different books of interpretations, different aesthetics to both.

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The Artist’s Way Reflections – My Origin Story

AW1This past March, I picked up The Artist’s Way again after many years away from this famous creativity book. It’s been an interesting ride since then–expansive, challenging, difficult, combative at times (I definitely don’t resonate with everything in there), illuminating. So, it’s one of the things I wanted to post about when jumping back into blogging and thinking a lot about creativity.

I went back to The Artist’s Way, or AW as it’s known in my journals and to-do lists and calendars, after some tough decisions that set off a real transition time for me that I reeeeeally want to write about but can’t right now. It had been awhile since I’d cracked the book, and it makes sense to talk about my origin story with this book.

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The Completely Unanticipated TS8 “folklore” Drops at Midnight

folklore coverTS8 = Taylor Swift’s 8th album – translation for the non-Swifties

There was something I was going to post today. Now I can’t remember what it was. There were other things I was going to do today. Now it’s all out the window. I went on Twitter to do…something. I had a purpose opening the page. It wasn’t what I usually go on there for, which is to see if there are any updates from Clare’s season of The Bachelorette that’s filming right now, because I’d already done that earlier in the morning. I think it had something to do with this site, maybe seeing if it was properly linking with Twitter.

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Jumping Back into the Blogging Ring

IMG_0349When I started posting again in April, as April, I thought I’d come back quickly to regular blogging. Yeeeeeah, about that. Clearly that wasn’t the case.

I’m going through some major life upheavals, and though I won’t go into it now, I plan on posting about it on here at a later time. Right now, a lot of it is still under wraps, kept off of here and off of my social media, but as things move forward that will start to shift.

There’s just a lot to work out and through and I’m really in the shit right now.

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Tarot Cards for the Remaining Characters on Breaking Bad

So this was a little fun idea that was inspired by a few people over at the AMC BrBa board–Kathy, Schmeisenberg and Lydia’s Shoes–why not try reading tarot cards for the characters who are left and see if that’s indication of their fate in the next episode? Of course they aren’t real, but their stories are more finite than most things one might attempt to pick up using esoteric tools. I used to read cards all the time, so why the fuck not?

And just in case it’s not abundantly clear, this is totally in fun, not serious. Just playing around. So let’s do it.

Character Tarot Readings for “Granite State”

MARIE – Victory (Six of Wands)

tarot-marieindexThat was a bit surprising. I don’t expect anyone to be feeling victorious in tonight’s episode, especially Marie, considering her husband has just died. This could pertain to an “I was right!” type feeling. Maybe in her grief, she is enjoying one-upping Skyler somehow? There is definitely a sense of pride going on here. There could also be some righteous anger. Can’t let go of the poisoning idea even though I can’t see how it would come into play. But whether it does or not, perhaps Marie will “win” somehow tonight? Or it’s all just hogwash.

SKYLER – Knight of Discs

tarot-skylerimagesThis card actually fits Skyler very well. The knight of discs is pragmatic, steady, solid, concerned with the little details that add up to building a future. The knight of discs is savvy and careful about matters of money, again always focused towards building a future. This indicates acting out of logic and practicality and not so much out of emotion. We might see some calculated moves on Sky’s part, that shrewd intellect of hers leading the way. Skysenberg may be at it again. To me this card doesn’t necessarily indicate an outcome so much as a mindset. I think she’ll be using that big brain of hers to deal with things the best way she can for the long-term benefit. Maybe that will mean playing into what Walt set up in that call, or maybe it will mean fessing up everything she knows if that’s what’ll be best for the kids, or maybe it could mean floating Walt’s false confession (doesn’t seem likely though). The point is, if there’s anything to this, Sky will be acting out of logic and reasoned thought rather than emotion. And she has that potential in her, big-time.

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A Somewhat Double Life – Dark As Roses 3

dar3imagesTo start this short story from the beginning, click here.

I take the box of this week’s letters and hold it close to me so that Kevin can’t hug me. With a quick wave I leave the office and head for my car across the parking lot. I throw the box in the trunk and close it tight. I get in the car and speed off to meet my two best friends for lunch. I like them because they’re never bursting with color, but dim like me.

When I arrive at the cafeteria on the ground level of our dorm building, Jade and Andrea are already waiting. “Hey, we were about to go inside without you,” Andrea says.

I catch up with them. “Sorry. Crowley let us out late again. Always seems to do that on Mondays. Then I had to run to the paper office to hand in my movie review.” They nod knowingly as we fill our plates with food.

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