Tag Archive | Taylor Swift

The Artist’s Way Reflections – Week Five: Recovering a Sense of Possibility

whitepumpkinThis was another volatile week for me. I think it’s just a volatile time. I had a hard time sticking to things like Morning Pages, after thinking I’d turned a corner on that.

The damn pages just aren’t letting me ignore feelings that I’d much rather ignore and it’s annoying.

In this chapter, she talks about wanting to be left alone, and I’m definitely feel that to some degree, and also in these quarantine times, the need for human connection feels paramount, especially as someone who’s living the quarantine life alone.

It feels somehow that this is out of balance for me, like I’d like to work in more connections in some ways and less in others and I’d like to think and write on that to re-center as it applies to in-person, virtual, phone time and social media.

Week Five: Recovering a Sense of Possibility

Limits

One thing that really spoke to me in this section was the bit about how we’re miserly with ourselves because we’re afraid of overspending any spiritual abundance. For me, it manifests as a fear of jinxing things, a fear of getting my hopes up, a fear of what horrible thing will happen if too many good things happen.

Does anyone else feel this way?

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My Pop Culture Digest – September 2020

Music

For music, along with sprinkling in a whole host of other albums, the ones I’m listening to over and over are largely unchanged from last month. folklore, Gaslighter, Such Pretty Forks in the Road and Petals for Armor are my mainstays.

Taylor Swift

Earlier this month, Taylor performed “betty” for the Academy of Country Music Awards ceremony. This was the song that got to me most on my first listen to folklore and has stayed one of my favorites off the album ever since, so of course I tuned in. I don’t have cable, but, there are ways around that.

Her performance was pitch-perfect, from the music to her voice to the outfit to the guitar. Here it is:

Since this was on TV and all, she had to change “Would you tell me to go fuck myself?” to “Would you tell me to go straight to hell?” and it most definitely doesn’t have the same punch as the original line. God I hope we get live concerts again before too long because I want to scream this line, the real line, along with Taylor and tens of thousands of fans. I miss live music.

I hope one day, I can play this song on guitar. I reeeeeeeally want folklore guitar and piano books!

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Creativity Goals Check-In September 27, 2020

goals9

Goals from Last Week – How Did it Go?

Welllll, the fact that I’m writing this post a day late should say something. It was probably the roughest week yet.

Writing

  • work on Moonchild (writing project) all seven days – four.
  • work on blog at least five days – three.
  • at least seven sessions of digitizing old writing – I don’t think I did any?
  • craft and send an important tweet – I did this one. Now that it’s done I can say what it is. I tweeted my leaving med school post at Taylor Swift. I knew it was a long shot that she would ever see it, but her album, and especially “exile” has become so inextricably linked to me leaving school, and to me telling people I’m leaving school, that I wanted to share. I think that years in the future when I look back and think of folklore, I’ll think of leaving school and telling my story.

Music

  • seven guitar practice sessions – two.
  • get up through song 100 of Book One of my Hal Leonard Guitar Method Complete Edition book – which means FINISHING BOOK ONE! – nope.
  • seven piano practice sessions – two.
  • Continuing on my quest to catch up on Technic and Composition sections previously skipped in Keyboard Musician for the Adult Beginner book, I will do the composing for Unit 4, technic and compositing for Unit 5, and technic and composing for unit 6. Then I’ll be all caught up and can continue forward – nope.

Lifestyle

  • sleep without the phone (a struggle you can read about here) – this will put me at 189 nights (27 weeks) in a row – yes. Getting extremely tenuous.
  • write Morning Pages every day – four.
  • don’t look at phone until after Morning Pages – this is back on – four.
  • Finish The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd – I’m very close to the end – and start a new book. Not sure yet what I’ll start with, as I’m in a few different book clubs and have so much I want to read – DONE, and I also read 11/22/63 by Stephen King, which is 850 pages, this week.
  • do an Artist Date – maybe? Maybe some of the reading counted? I don’t know.

Reflections on the Week

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The Artist’s Way Reflections – Week Three: Recovering a Sense of Power

MPjournal early fallIn today’s column, I’ll look at all of the essays, exercises and tasks of Week Three in The Artist’s Way, except for Synchronicity, a fairly long section, which will be the focus of next week’s post. That’s a whole beast of a topic to tackle.

In thinking about this week and all its topics, including Synchronicity, it strikes me that this one line in the Detective Work, an Exercise section could be the topic sentence for the whole chapter. It reads:

“Many blocked people are actually very powerful and creative personalities who have been made to feel guilty about their own strengths and gifts.”

She goes on to say that:

“Made to feel guilty for their talents, they often hide their own light under a bushel for fear of hurting others. Instead, they hurt themselves.”

To my mind, all the little essays in this chapter illuminate more about these lines, and get at how we lose our power through shamings and criticisms, how we give away our power by ignoring the messages from our difficult friend Anger, and how to start to take it back with detective work, synchronicity, and finally, growth.

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The Artist’s Way Reflections – Week Two: Recovering a Sense of Identity

brightcitrussunflowerThis chapter, like the name says, focuses on identity. It seems so simple, but I think a blurring of identity underlies a lot of creative blockage. It gets blurry because we get inundated with messages–family, friends, teachers, social media, TV at large–that tell us what we should want, who we should be. And there are parts of ourselves we give up for various reasons. It’s all too easy to get to a place where you’re going through life unsure of who you even are.

I definitely felt that in medical school; I saw myself going through the motions of doing all the things I was supposed to do, and all the things I had to do on top of that, and it all took so much time and energy that I felt like there was so little me left. I’ve also felt something similar in destructive relationships.

For whatever reason, it’s just so easy to lose yourself. At least, it is for me. So, I like this chapter and its tasks and how the focus on self-definition and sorting out the signal from the noise all around us.

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“Please, Picture Me, In the Trees”

(Apparently, I can’t stop naming my posts after Taylor Swift lyrics, and so, I’ll post the lyric video for “seven,” the song this comes from, at the end of the post).

IMGP6957eCAMP_ORKILA_ROAD_ORCASLately, I’ve been dreaming of Orcas. The island, not the whale. And the metaphorical sense of dreaming. Daydreaming. Yearning.

With my whole med school life falling apart, all I want to do is go to the woods. Work on my writing, music, podcasting, work on work (I’m looking for work in the wake of all the school fallout) and have trees and water as solace and spiritual recovery, because nature connection is my spirituality and I feel like starving a little without it.

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“You’re Not My Homeland Anymore”

Or “So I’m Leaving Out the Side Door” Part Two

Since this post is a sequel to that one, I’m posting the lyric video again.

In “exile” from folklore, Taylor Swift and Justin Vernon of Bon Iver are singing to and about an ex-lover. For me, the song has taken on a totally different, personal meaning.

It’s held steady as my favorite song on folklore (with many others way, way up there, at this moment the next closest has to be “the lakes”) because the whole concept of exile seems to fit my life right now. Even if it’s (semi) self-imposed.

For me the you of the song isn’t an ex, isn’t a lover, isn’t a person at all.

It’s medical school. It’s medical training as a whole. It’s the medical education industrial complex.

“So I’m leaving out the side door”

I’m leaving medical school.

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My Pop Culture Digest – August 2020

folklore coverIt’s going to be light this month. It’s been a month of a lot of personal emotional turmoil and change, and somehow in that, I haven’t consumed as much pop culture as usual.

The only TV I watched was some Veronica Mars early this month with my good friend, and I haven’t watched any since he moved last week, and some Better Call Saul for recaps for the site.

I tried to watch the Bachelor GOAT episode for Ali’s season because it was one of my favorites (Kasey has to be one of the most memorable characters of all time on that show) but those GOAT episodes are just TOO LONG and I gave up and listened to podcasts about it instead.

Speaking of podcasts, oh podcasts, this month, I think due to sheer emotional exhaustion that’s been going on for months, I just couldn’t with much other than replaying old episodes of Bachelor-related podcasts from old seasons back in the day.

Most of my pop culture consumption this month was in the arenas of music and books. Some are repeats, and some are new.

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“So I’m Leaving Out the Side Door”

This morning, I did a thing. It has to do with what is for now still unsayable but which came up a lot in this anguished post earlier this week. This thing I did is a huge step towards being able to talk openly about it, which I’m dying to do.

This song was playing at the crucial moment of doing the thing, and that’s where the title for the post comes from. Even though my situation is so different from what Taylor Swift and Bon Iver are singing about, everything feels like it fits. It’s my current favorite off of folklore, and I don’t think that’s an accident.

Lines that stick out for me at the moment, aside from the one used in my post title include:

“you’re not my homeland anymore”

“you were my town
now I’m in exile seeing you out”

“second third and hundredth chances
balancing on breaking branches”

and the one line I always want to scream along with the perfect bridge of this song

“I gave so many signs”

Spoiler alert: The sequel to this post, “You’re Not My Homeland Anymore” is now live and spills all the tea on this cryptic post.

Until next time,

-April

The Artist’s Way Reflections – The Basic Tools: Morning Pages

MPsIn The Artist’s Way, aka AW, a book I’m blogging about weekly, one of the first thing that the author, Julia Cameron, introduces is the practice of Morning Pages. As far as I know, this is also true for subsequent spin-offs and sequels. Morning Pages are the cornerstone of all her work on discovering, recovering, and reconnecting with creativity.

So, that raises (not begs) the question of what are they and why are they so important. Morning Pages are simple at face value. When you wake up, you’re supposed to write three pages of long-hand writing, about anything you damn well please. The keys are that they’re supposed to be in the morning, they’re supposed to be long-hand and they’re supposed to be private–even you yourself aren’t supposed to look at them for awhile.

The morning part of it is to clear your head, dump out all your little thoughts and worries and random tidbits floating in your head that otherwise could nag at you for the rest of the day. And morning because maybe when we’re still groggy, there’s less self-censorship. That’s part of the privacy aspect, that they’re never to be shown to anyone because once they are, the other person’s judgements come in, and so do your own.

To that point, though this is probably a story for another day, I did once have a boyfriend who told me, drunk off his ass when we were in a fight, that he’d read mine and then made fun of me for things I’d written. Fun freakin’ times.

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