The Artist’s Prayer
Creative Power of the Universe (great CPU),
I offer myself to You,
to do with me as You will.
Relieve me of the bondage of self,
that I may better do Your will.
Take away my difficulties,
that victory over them
may bear witness to those I wish to help
of Your Power, Your Love, and Your Way of life.
May I do Your will always!
So there’s that. And then there’s this:
“All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.” — Ernest Hemingway
The fact is I don’t want to write for other people. Other people, as a group, terrify me, and words terrify me as well.
I am a firm believer of the old adage that “the pen is mightier than the sword,” and that thought petrifies me before I can even write a single word intended for the public.
I have a family, children, a husband as well as others whom I love dearly and I would not want to hurt their feelings let alone cause some other harm I can’t foresee.
I know that even publishing that sentence may cause unintentional harm to those who have no children or husband, or those who might have lost them. It may cause jealousy or sadness for someone, and they may dislike me for it, and I greatly fear being disliked.
Yes it’s all selfish. I am aware that I hurt myself even with those words because no one likes a neurotic self-absorbed fill-in-the-blank-with-your-worst-insult, and thus I can’t be popular, and perhaps as I write this I realize that my secret subconscious goal is to be popular, which would mean I haven’t changed a bit since high school.
And yet I know I have changed, since now I have the sense to know that popularity only leads to more pain. Because popularity means more (groups of!) people. Which leads me back to my initial fears. And what we are all really seeking is not popularity, at the core, but rather Love, pure Love. Love and Acceptance.
And I know that I/we can only receive that Love and Acceptance from the Great CPU. From the creative energy, the underlying mycelium, the inner core of Self, the part that connects us to everyone and everything. Only I can give that. Only I can give that to me, and only You can give that to You.
Or perhaps that’s a simplistic way of saying it. What I mean is, it really does start from inside the self. At the point where you connect with inner voice, which comes from what I call the great CPU. That’s where true love is generated. After that we can accept anyone anything and everything.
Since starting my new blog, I find myself blocked. That’s what happens every time I start a new blog. I think: I will start a new blog. One that is dynamic, one that is true in the moment; one for which I will not obsess about having people know the whole story in the first two sentences. One where I will not obsess about whether it is right to tell my story when it seems to have no meaning, except as its place as one small story, one small star in the diamond web of the night sky.
It all starts out fine and with good intentions. Just before the good intentions, I’ll have found myself, in my private life, writing like a tap turned on, and the water gushing out in the form of words seems alive with the sparkles of real life, real truth because it’s intended for no one but me, and can be interpreted or misinterpreted by no one but me, and therefore is perfect in its imperfection.
So just before the new blog happens, all’s fine and well in the writing department of my life, and thus in the self-discovering and self-healing department of my life, and that means I have exited the valley of my latest mood dip, and am back on on my way up the metaphorical sunny incline of contentedness; nay, let’s even venture to say happiness, like a carefree and healthy hobo (am I allowed to say that? Coming from “white privilege” as I do?) with a bounce in her step and a twinkle in her eye.
And yet the words, the actual typed words, are just running down the drain that is my digital diary, and I suddenly feel that those words, like some natural, clear-sparkling water, filled with night-sky diamond-dust, are being wasted, flowing out of the hole-specked gourd in my satchel and straight into the ground. So I think I must start a blog, in order to bottle some of that clear, sparkling water of truth, and share it around to those who might be thirsty.
But the funny thing is that as soon as I think of bottling it, it becomes less pure, less sparkling. After all, the stuff falls from the sky! People only have to learn to channel it through their own inner taps; why should they drink bottled water?
Then perhaps my originally good intentions turn a little muddy. A-ha, I think. It could even become a source of income one day! A bottled water business! I would finally have a paycheque all my own, money that I could hand over to my family and say, I earned this. All by myself. I rub my hands together gleefully, imagining it.
(It hasn’t happened yet. Partly because I’m not great at running my own business. But mostly because we can never truly achieve anything, by ourselves.)
Of course during this process I’ve already started the fun yet silly and hilariously self-absorbed work of choosing which platform, which name/tagline (and yes, which matching wrist-tattoo-in-my-dreams), and I publish the first post (which is always just an edit of the first “journey begins” post that every platform so enticingly provides).
And I crank out yet another stupid-and-soon-to-be-made-obsolete-by-the-next-day’s-feelings “About” page, and then I hit “publish” and do a little happy dance, and even make the boastful little mistake of crowing about it to my husband and kids.
And then, if the platform allows “likes,” I’ll see a couple “likes” “come in,” which makes me feel popular, and justified in my efforts, and worthy, and my husband will say matter-of-factly, “those are probably just bots,” and after asking what exactly “bots” are for the umpteenth time, and hearing the explanation yet again, my heart will fall a little, and upon doing a bit of cyber-snooping into the “likers,” I will see my husband’s right, but then I will see that there are a couple of genuine humans mixed in there as well.
And then I will find myself reading and reading and reading OPC (what I call Other People’s Content), lost in the alleyways, smoking (metaphorically of course! Deadly habit, smoking), instead of cooking up content, and I will say to myself, right, girlie, time to get cooking — but I will find that the tap has run dry. And I usually cook with water more than oil, or smoke, so that is a problem.
I will find that in the mornings, now, I no longer get up to write.
Instead of following my lovely old program of getting up to write, with good practice and discipline, more because I found it was energizing to me and to my life to do so, than for any other reason, I now find myself with the covers up to my eyes, whispering with the old fears on my pillow.
The fears of “but it’s too cold out there beyond the blankets,” and “what if I wake up so-and-so,” and “what if I write the truth and it hurts someone,” and “what if I write the truth and it hurts me,” and “what if it’s not true the next day,” and “what if someone doesn’t understand what I have written, or assumes things are worse, or better, than they are,” and etcetera, and etcetera, and etcetera.
And instead of arising before the others in my six-person household, as I did when I was a merry hobo on a sunlit uphill path, I find myself waiting like a timid mouse under the covers, thinking, thinking, ever-cycling my thoughts, lost in the mycelium, cradled by its confusingly comforting web; writing, in the digital pages of my imagination, ever more unwritten blog posts that will never see a typed word nor a “publish” button, until the chance of waking anyone (metaphorically or otherwise) has completely disappeared.
And by that grey hour I have either run out of time, to huddle with my laptop and coffee press and my chilled fingers typing the words, or I still do have time, by some miracle, but I instead choose to spend it cruising the metaphorical alleyways, looking for answers that only I can give myself, or rather, that the great CPU—the great Creative Power of the Universe, as I call it—can give me, when I take the time to turn inward, instead of outward.
One of the dear non-bot bloggers that the alleyways presented me with, probably because we started blogs on the same day, who publishes like I’ve always wanted to publish, strong and fragile and scared and true, says her therapist told her to start her blog. I always wanted a therapist but was too scared to have one. So I was a bit jealous. No, actually, a lot jealous. If one can actually be self-absorbed enough to be jealous of someone in mourning. (!) Anyway, she just up and started her “pizza” blog and started serving out the slices.
A-HA. I get it now. I get the title. I suddenly get the title. At least I think I do. I mean I thought I got it before, but now I think I really get it. “Pizza party of one.” It’s not only to do with loneliness, or aloneness. (And pizza, and champagne, double yum.) And maybe not only to do with the fact that in order to write, we who write must in fact be alone in that moment—so while we write, it’s a party for one.
What it is, as well, at the base, maybe, is that she gets it. Maybe she knows instinctively what I have had to learn again and again, these past years: That the words will only come when it’s a pizza party for one.
Not two, not three.
Or maybe I’m just on crack.
(Not really. That’s just an eighties expression. Duh.)
Speaking of A-ha moments, and of the eighties, a friend posted this amazing vid the other day. It’s from one of my old favourite bands, A-Ha. When I watched it, and saw the beauty in its evolution, all I could say, from behind the water in my eyes, was, wow. Another, all-together-different-from, yet-quintessentially-the-same-as, take, on the original Take On Me.
- Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
- “The Artist’s Prayer” was modified by me from a prayer found on page 63, Chapter 5 of this book.
- Check out Ailsa’s blog, Pizza Party of One, for engaging meanderings on things like Pizza Tattoos and Apple Bongs . Also, learn how to say her name properly by reading the first post. 🙂