“I’ve missed more than nine thousand shots in my basketball career. I’ve lost almost three hundred games. Twenty-six times I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over again in my life, but I still keep going out on the court. And that’s why I succeed.”
– Michael Jordan
But all the good timing in the world won’t matter unless you set a goal, do the work, and consistently put yourself out there.
That’s not luck, that’s consistency.
If you want to maximize your luck, be sure you are always working, so that when a wave of good timing comes, you will be in position to make the most of it.
~ Christina Katz
“I’ve got my mornings blocked off every day for work,” says Austin Kleon. ” I come out to my studio, I meditate for 10 minutes, get in the zone, and then I write three pages on a legal pad by hand to get warmed up. You could call it free writing, probably. It’s not very directed. It’s half journal, half me trying to figure out what I’m trying to work on for the day. Then I do one of my newspaper blackout poems. Then the rest of the morning if I have a longer piece of writing I’m working on, I’ll work on that. As long as I’ve got my pages and do a poem, I’ll feel like I’ve gotten my ‘work with a capital W’ done. As my old creative writing teacher used to say, it’s just about applying ass to chair.”
How many times do I need to be reminded that everything I desire to excel at,
be it mothering my daughter or making a collage, writing this blog or being a soulful parent to my son, all of it takes time and practice?
My in-box was awash with thoughts about things taking time, repeated effort and dedication this morning.
Having had a rather rough patch in the kitchen, I hauled out Dr. Christiane Northrup’s book Mother Daughter Wisdom to console myself after having absolutely nothing to say to my daughter who was sunk in pre-menstrual agony about a topic I will let her tell you about some day, but I am sure other mothers wallow around in too.
I have been carrying Evelyn Resh’s book, The Secret Lives of Teen Girls around with me. Lighter in volume than Dr. Northrup’s book, but equally comforting, Evelyn concurs with Christiane that if I want to deliver my messages to my kids in the clearest manner possible, then I have do model everything. Eat celery instead of chips. Go to bed at nine. Put my phone down for hours at a time. Pick up my socks. Write thank you notes. Do my work early. Speak kindly and pause before anger. Notice the moon in the trees at dawn, clinging to night before dissolving in to lavender air.
Sniffing after my children like a basset hound just waiting for an opportunity to advise is not going to endear me to them, nor will it give my messages a chance at being received with an ounce of openness.
So, I have to shut up and do my work. Which is what brings me to this page. And the ideas captured above, about doing work allow me to sanction time to write, here, to write, because like it or not, I am a mother who is also an artist. If I take the criticism weighed at me by a hungry 16 year old with PMS and homework, I will have to agree that my work may not have the urgency of a mother in Syria right now, holding on to her child’s life without medical support, or a mother in Fukushima waiting, just waiting to see how her children will grow having lived though radiation, or a mother with addicted teens sitting in a jail- no I am none of those women, but I stand for them and the possibility that they may one day find the tools to tell their stories. And until that time, I will tell my stories. And lead writing workshops. And open myself to be of service of others finding their voices.
It is one thing to have to convince the world of the value of women’s voices. It is entirely another to convince my daughter of this fact. I may be passingly interesting to her. But, here in my beating heart where the insides of my cells are coated in morning moonlight, I say to that silvery orb,
Contain me, Lick me with light and illumine this chamber Until there is no darkness here. Keep me company as I step round this prickly beast And lavish what love I can Upon her powdered brow. Let me be light Simply by shining. Let my love come Without forcing.
Thank you for spending this time with me here.
Please subscribe to Laundry Line Divine in the little box on the upper right column of this site.
All my best,