I have been feeling really afraid. I’m ready to run. My whole objective here is to NOT avoid fear, so I can’t really run. And now i am terribly afraid. Here’s why I am afraid:
I don’t know where we will perform. One really exciting venue has expressed an interest. There are some great spaces to rent. It’s all do-able but unknown right now. The unknown thing is driving me crazy.
I don’t know how much I will really change. If I don’t change then what is this story? If I went around the world in a whole year and then came back to find all the same things still there…what is that? Is that the story? Am I coming home to me? How do I write about that and how do I perform that? Lately, I am struggling with all the same issues and it seems the more I change, the more I stay the same. How does one measure change anyway?
I suddenly feel I may not have your posthumous permission to be doing this. I have been thinking a lot about why I have chosen you. I know that I have always connected with your vulnerability, feeling myself like a very vulnerable person. It has occurred to me that I felt I needed your light and inspiration to embark on this project, which has allowed me to communicate some of my creativity, joy and sadness with a greater audience. Also, I feel that I may be claiming you as one of my ancestors. I am so curious about all the workings of women artists, being raised be one and being one myself. I feel I need your blessing in some way but am not sure how to get it.
I am not losing very much weight. I don’t want to say anything else about that. Ok, maybe I do. Fear usually makes me want to eat and sleep. This project makes me feel afraid. I want to do things that scare me because I know it builds courage and I want to live a courageous life. I want to engage with the rich colorful deep mysteriousness of the world around me. And lately I want to engage with a lot of toast.
Someone commented negatively on my project. The exact words were: You don’t look anything like her…move on!!,,, get psychological help!!!! This is unsolicited advice from someone I don’t know, but I do realize that putting myself out there is an invitation for responses positive and negative. In some ways, I feel like I have entered into a new arena with this negative comment…like it is a rite of passage. Not everyone is going to like it. I wish I could create something that everyone would like, but that wouldn’t allow me to include all the mystery, confusion, clarity, and uniqueness of my own heart. How did you deal with those that thought you were crazy? I know that you feared insanity, as I do, and I think many artists do as we have to dive in to some unknown territory again and again.
On the very first day of this project I wrote this quote in my journal:
Our message is simply one of appreciating the nature of things as they are and expressing it without any struggle of thoughts and fears. We give up aggression, both toward ourselves, that we have to make a special effort to impress people, and toward others, that we can put something over on them.[…] We need to be honest, real, and very earthy, and we really need to appreciate things as they are.
Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche – True Perception
So, I think I am supplicating you here Marilyn. Please help me to have the courage to face my fears and see this thing through. Please help me to let go of the need to impress and just be genuine. Please allow me to join you in the ranks of women artists and make something that rings out truth. Please guide me to the heart of the matter, bringing lightness, courage and right effort.
Much love and gratitude for you,