Artist’s Date

SOLSC Day 18

I took myself on a date today. With ideal places still iffy, I took her to a local coffeehouse. She likes coffee. I invited her to bring her journal and she ordered a raspberry mocha. Indoor seating is closed, but the proprietor offered the patio. We accept, walk around to the back, and find a table. We have the place to ourselves. He delivers the raspberry mocha.

I open up to chapter five of Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way, and peruse the exercises at the end. I pick up my pen and start answering the questions, reminding myself to dig deep and be honest. This is our second round with the book. The twelve weeks we started in October 2019 came and went. We worked on morning pages, three days of writing every morning for twelve weeks. It’s become a good habit. I’m still wondering what three pages means if we start with an 8.5 x 11 journal then switch to an A5. But three pages is three pages, sometimes more, sometimes less, but every morning. Mostly. And ideally before we pop into social media, work, email, busy-ness, but that’s tricky with work. Weekends and breaks are best, but we’ve stayed the course.

Besides the morning pages, Cameron also makes us go on an artist’s walk. Once a week, but more is okay. No one else is allowed. No spouse. No kids. No pets. Reeses hates it when we leave without him. No music filled earbuds. Those walks have become our lifeline. We have to listen. Pay close attention to our surroundings. Our inner voices.

The reason for this intervention is to unblock Creativity. I have great ideas. She’s not so good at following through. No time. Self-doubt. Stuck. Getting too old. Needing to tend to the kids first. Working on alone time with the hubster. Alone time with each kiddo. Family time. Cooking. De-cluttering. Work. Self-soothing with too much social media. Lots of self-sabotage.

We’ve made lists of possible dates: museums, an empty church, hiking, a relaxing bath, perusing bookstores, a massage, star gazing, tickets to a musical, day trips, lunch at a new to us restaurant, an art class, hand lettering, hanging out at a library. Artist’s dates are the hardest to schedule. Once a week. Every week. We’re working on that. We need variety, but we’ll take what we can get. It’s usually a walk, hike, short drive, a visit to a coffeehouse, or massage. Our last pre-pandemic artist’s date, just when we were making progress on this new routine, was to the Lone Star ‘Zine Fest.

Today we went to a new coffeehouse that opened about a week before the pandemic shutdowns began. I’m glad they’re still around. Artists’s date for the week is done. I’m glad we spent time together. We need it.

10 thoughts on “Artist’s Date

  1. I love the Artist’s Way! Thank you for taking us along on your date. It sounded wonderful. I have done the program several times and twice with a group which was such a lovely change! Which week is reading deprivation week????

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Uggg, that was so hard! I only lasted about two and a half days and I saved it for the week of Thanksgiving break. I think it was chapter 3 or 4. I’m willing to try again during summer break. I’m a librarian so not reading is out of the question. Unless I share pre-recorded books, but the kids prefer real-time read alouds.

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  2. I’ve been meaning to do the Artist’s Way again — it’s been many years. I do think about a date with my artist self often; it was one of my favorite parts of the twelve weeks. Thanks for the reminder. It feels like an invitation:)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I need to schedule some of these dates! I’ve gotten away from those long alone time walks on the beach since the pandemic reshuffled schedules. I think it might be time again! Thanks for the wonderful writing and inspiration.

    Kim

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I really enjoyed the inner dialogue here, how the two of you bantered, disagreed, but still found a way to work together on your date. Also, I’d forgotten how restorative and necessary these walks and artist’s dates are. I’m going to think about how to incorporate more of this in my life!

    Liked by 1 person

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