My Brain Hurts!

“What ‘real artists’ have is courage.  Not enormous gobs of it.  Just enough for today.  Creativity, like breathing, always comes down to the question, “Are you doing it now?”  The awful truth is that there is always one small creative act for which we can find the courage.  As with housework, there is always something, and all the little somethings add up, over time, to a flow.  Courage, after all is a matter of heart, and hearts do their work one beat at a time.” — Julia Cameron in The Vein of Gold: A Journey to Your Creative Heart

Blogging is so incestuous.  I read David Kanigan’s post from Monday, and knew I had something to say about courage, comfort zones and whacking the scales off our sclerotic dendrites.  At least I thought I did.  Or I wanted to think about those things.  Or my ego wanted to jump up and down screaming about them.  In public.


I feel pretty brave.  Except when I don’t.  Driving out to Artfest in Washington this spring didn’t feel particularly brave.  Except when I got home and spent the next two months rapid cycling and ducking from my brain’s suicidal dodge balls.  Latching onto art journaling to keep from getting hammered by red rubber didn’t seem brave, just a case of self defense.  It never occurred to me that drawing and painting when I used to be too scared to do either might be stripping some of the plaque off my craft.

What really felt brave was buying The Hollow Crown and sitting down to over eight hours of Shakespeare.  It’s been a long time since I’ve felt so dumb.  I listened to the pretty words, knew they were an old form of English, but couldn’t translate them.  I could feel my brain straining, flabby gray-matter-muscles forced to climb a junior high fitness test rope.

Oh, but, the music of the language!  That was the liniment for my bruised brain.  Plus, Great Performances emptied out The Royal Shakespearian Theater to cast these four plays, so all the British actors I adore speak this unintelligible music.

Whose Superpower is Britishness

I take comfort that I’ve never read Richard II, Henry IV (either Part One or Part Two) or Henry V.  I have no bits of them embedded in my hind brain next to the passages of Romeo and Juliet Mrs. Christensen made us memorize in ninth grade.

And, yet, it feels brave to be dumb, to be a Monty Python Gumby shouting, “My brain hurts!”

Sometimes, being brave means finding the right anesthesia.  Sometimes it’s embracing my full-out Gumby-ness.  Either way, my art benefits.

And now for something completely different.

27 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Catherine Cheng, MD
    Jun 30, 2016 @ 10:30:40

    Hi Sandy Sue!!
    I was just thinking a few minutes ago, I miss Sandy Sue, I hope she posts something again soon. Should I go on one of her old posts and just say hello? And here you are! 😀 And you’ve given me pictures of Tom Hiddleston to look at, THANK YOU! 😉
    Your post reminds me of this one I read yesterday on Liz Gilbert’s book, _Big Magic_:
    and also a book I have started reading, _On Being Stuck: Tapping Into the Creative Power of Writer’s Block_. Not that you have had writer’s block! I just find that common themes pop up together, and I take it as a sign to continue the journey more thoughtfully, mindfully.
    Thank you for contributing your work to the universe! I imagine you do it for yourself (as well you should), and it also makes a difference in others’ lives! 🙂 Peace to you! 🙂


    • Sandy Sue
      Jun 30, 2016 @ 13:39:54

      Thank you, Catherine.
      I was heartened today when I saw that Tom took Taylor home to meet his mum. I had been a little worried that he’d lost his head, but if he’s happy, I’m happy.

      I liked the post you referenced. I’m finding I can act on an idea for my art journals immediately and often have two or three in process, whereas writing comes much more slowly. I, too, have watched a great story pack its bags and move on down the road when I didn’t give it the attention it needed. But, since I keep writing the same story over and over, enough sticks around so I can have another go.


  2. Cheryl LaVille
    Jun 30, 2016 @ 12:57:01

    Well said!


  3. Val Boyko
    Jun 30, 2016 @ 13:59:06

    Love the creativity in bringing together something completely different Sandy!


  4. pegoleg
    Jun 30, 2016 @ 16:10:07

    How are you doing with the rapid cycling? Any let up?

    I DO think you’re brave for pursuing your art as well as for attempting 8 hours of Shakespeare. I would need a translator for sure. A local theater company is doing some free stuff in the local park. They do every year, and every year I’m determined to go and see it and don’t. This summer I’m gonna get me some Shakespeare culture if it kills me!


  5. Littlesundog
    Jun 30, 2016 @ 21:26:33

    I too have wondered about you. I haven’t felt brave or courageous in a long time, but it’s just fine. Those days will come when I’m ready… 🙂


  6. Leslie
    Jul 01, 2016 @ 05:18:23

    Woman. Driving out to Artfest was COMPLETELY BRAVE


  7. Leslie
    Jul 01, 2016 @ 05:19:52

    Hit enter too soon…You drove thousands and thousands of miles and everyplace you stayed was a question mark. Even ArtFest was a question mark, but you did it! Don’t ever take that experience out of your brave column ever.


  8. Alice
    Jul 01, 2016 @ 06:22:15

    Huh. I was thinking (and blogging) about ‘what makes us feel brave/be brave’ just last night! And I sure could have used your opening Cameron quote, too…

    Dunno that this case rises to the degree of incestuous you mention — but “great minds think alike”? You betcha!! 😀


  9. David Kanigan
    Jul 01, 2016 @ 15:00:03

    Wow, you had me on a ride here. I don’t know anyone braver than you friend. Full stop.


  10. Rachel Imsland
    Jul 05, 2016 @ 16:08:11

    “full-out Gumby-ness” LOVE it! 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog Stats

  • 183,851 hits
%d bloggers like this: