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"Just be who you are, calm and clear and bright." - Richard Bach, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah

Einstein is Your Fairy Godfather

I’m gonna be honest with you lovely people: it’s been sort of a rough few weeks (though I feel silly even saying it because, come on, I have never in my life had capital-P problems.) I came down with one of those sucks-all-your-energy colds the last evening of Squam, and I realized that usually being so healthy and energetic means I no longer know how to be sick. That might sound strange, but you know what I mean: taking it easy and gracefully accepting your temporary limitations instead of beating yourself up for not getting anything done. I went back and forth on that, but admittedly I was frustrated with myself for at least 60% of the time—which was, of course, a waste of what little energy I had!

Underneath the cold-induced inertia there has been another sort of malaise, one that wouldn’t dissipate with the triumph of my white blood cell platoon. I’m feeling better now, it’s still there, and I have to face it (and I might as well do so publicly, because I can’t be the only one in this position!)




A week or so ago I sent a letter to a very dear friend saying, in effect, “I see you not living up to your potential and I want you to stop being afraid and GO FOR IT.” Last night it finally hit me that I could have written myself a version of that very thought. (Isn’t that always the way?) I have grown in leaps and bounds as a writer since Petty Magic tanked at the end of 2010, but that’s just it—there’s nothing about being a storyteller that frightens me anymore. I’m looking toward my most ambitious writing project to date and I just think, I got this. While I recognize that drawing and painting and putting what I draw out there is the next big scary thing in my evolution, I’ve only made the most tentative steps so far. I’ve spent the past three weeks intending to put pen to paper, to follow through on the epiphany I had in the incomparable Kerry Lemon’s drawing class (which I will blog about soon), but until last night I kept excusing my procrastination with “when I’m feeling better.” (I know I was just talking about going easy on myself. This is different.) I was feeling better, physically anyway, but my mood had taken a nosedive. There were all these serendipitous things (seriously, a note in a library book!) nudging me to forget everything and just pick up that Micron pen. Elizabeth is always the best person to talk to when I’m in a spot like this; she said, “You are being too precious about this. Just set a timer for eight minutes and DRAW ANYTHING.”

So that’s what I did.




You know that new(ish) internet challenge, 100 Happy Days? I hereby promise myself that I will draw for eight minutes per day for the next 100 days. This is how real and lasting change happens—one simple action at a time, modest and brave. A sweet little paradox, no?

I have a lot more to say on this subject, but I’ll leave it here for now. It’s your turn, lovely people! What are you afraid of? Who is it you want to become, and what do you need to do to let go of the person you are? (You don’t necessarily have to share below, it’ll just be good to know you are thinking about it too.)




4 Comments to Einstein is Your Fairy Godfather

  1. July 1, 2014 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    It’s funny you posted this on my page today because the questions you ask is exactly what I have been needing to answer for a couple of months now, especially since returning from Ireland. Notice how I said needing and not wanting. I don’t quite have the words yet to give an answer here but these questions have been weighing heavily on my mind.

    “This is how real and lasting change happens – one simple action at a time, modest and brave.” I love your new challenge and I think I will focus on one myself. I look forward to reading what more you have to say on the subject as well.

  2. Kate's Gravatar Kate
    July 1, 2014 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

    I don’t mean this to be a cop out but I think you are being to hard on yourself. To badly paraphrase Emerson, as long as you are making one person’s life better then you’re a success and living up to your potential.

  3. July 2, 2014 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    thanks to you and your post … I just took aside 10 minutes to write my story! And I will make this (simple) 10 minutes a daily practice. I’d like to just go for it, rather than being afraid…not really being able to name or identify what there is to fear. How lucky your friend is that you care enough to give her a nudge. And you, that you can see potential for yourself to grow. Again, THANK YOU from a person that is seeking and searching to set up the tiki lights for her own path.

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Hi! I'm Camille. I only write stories that could never ever happen in real life, though I do believe in real-life magic. If we were in the same room I'd fix you a cup of tea, but for now we'll have to settle for a virtual connection. I'm really glad you're here.