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The Morning Pages

Updated: Jul 7, 2021

Today is Day 1. For fifteen minutes every day in the morning, I am going to do my morning pages, the regurgitation of my guts, the reimagined beatings of my heart, and the de-clustering/ re-clustering of my mind.

There is still lingering fear of writing. Always there is a thought: that is not good enough. As if it represented the fear of living. Always there is a thought: I am not good enough.

That's probably a good compass as to what I should be doing with the young kids at RMIT as I've started to teach them. What am I there to teach? I feel the imposter syndrome coursing my veins, directing my thoughts, actions, and speech, although at the same time, I know I have a thing or two to tell them. The most important thing, at the end of the day, is to prepare them so that they can avoid that harsh self-doubt and self-criticism. So that they can be freer than I was.

Under layers of reasoning, I think that's the most common, tragic, and significant failure of being human in a modern society - that one eventually learns to comply with what's expected, their wings clipped one bit at a time. And what is left of us is this general hum of personalities. What was that that Chau sent me the other day? Something by Sylvia Plath. Something about becoming vaguely oneself and fading into the middle-aged years of nothingness. I shall look at it after.

I feel old. I feel way over the hills. I will fight this.

Let's write about writing. What is going on with my writing? I jerked back. I withheld myself from writing the next drafts for Lua and The River Knows Our Names. As after each time of being judged, I grow more afraid. That is probably a common thing. The trick is to find the way to, again, not to write from fear, but to write from the place of love. It may be confusing, and maybe you want to withdraw from all competitions and judgments, but that ain't the best thing to do. Being judged by the system, and preserving your love, that intimate feeling deep inside you that no judgment can reach, are two different things. The trick is to handle them separately. But always, find that love.

You've got to love enough.

And Chi, you can't preserve the love for the world and those people that inspired you to write those stories - if you don't love yourself. If you don't love yourself enough. As the doubt and fear rising inside you and against you will bleed into the realms of love for the not-yous.

What if we start again with The River Knows Our Names? What if we go slow, look slow, listen slow. What if we just lie down on our back there, on the wooden floor of the boats, and watch the clouds go by, and listen to the water lapping the long-tails. And listen to the people shouting names, their voices bouncing on the water: "Gam oi!!"

What is it in Little's heart? What is it in Big's heart? When they look at their mothers and fathers? When they share a laugh with each other?

What if we don't think of the central conflict as the way to drive the drama? What if we just listen, listen intently, and eventually see... that is it! That's the thing that prevents them from something better.

It's not in the storm. It's not in the paperless-ness. They are external. It has to be within them, inside them.

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