Renewal and Re-invention of…yourself

Another method of renewal - Expressive Art, led by my friend and artist Lynn Rosario of Art Answers. This is the art that graces our studio.

Another method of renewal – Expressive Art, workshops led by my friend and artist, Lynn Rosario, of Art Answers. This is the art that graces our studio.

I am learning about ways to renew and reinvent myself. Although I can’t go into details, several years ago, it was imperative that I reinvent myself at work – and I did. I now have a great job and work with terrific colleagues. But this blog post is about a different kind of renewal or re-invention, a more personal one, a renewal of self, that self that wants to sink into despair every so often. We need to wake her up to life. I don’t know what it is you do — paint, draw, play music, sing, take photos — or if you’re like me — you write.

When you get really “serious” about writing, things start to happen, like you gain a following, you get invited to read in public, you start publishing some of your work, you want more and more of these kinds of affirmations of yourself as a writer. Well, I do. I like the attention. Writing has always been central to my life and part of my identity, so when I see things happening for me, I’m pretty thrilled.

And yet.

More workshop art from Art Answers Expressive Art Workshop

More art from Art Answers Expressive Art Workshop

It’s easy to lose oneself in the business and the (small) glories of writing, the trying to get published, the hope that someone will notice you and invite you to read somewhere (really hope this), and the feelings of inadequacy that always arrive when your actual writing life (or life in general) doesn’t live up to your (ridiculously) high expectations.

So, this is a long-winded introduction to a way I’ve found to renew myself as a writer and as a human being. Simple, and we’ve all heard of it — free writing — reminding us why we started to write in the first place – to connect, to express, to understand ourselves and ourselves in relation to the world.

Thank you to fellow Solstice MFA Alum and good friend, Hannah Goodman, owner of The Write Touch. Today, Hannah led one of her workshops (she’s fabulous, come on down to Warren, RI next Saturday) and she helped all of us to “Release the Writer Within.” Below I will post my “free write.” This ain’t literature but it’s me re-birthing myself, reinventing myself. Again.

From the prompt: What Blocks Me?

(a 7-minute free write, imagine it in messy handwriting.)

It smells like envy. Does envy have a smell? I see limes and avocados. Limes are pungent; envy smells like a lime. The avocado gets stuck in my throat and mutes me.

What blocks me? It feels like responsibility. What does responsibility feel like? It feels like caring for an 82-year old woman. I know what that feels like because I do. She’s at my house right now, in her bedroom. The cats are ignoring her, which is heartbraking, but that’s what you get when you shut your door on them for the first two months they came to live with us.

Of course, she’s lived her life shutting doors on everything. As I age, I worry so much that I will do the same: lie in bed with a cat rather than a lover. Grow old alone, watch cats die. First I will watch my mother die. I’m her only company at this stage in her life. That’s sad. I’m shitty company for her.

I need to feed the cats. Pick up their pee and crap from the litter boxes. Did I tell you I have a bunny, too? He’s sweet and loveable, and I spend a good portion of my evenings picking up his droppings as he hops around the kitchen floor. It’s a big floor. I like to let him out of his cage.

Cages. What blocks me? The cages I set for myself – the envy I mentioned. Everyone is a better writer than I am. Everyone is a kinder person than I am; they don’t get angry and yell at their old mothers.

Her door is shut. She was born shut. She a nice woman. But who the hell knows her?

Who the hell knows me?

Thank you again, Hannah, for freeing me to write whatever I wanted, however I wanted, without worrying about it being “good” or “publishable,” or anything but what I needed to write at that moment.

If anyone is interested in attending one of Hannah’s classes, please let me know and I will get you in touch with Hannah. Warren, RI is not that far from the Massachusetts border.

To get in touch with Hannah to find out about The Write Touch writing workshops, see http://www.hannahrgoodman.com/

To get in touch with Lynn Rosario of Art Answers to find out about the Expressive Art Workshops from Art Answers, please email her at: myrosario2@verizon.net.

I need to take one of these Expressive Art workshops. Lynn and I want to find a way to merge our talents - art and writing - and build community. Now that's reinvention and renewal at its best.

I need to take one of these Expressive Art workshops. Lynn and I want to find a way to merge our talents – art and writing – and build community. Now that’s reinvention and renewal at its best.

About Cindy Zelman

Creative and Freelance Writer
This entry was posted in Aging, Caring for parents, Cats, Mothers, Parents, Solstice MFA Pine Manor College, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Renewal and Re-invention of…yourself

  1. Back to basics–free writing, journaling, building community with other writers. I have to do that often, to remind myself to get out of ego and back into writing.

    Like

    • Cindy Zelman says:

      It’s a good lesson to keep relearning, Bridget. I write because I love to write. I get blocked when I get too caught up in the “rewards” I seek from writing. Thanks for reading. 🙂

      Like

  2. I love reading what you write, Cindy! So for my sake…please keep writing :).

    Like

  3. Faye says:

    I want to write a reply, but I feel blocked because I envy how open and honest you are in your writing. Darn.

    Like

  4. I adore you Cindy! I adore you as my friend, as a willing and open and deeply honest writer, and I adore you in my workshop. Thank you for your sweet words and for being part of my class!

    Like

  5. Geenie says:

    Cindycat, I love you! You are open and honest and try so hard to be perfect. I so get where you are. I am often there myself. Remember that everyone is only kinder, and not yelling at their mother when others are watching. We all do those things. Some of us even worse. It is really difficult taking care of an aging loved one. Anyone who’s been there understands this. So many people love you, and love your writing though. That’s got to mean something. Glad you’re free writing though, I do so love to remember to do that myself. Keep it up dear one. Just keep being you and doing what you do, and stop being mean to my friend! 😀

    Like

    • Cindy Zelman says:

      Hey Geenie,

      It’s always wonderful to hear from you. I so appreciate your love and support. Every year with my mother gets harder and harder. I don’t really expect to be perfect but I don’t like my anger. I’m sure people do worse, as you note, but I’d like to do better.

      I hope I see you again someday. Let me know if you plan to visit Suzanne in NY sometime. I’ll let you know if I make it to CA sometime.

      I love you, too.

      Cindycat

      Like

  6. evolk67 says:

    You put into words so well the anguish and insecurities so many of us feel. We are all so different but it amazes me and your writing reminds me how so many of us suffer from similar despairs of inadequacy and feeling like an outsider.in this world no matter how our lives may appear to others. I enjoy reading your work because it inspires me to continue the journey towards discovering and loving myself although of course that little voice of insecurity still says loudly “…and you have haven’t been able to do that yet in 45 years?” Shut up little voice…I am reading Cindy’s Blog right now..lol!

    Like

    • Cindy Zelman says:

      Haha, Erik, I love that, “Shut up little voice, I am reading Cindy’s Blog right now. If nothing else, my blog gives you a brief respite. Erik, it’s always so wonderful to hear from you. You write the best comments and help me to realize that I have worthy things to say, that people such as yourself do connect to what I express. I hope you know how much your reading my blog means to me. Now, be good to yourself and I will try to be good myself, too. 🙂

      Cindy

      Like

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com 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 )

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s