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"Try to be Shakespeare, leave the rest to fate."
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I'm not much of a Robert Browning fan, but I liked that quote. It's on page 99 of Julia Cameron's Walking in the World, which I need to return to the library in a few minutes. Some other pages I tagged:

  • Pages 186-191, on "self-pity":

    At root, self-pity is a stalling device. It is a temper tantrum, a self-inflicted drama that has little to do, ever, with the facts. Self-pity isn't very interested in facts. what it likes is "stories." ... Self-pity thrives on stories that go "Poor innocent me and terrible, mean them..." ... Self-pity likes to point out the way we are never truly appreciated, valued, cherished....

    ...If self-pity can just keep us mired in what's-the-use, we will not have to do anything to find out.

    ...Self-pity focuses our attention on how we are perceived rather than on what we are perceiving...

    If you don't medicate it with a walloping pitcher of martinis, an ill-considered love affair, a bout of overwork or overeating, a solid attack of self-pity is the signal that you are about to either make yourself sick or make yourself healthy. The healthy part of us cannot stomach self-pity and so it will be goaded into action. Oddly, that action may not be taken down the lash and laid across our creative block. The action may be something that starts with compassion: "Of course you are hurt. Your work was unfairly received. Cry a little."

    ...Most of the time, when we are struck down by a bout of self-pity, it is because we feel underappreciated. The truth is, sometimes we are underappreciated. The efforts we make and the effort we expend seems to go unnoticed by everyone but us. It is as thought we had a tiny, built-in resentment collector, an inner gauge that processes reality by tiny little clicks that say "You see? Not appreciated again."

    We cannot make others appreciate us, but we can take the time, care, and attention to appreciate ourselves.

  • Another quote: "I happen to feel that the degree of a person's intelligence is directly reflected by the number of conflicting attitudes she can bring to bear on the same topic." - Lisa Alther

  • The self-pity monster isn't actually in residence at the moment (in spite of a rejection yesterday morning), but it does have a habit of commandeering my mental parlor without preamble, so the above quoting is mainly ammo for the next time that happens.

    Good things:

  • Being able to spend the morning at home. I just finished a piece I'd been stewing over, and I'm going to tackle some errands while I think through how to solidify two others.

  • Saz and Erac were in town yesterday, on their way to Southern Decadence. Saz's hair is now blue and it matched the t-shirt she wore.

    We had dinner at Eastland Cafe. I was impressed by the really friendly waitstaff (all the more so since the place was full). We split a bottle of Malbec; Saz and Erac both ordered steaks, I had the scallops special (a touch too tomato-ey for me, but I still ate every bite), and I think the BYM had the salmon. Then we went back to our place and talked some more over some shots of Sex (a gift a friend had given me at church a year or so ago. Long story). Good times.

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