(phab photo of comedian Phyllis Diller by Lee Cerano)
Friends — I’ve been asking myself this alot these days. Brilliant poet Judy Kronenfeld warned that at a certain stage in life, creativity comes less easily, and I am certainly experiencing that. But I also feel a certain futility about a lot of what I do. I go to marches and political meetings, but am a very minor participant in all of these doings. I write, but do not publish easily or alot. I teach creative writing, which these days gives me the most pleasure of all, but even there, I wonder if folx wouldn’t be better off working with a more, shall we say, “visible” writer.
So I come back to the question. Why bother?
The answer is the same one, I’ve been giving myself ever since I did somatic experiencing with amazing practitioner Debra Clydesdale. Unlike the talking cure — which I also do with thoughtful therapist Gordon Berger — somatic experiencing is body-oriented and unintellectual. And you just get down to brass tacks.
And during one session we came up with the not so profound realization:
If you love it, don’t quit.
Let me explain.
I am, for example, a terrible knitter. I’ve been knitting since I was 7 and I will never be good. Yes, I’ve watched youtubes on knitting and yes I’ve attempted intarsia. I’m bad. But the thing is — I really enjoy it. My latest knitting kit for BEGINNERS (I will never be any better than that) just arrived. I will have a great time bumbling through it.
I bumble through ALL of my most important relationships. I’m actually bad at the relationships that matter most to me. And guess what? I will never be good at them.
But, what am I doing to do? Stop doing the things I love and stop trying to be close with the people I love?
If you love your profession, hobby, avocation, THING you do (including terrible knitting), don’t quit.
If you love the people in your life don’t quit trying to interact with them, even if they drive you crazy (unless, of course they abuse you, and then it’s a different story).
That’s why I bother.
Merry Christmas, happy hanukkah (however you spell that word) and happy kwanzaa!