sunday saunter

“to hell with the ego of it. be free,” jude says. and, as usual, her crystal ball works better than mine. it’s precisely what i’m after, the notion of being free. it’s what i’m perpetually chasing: an ego-free existence.

having been raised in a religious environment (i’m over that now) (as much as you can ever be over early religious training) (ever hear julia sweeney’s one-woman performance called letting go of god? it’s the catholic version of me.), the phrase “pride goeth before a fall” was something i heard as much as i heard the word “salt”. (i could tell you (perhaps convincingly) that we used salt to cure the hogs we killed for food – and i can actually remember that happening. but just barely. truth is: as grossly unfashionable as it is, we just like salt. which is good for my mother’s side of the family who has low blood pressure and bad for daddy’s side who has high pressure.) pride is, of course, a dress ego wears, and i think i’m pretty much over it now, given all the water that’s run under . . . well, let’s try to contain our metaphors: given all the stitches that have been ripped out of that particular dress.

and though i’m mostly over it (finally), there are still a few remnants of perfectionism (another dress ego wears) hanging around. there’s the brightly colored dress of “will-i-be-found-worthy” that often jumps to the front of the closet (stay with me: i’m trying to stick to the metaphor chiffarobe i created), just within reach (almost) every time i sit down to write a blog entry.

these are the clothes i’m trying to outgrow. don’t want to move off and leave them behind for somebody else to wear; don’t want to donate them to the thrift store because i sure don’t want anybody paying for a wardrobe of such burdensome attire.

and i think this (ever present) desire for a new wardrobe – a wardrobe in which every single piece bears a label (and this would be a good time to tell you how much i despise labels of any kind) with jude’s words – is what’s got me thinking about creativity. i mean i like how elizabeth gilbert resuscitated the ancient romans’ notion of geniuses – “distant disembodied unknowable spirits” who live in the walls of an artist’s studio and sometimes (frequently if the artist spends enough time in the studio doing their part of the work, as glennis so eloquently points out) come out with the most brilliant ideas and schemes.

but somehow along my way, i got stuck on the renaissance notion of self being the center of the universe. self-reliance became (and still) reigns large for and over me, and it permeates pretty much every area of my life. while i’m quite comfortable with the notion of being responsible for myself, for making my own choices and enduring or enjoying the inevitable consequences of those choices, it’s really pretty exhausting. (can we coin a word and say egohausting?) (exhausting = a word that back in steam engine days meant to let steam off after it had done its work. the “haust” part come from latin “haurire” which means “to draw”. and, in certain contexts, the ego does serve a worthwhile function: because orange is not my best color – and the ego knows this – it keeps me from, well . . . let’s just say that it makes me behave. so maybe i’m after an ego-free creative existence.)

ambling back to what i think was my central point . . .

okay. we’ll have to get back to this later. hubbie is (understandably) ready for breakfast and to get busy building cabinets that will, by the end of the day, replace the boxes in our bathroom.

to be continued . . .


11 Responses to sunday saunter

  1. glennis says:

    one of the benefits of (aaahhemm-clearing throat) maturing in life is that it’s easier to look back with some sort of perspective. when younger we often are busy trying on all those various clothes trying to figure out out which ones “looked good” on us, made us stand out, or otherwise made us into a more interesting character.
    these days, it’s easier to winnow the wardrobe and see ourselves for who we have become, gently discarding the cast-offs as we move forward. i dare say though that some of my own can’t be considered gently worn.

    looking forward to the continuation of these thoughts-

  2. Paula Hewitt says:

    i would love to see letting go of god. im a reformed catholic. although my mum tells me that i can call myself what ever i want because i was born a catholic so i will remain a catholic whether i want to or not.hhmmm. so much for free speech, freedom of religion and free will or whatever it is christians espouse:)
    thats a long dress metaphor. haust looks a bit like haute too.

  3. Acey says:

    i really like the comment Glennis left; it’s a perfect outgrowth of your posted remarks. Ego definitely has some very healthy and balancing purposes. But those don’t include giving it a fistful of blank checks and daddy’s t-bird. Just to up the metaphor factor. Still chewing over what i want to say in a private email perhaps you have heard me talking to you out in the ethers? Very good at disembodied conversation that never actually takes place …

  4. yeah, glennis, i think you’re right about ages and stages affecting our perspective. i think it’s the (aahheemmm – throat clearing) age thing that has me thinking about this for the umpteenth time. it is one of my most favorite thinker toys. nice perpetuation of the metaphor, btw.

  5. paula, yes: you definitely have to see/hear “letting go of god”. go here for an excerpt, but then find a way to rent/purchase the entire dvd or download it from amazon or audible, then let’s talk . . .

  6. acey, you know i look forward to anything you have to say. i think what’s got me going down this familiar road again is the ever-present fear factor and, making a first appearance: self-reliance v. assistance.

  7. jude says:

    never had to let go of god, never could get a hold in the first place. that’s what me and metsky have in common. THERE, i’ve said it.
    i think i have finally figured out why we get old. it is a time to shed the useless crap and get down to business. and then we need to die eventually because, well…exhausting. (like your word better). i need more of this discussion … i have slipped off my path to simplicity. been stepping into something ego like without noticing.

  8. i’m gonna’ totally release my ego, jude, and ask “who’s metsky?” i think you’re right about how to stay young: cut the crap. by this time, we sure do know the difference between what’s useful and what’s worthwhile. there’s definitely more coming. been stewing about it all week, saving it for sunday.

  9. annalisa says:

    Wow! sorry I’m late to this discussion… I seem to be in the midst of sorting out my “closet” too, Realizing that in order to move at all artisticly I will have to discard some very well worn dresses of my own, (as a matter of fact I think I own a dress or two in common with you)
    I have found that aging does help give a bit of perspective and eases the process somewhat. Lately though I have come to realize that I fear if I get rid those garments I will be dressed in poor rags or nothing at all.

  10. hey annalisa, you’re not too late. i’m still chewing on this, and just as soon as i can eek out more than a few seconds, i’ve got more to put forth for our pondering pleasure. i relate to what you say about the fear of being dressed in poor rags or being buck naked. (pronounced nekkid, of course!) that particular mindset trips me up a lot. A. Lot.

  11. Judith says:

    There’s a post to provoke thought-and boy are you having an eventful year and it’s only February! I think the whole question of faith/belief takes a lifetime to resolve and changes its coat, to continue the metaphor, all that time. Your wardrobe analogy is perfect for that. Looking forward to hearing some more.

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