Skill set

orange-shoeGib left this morning to play tennis, while I did the dishes. I was thinking it was kind of a lame trade-off, since he was getting fit and healthy, while I was getting tired and splashing soapsuds on my apron. I wanted him to stay home today and help me design another audio book cover. I already have the ideas; he would just be the middle man between my imagination and reality. He was supportive and interested, but in the end, out the door he went, smack dab into the middle of his own obligations.

I hate having to rely on other people to do what I can’t do, but part of my sanity has come from admitting that there is a whole lot I can’t master and never will.

My friend, Anthony taught me a phrase I can use whenever my eyes start to glaze over and feelings of inadequacy knock on the door. He taught me to say, that’s not my skill set. I love saying that! It gives me great permission to be who I am without beating myself up. Unfortunately, I seem to have part of me that believes I should be capable of all things.

You need a little brain surgery? Sit down.

Want help with a calculus problem? Bring it over.

Pile on the contracts with the fine print and the twenty minute on-hold calls to the insurance company. I’m your girl.

 Well, not really. The truth is I’m exceptionally good at what I can do and rather hopeless with the rest. It’s the real-world left-brain stuff I struggle with. That’s why it’s so hard when I have a new creative idea and the stand in for my left brain walks out the door to play tennis.

Today is an easy day. My schedule is light. I find myself wanting to write something good, something that will provoke conversation, a good laugh or a shift in consciousness, but none of that is coming, because mainly I just want to lie down and take a long guilt-free nap.

What if…..


Why don’t business people have to do what artists have to do?

Why aren’t they told that their desires must be squeezed into spare time?

Why aren’t lawyers allowed to practice as a rogue gesture, after proving themselves at a real job like playing jazz?

Why aren’t accountants restricted to completing sums, after proving themselves worthy by hours of painting with oils?

Why aren’t insurance agents made to write days of poetry to feed their family?

 I’m sure you’re a good plumber, but you can’t make a living that way. Do that nonsense on your own time. Stick to playing the piano, it pays better.

What if each person was required to spend eight hours a day singing, sculpting, dancing, doing theater, playing the violin, building sets or writing novels, while those on the fringe lived in the poverty stricken world of commerce. What a different world that would be.

How odd to require a group of people to spend the best energy of the day being what they are not, so they can afford to do what feeds their soul.

The Well

 In this group of writers I will be like a bucket dropped deep in a well.

The rope that holds the bucket is securely anchored so my plunge will be safe

and protected. The well is made of carefully placed stones forming a circle,

their collective a powerful expression a single stone could not equal.

It is often dark and unknown when I leave the familiar but I have learned to trust and descend where ever the pen allows. The bounty I find and retrieve nourishes me.

I offer it to each person, and they give in return.

I did not plan to come back this time. My body is tired and the drive is too far, but my heart pulled me off my resolve and delivered me straight to the well.

written October 1, 2008