Growth spurts are never pretty

It’s been weeks since I last wrote here! It’s not because I forgot about my journal, far from it. I’ve actually been thinking constantly of writing here, but I never felt I had anything substantive to write. In the second half of July my brain seemed to teem with deep thoughts and the words to express them, but after that — splut. Nothing. And for the past two weeks I’ve been in a bit of a funk; not seriously blue, just kind of unwilling to focus myself enough to get certain kinds of things done (cooking, cleaning, writing most of all). When this happened in the past I used to feel really bad about it, but now I’ve realized it’s a cycle. I will go through phases of being completely organized, when I’ll write sparklingly insightful journal entries (well, such as they are), cook and bake elaborate and delicious things, see friends, do yoga constantly, and massively clean the apartment. Then I’ll just kind of give it all up — often coinciding with Erik’s trips back to San Jose, which I’m sure is no accident — and live on frozen vegetables and ramen (or, as was the case this week, local organic cherry tomatoes and ramen, you see, I improve!), leave dishes in the sink for days, start sleeping more erratically, and fall into a period of what feels like intellectual and creative torpor. Previously, when I was in a funk, I would despair and feel like this meant I would never make anything of myself — how could I, when I couldn’t even get myself together enough to do the dishes?! — but I have noticed that these funks often precede (and, of course, follow) other periods of intense creativity and action. So I have come to accept them, not entirely gladly, but with knowledge that the sloppy, lethargic me is not all of me. I will ride out these weeks of ramen-eating and incoherent morning pages.* Julia Cameron would say, I imagine with satisfaction and approval, that these blahs are obviously the contractions of my rebirth as a true artist, but I prefer not to dwell on any images involving birth (especially after reading Carolyn Jessop’s book Escape yesterday). But I do think this makes sense.

There is a lot more I wanted to say but now I have to leave to pick up Erik from the airport, and then I won’t have another chunk of time to write here all day. I have drawings to post, too. I will try to get to this tomorrow, but if not, next week!

*And lest you think I am in some kind of depressive bipolar cycle, rest assured, that is not the case. The “down” periods never wipe out all my focus; for instance, even though I did very little else last week, I did exercise regularly, eat plenty of fruit, talk on the phone with friends, and read.

[This post was imported on 4/10/14 from my old blog at]