AW9: Recovering a Sense of Compassion

It’s fitting that this chapter of Cameron’s Artist’s Way is called Recovering a Sense of Compassion; fitting that she talks about “the creative u-turn”. Fitting also, that in the intro she says, “It may be tempting to abandon ship at this point.”

The last two or so weeks have been … something of a surprise. Something of a difficulty.

On one not particularly notable day, I sat down with the morning pages and found myself coming face to face with a bit of a revelation. I wasn’t expecting it, I didn’t want it, but like all personal revelations, there’s really no stuffing it back into the dark corners of the mind and pretending it never happened and so there it was.

En daar lê die ding,” as Tom’s mom would say.*

It’s not the time to write about it all yet. Partly because I don’t know how, but mostly because I’m not ready for the complication it might inject into my family conversations.


There is something to say here about what we’re thrust into as children, what we’re shown about the world, what we’re told about god or gods, what we’re taught is allowed and what is not, who is friend and foe. What we are expected to sacrifice to be accepted into whatever tribe we are born or are co-opted into.

And we either accept that as truth or stumble away from the tribe into the dark to make meaning for ourselves as adults.

When I started this Artist’s Way business, I didn’t expect to confront my base beliefs about god and then confront how those beliefs were put there and by whom and then google “when is a church a cult” and then have that answered in full clarity, point by point, until it showed itself it for what it is: a fiction that has significantly affected my life and not for the better, and one of the foundational reasons that I find myself here having to do the Artist’s Way.

Still. Losing god, even a bad one, even one you didn’t think you believed in anymore, is apparently quite unsettling. Unsettling to find how alive a belief can still be in your life, directing your feelings, your actions, keeping you small, scared, insecure, always desperate, always vulnerable, when you thought it was long dead. (I would use “I” language, but frankly I know I’m not the only human to experience this.)

This wasn’t meant to be cryptic. But I don’t quite have the words for all of this non-sense yet. Or, frankly, the bravery or the conviction to speak about it with any level of confidence. But I know myself. I post this now or I don’t post anything again for months.

So this is both about and not at all about what Cameron unpacks in Week 9 (and 7 and 6) but mostly about not doing what I really want to do, which is just to stop doing this altogether. A creative u-turn, so to speak.

And, since I’m not prepared to do that, this “vaguebooking” post will have to suffice.

Hope you don’t mind too much.

Honestly. Waking up super sucks sometimes.


*And there lies the thing.