Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Be Here Now- Suzanne Macpherson





Be Here Now.

I could have titled this “ode to the perfect chair,” because I once splurged a large portion of an advance check on the mesh wonder chair, which was worth every penny and has made my life happier than an obedient husband, but instead I chose to title it “Be Here Now.” For those of you who indulged in some self-help during the seventies, it’s a Ram Dass thing.

I am not a minimalist from any standpoint, and I have a great affinity for: smooth creamy white McCoy and Abingdon vases and bold lime green Royal Doulton vases (see photos) from the thirties and forties, I love heartwarming art with houses and fields and basically any shiny objects that catch my fancy—I’m a crow. Visual objects springboard me into inspirational thinking. That and music, which flows from my computer via Slacker- Vince Gauraldi and Dave Brubeck usually.

Lately I’ve read that having an attachment to things is a really stupid focus, and it is, truly. Ask my friend Hailey North who had her entire office swept away by Katrina. Here today, gone tomorrow. The essence of who we are is not contained in our things. Okay, I get that, but I still like my deskscape, and my nest of an office created in a spare room. Like many of my fellow authors I too work well with a sort of controlled chaos around me.

But BUT BUT~~~ over the last two years I’ve been on a quest and one of my quests is to clear out objects and things that don’t serve me anymore . Things that make more chaos than my mind can handle. Things that carry energy I don’t want to carry with me anymore. That’s the Be Here Now quest.

For an author to be in present time is no easy feat. For an author to keep anything clean is not an easy feat ! But once in a while life needs a purge- between books, between career changes, just---between. I’ve been on a “between” for a while now-which is another word for present time without projecting into the future or dwelling on the past. Recently I discovered a process of creating order with “intention.” The simple version is that while you’re going about the process of cleansing out the things that no longer serve you, it is done with an awareness of what you’re doing. Examples: throwing out the files from a closed business from twenty years ago. Getting rid of your ex-husband’s cd collection. (No, I didn’t get a divorce- this one is a keeper lol.) Purging the 1997 Home and Garden Magazine’s. (Okay I can’t get rid of Martha Stewart Magazines!) And ahem, lets not even talk about letting go of some books to make room for others! Recycling takes many forms.

Speaking of Martha Stewart, although it’s not about perfection, her favorite word, I have to admit that visually Martha is a goddess- she creates the concept of beauty and order and color that makes me strive in small ways to pull it together. But I don’t drive myself nuts about it because as my friend and I like to point out—she’s got staff.

For me it’s all about head space. It was getting a little crowded in there. And if I want to move forward in a different way, with bold strokes and exciting new adventures, I need to clear the path.

I’ll leave you with a photograph of a place I like to go to refill the well. It is my “larger” office, in a nearby nature reserve. Free of all thoughts of the box of bills behind me, or what I “should” be doing, I can truly Be Here Now in this lovely spot. I highly recommend a monthly pilgrimage to anywhere near you that has no wifi, just birds and trees. It is the best office of all. Picture me under that willow tree with my notebook and pillow.

Suzanne Macpherson writing on love and laughter~

www.suzmac.com


8 comments:

Jessica D said...

If only that willow & pond were in my backyard... And I'll take Martha's staff while we're at it. Bring me my bon-bons!

Delle Jacobs said...

Obviously you are much better at organizing your stuff than I am. I like that idea of getting rid of stuff that no longer serves. But that's such a hard question to answer. Currently I'm wondering if a favorite teal suede suit, size 12, will ever be used again. The jacket is still rather stylish... And the pink flowered Gunne Sax wedding dress from the 80's which I think must be a size minus 3... If I ever get past that closet, I'll know I can tackle the knicknacks.

Heather Hiestand said...

Great blog! I think I should send my husband to read the line about writers and keeping anything clean!

Suzanne Macpherson said...

Jessica, I wish too! Bloedel Reserve is absolutely beautiful. If you live in this area (kitsap county) be sure and call first- you have to reserve a visit.
Delle LOL- I've gutted my closet and the clothes are strewn all over the bedroom. I keep telling my husband its a process- REALLY honey! (Just tell him that, Heather.)

SusanL said...

Suzanne! I am right there with you on the clearing out the clutter of my mind and the space I live in, but then the writing calls and all my good intentions go out the window. Even my garden, which could rival your beautiful reserve is suffering with weeds, because I'd just rather write :)

Suzanne Macpherson said...

I wonder if every writer in the universe has this "should be doing 'blank' " thing going on. I know when I delve deep into the writing I don't think about it but just before I delve, I'm deluged, and sometimes the other stuff wins. Not sure how to combat this, since i don't have STAFF!!!! LOL only surley teens. I'm trying the Huckleberry Fin method on them- OH its so FUN to do Chores! I'll keep you posted on progress.

Maggie Jaimeson said...

LOL on teens and chores, Suzanne. You do know that they cannot share the same space. I mean if they come into contact with each other one of them blows up. At least that is what both boys convinced me. :)

As for the "should be doing X" writer sickness, I think that is a common feeling. It's also my best procrastination device...which is why it's not allowed to be said.

Sleeping with Ward Cleaver said...

Ram Dass? I must've missed that part of the 70's LOL
I love your quiet place. My quiet place is my front porch swing. It's not often the temperature, bug presence (or lack thereof), and lack of noisy neighbors all conspire to give me a few moments peace in which I can write.
Now, back to my cadillac-for-the-back desk chair (yes, we got that instead of a gas grill several years ago when my back when out) and my uber messy desktop, since it's far too hot today to enjoy my peaceable retreat!