Creative Space (via Project CSR)

At one point the author talkes about life changes. There have been some major ones in her life. And then she says at one point these words, “I left my career, changed cities, left my community. I wouldn’t advise this radical restructuring. Yet it was necessary for me. I’d been so malformed over the years of being determined by others that I needed space to create, to build my own structures.”

I very much disagree. If at all possible, do what she did, leave your career, change cities, and get a new community.

We all need to break the bonds of our lives and form our own personalities and grab desperately on to the possibilities of a life of meaning, a path with heart in it.

How many of you have gone back to your high school reunion and listen to the guests discuss how high school was the best part of their lives. I remember some vaguely pleasant hours but no whole days. I started having a real life when I became a full adult. I have made many bad decisions and quite a few good ones, but the best one was not to stay in the pattern laid out for me in the communities I grew up in.

I do a job I love, teaching, and I fight to change the world.

That’s not what they taught me. I was supposed to conform and I don’t.

Now, once you have disagreed with a writer (and in the first paragraph no less) you are compelled by custom to do a kind of rain dance of stomping on the rest of the article. Nothing could be further from my intent. I loved the blog entry and the writing in it.

I, old man that I am, thinks she should be more willing to take the example of her life and say, “You ought to do this too!” She didn’t just make the correct decision to leave her community – she made the courageous decision. I don’t think she gives herself enough credit.

This is a good article from a thoughtful writer. I went down the list of her last six entries and that intelligence and commitement is evident in all of her writing. It’s one of those blogs that might very well merit a place in your bookmarks or favorites.  — Project CSR.

James Pilant

“Creation is pleasure and torture at the same time. It’s trying to make something out of nothing. It’s a birth of some sort. Sometimes it’s like pulling a piano out of a swamp. Sometimes it’s like walking on air. The torture of that nothing-space in front of you, and the pure elation of filling that space with something good—it’s one of life’s great juxtapositions. I’m grateful for that—the torture and the pleasure.” Zooey Deschanel I used to thi … Read More

via Project CSR

4 thoughts on “Creative Space (via Project CSR)

  1. Thanks for your kind and thoughtful comments, James. I do think that some people are able to make these changes within the context and the relationships they are in–which is why I wouldn’t advise leaving as the answer. I needed to. But I was also thinking of Sue Monk Kidd’s book, Dance of the Dissident Daughter, in which Kidd underwent a pretty radical feminist awakening that her marriage was able to survive because her husband was willing to grow and change with her.

    What I see as necessary is personal growth. How this happens can vary from person to person. And I believe that there are times when “staying” can be far more courageous.


  2. Are you familiar with Joseph Campbell and “the hero’s journey?”
    I think we’re talking from two different intellectual backgrounds. I am a classicist and you’re a feminist. At least that’s my impression based on your listed readings.
    It also explains our different tones (writing). Mine is more certain. Yours is more nuanced and conditional. (That could also mean that you are just smarter than me!) I’ve added your blog to my favorites.
    James Pilant


  3. I know Campbell a bit but haven’t read anything by him yet. I’d like to, though. His name keeps coming up.

    Thanks for adding my blog to your favorites. I look forward to reading more of yours as well!


  4. He believes that the great religions and great stories of mankind are guides to a path of fulfillment. When he uses the word, myth, it is in a special sense. He’s describing not something that isn’t true but something that has universal relevance. I recommend you read the wiki article on the “Monomyth.” Besides, you’ve already done part of the Hero’s Journey. You might want to have a look and see at which of the 17 points you are at.
    James Pilant


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