Friday, April 10, 2009


I'm wonderin' why I think some things don't 'deserve' practice, while other stuff does. Like, when I was first learning how to play guitar, I practiced all the time. My boyfriend at the time was this killer jazz guitarist who insisted I practice til my fingers bled. Really. He was pretty merciless about it. Said that the only way I was going to grow callous on my fingers was to just work thru it. I believed him. So I did. Didn't take long before those callouses were tough enough for me to practice for hours. And practice I did. Every single day. Pretty soon, I was zippin' along the fret board, doing my scales like it was the most natural thing in the world.

Then there was the time I decided I wanted to 're-learn' Italian. I was finally going to Italy, and I wanted dearly to speak the language when I arrived. I'd spoken as a child, when my grandpa was still alive, but after he passed, my dad insisted we speak English only. Sad, but true. Some 35 years later, I realized that if I'd spoken it before, it must still be logged in my brain somewhere. So I got some tapes and rented a bunch of movies and practiced. Every single day. In less than 6 months, I was speaking well enough to make my way thru Italy without using English. Practice.

Now, with all the other things I want to do, like meditating and visualizing, how come I think I don't have to practice those too? How come I think I'm just supposed to 'go there' instantly? These things take practice. 'specially when you're a little jitterbug like me. Sitting still does not come naturally to me. Mom used to say I had ants in my pants. (giggle) A perfect analogy. But it's true. So the meditating thing is as much a discipline as working out with weights. Every day, without fail, just do it! And now that I am, I'm finding all sorts of things are beginning to happen. I can actually diminish pain and stop my brain and 'see' things. Just cuz I'm practicing. Go figure.

In the end, I guess it's the same as with writing. I love to write, so it's not 'work' at all. And if a day goes by when I haven't written, I can 'feel' it. I have an ache for it. Does this mean I don't have to practice writing too? Nope. Cuz, like any craft, the more you do it, the more you hone. I don't know if anyone else thinks my writing is better now than a year ago. But I sure do. When I read stuff I wrote before and then the stuff I'm writing now, I can see a 'style' emerging. I can see the differences. I can see how much more fluid the thoughts are, at least to me. And, more and more, I'm seeing that all the things I practice are the things that really do matter most. So maybe I need to find another word. 'Practice' isn't quite it. Maybe, instead, I could use 'pamper'. Cuz really? All the things I want to be better at, are things that I love doing. They bring me joy. So, doing them repetitiously is kinda the same as pampering ME. Yea. That's it. Pamper. Today, I'm gonna pamper me. Just cuz I can.

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