And like any good toddler I've fallen down, had a tantrum or two (usually about my mother), gurgled and cooed when things went my way, put a pot on my head and acted the fool more than once. I have gotten into the crayons and paints. And I've messed around with the language spewing out all kinds of babble and unintelligible sounds. What do you expect from a toddler? Gosh, it's freeing to have low expectations. Takes that self imposed, prideful pressure off.
It's interesting to think back. Taking stock is a good Buddhist practice, I think. ...Looking at what we have done, what worked, what we might like to alter. How else can we grow and change and learn? How do we adjust our course? Become wiser? Honest reflection is the answer I think. And while it is human nature to have blind spots, things that we just don't see, if we look at our past actions they can help clarify what is important to us and help us decide how to move forward.
Interestingly, I think I applied much more care when I began blogging, spending more time composing and working on each piece of writing. I had lots of Dharma topics rolling around in my head that I wanted to write about. After a few days I started to write 100 days of Dharma which was a real exercise in discipline. There were many days I wondered "will I have anything to write about?" Surly the well is dry by now. But always something came to mind. It was an exercise in faith as well as discipline.
In the summer I did 30 days of small art projects which was again an exercise in discipline, this time in the visual department, rather than word sculpting. This was much more difficult for me. I found (and not to my surprise) how much time I would spend creating something that pleased me. There was much more critical judgement of the little pieces on my part. No dashing off a little work in 10 minutes (occasionally perhaps). I learned that acts of spontaneous creation were not my forte. But it is interesting to learn how we work, where we cling and get stuck, where our strongest expectations lie.
And in the great tradition of "how do I know what I think, until I see what I say" I learned a lot about my own human experience through blogging. I mined the depths of the every day. I got to be a little less self conscious by spilling the contents of my spleen and other internal organs onto the page.
And I have connected with lots of kindred spirits out here in the blog bog. I am awed by the vastness of the blogosphere and feel like I live in some tiny constellation in the vast dark universe of blogs. I am constantly discovering new blogs and from the very beginning (and much to my surprise) I was blown away by the creativity and imagination I had somehow discovered. I travelled oceans and continents to arrive at amazing and inspiring sites. This has been heartening to me, discovering these unknown treasures, a thriving counter culture of creativity and awareness. It exists slightly apart from the mundane world I live out on the street, that can often seemed filled with consumer consciousness and disregard for the things that seem deeply important.
In some ways I think the focus of my blog has shifted toward my visual art. I blog less than I did when I started. I had to look at the fact that I didn't want to just blog because I wanted to post everyday. I got to examine my motives. I got to look inside and see if I truly had something to share that day. And I found a balance between the real world and that of the deep blue computer screen.
So come and share a slice of cake with me. If I was all grown up I'd choose a cake that was a sumptuous dark chocolate with a middle layer of cheesecake and preserved cherries. But I'm a one year old and I want a blue cake with sprinkles and gummy bears. And I'm going to lean over and take a big bite out of the middle of the cake and then I'll probably try and stuff some ofthat ungodly blue icing up your nose. I will be giggling and sporting a blue icing mustache. What, where are you going?