John Mayer’s ‘Back to you’ ends with a variation to the chorus:
Back to me, I know that it comes
Back to me
Doesn’t it scare you?
The will is not as strong as it used to be.
I’m fairly certain John wasn’t writing specifically about me and my creative life, yet when I opened the laptop today, ‘Back to You’ swirled around in my brain.
Back to me, I know that it comes, back to me… whether that’s blogging or creating with pen and brushes or getting the damn dishes done and the groceries purchased and put away, it always comes around, back to me.
To answer John’s question, no, it doesn’t scare me that the will is not as strong as it used to be. This life isn’t all about will. We’re not here to white-knuckle through life’s ups and downs until we reach our deathbeds.
Can you think of someone who has tried to will themselves to follow a punishing diet, or stick it out in a relationship that’s bad for them, or fold themselves into a small enough, quiet enough, agreeable enough box to appease their loudest critic (internal or external)? I can. Did it work for them? They’d probably tell you that will failed them at a crucial moment. They know, sometimes from bitter experience, that the will isn’t all it is cracked up to be.
More than that, things aren’t supposed to stay as they “used to be”.
As I was walking down the hall before work yesterday, a thought popped into my head. Why do women face so much pressure to get their pre-baby bodies “back”? Why does the body have to go backwards? Why can’t the body evolve, and be different? Spoiler alert: these questions will not be answered in this post. Sorry.
I think the reason that my brain’s jukebox decided to play that particular JM track today stems from re-immersing myself into creative practices.
This month, I’ve decided to draw/paint/sketch every day, simply to reconnect with making art. I am also doing a wonderful online creative writing course called Writey-Oh! by Pip Lincolne. She’s my fave creative teacher, but you probably know that already!
By painting, by drawing, by reading Pip’s lessons and doing creative writing exercises, I feel like I am gathering kindling for the fire, or ingredients for a recipe.
Gathering kindling is all well and good, but it’s not how you make fire. Grocery shopping isn’t the same thing as serving dinner.
The point of it all is living a creative life – that comes back to me.
Unless I light that kindling and chop and combine those ingredients, I’ll remain creatively cold and hungry. Perhaps will is the ability to gather what’s needed. It gets us so far, but it alone cannot create the life we want.
Hmm, that’s a good metaphor for me. I’ve never been a big believer in the will, as mine lets me down regularly. It’s okay if yours does too, I won’t tell.
I know that it comes, back to me… and I wouldn’t want in any other way.