“So when I first discovered my blue flame . . . I imagined barricading myself in a remote location and coming up with all the inspiration I needed on my own. . . . Your blue flame is meant to draw you to others, not only in sharing what you produce but in creating it in the first place.”- Jennifer Fulwiler
In Chapter 18 (“You Can Be Interrupted”) of Your Blue Flame, Jennifer Fulwiler quips about her love language. It consists of leaving her alone in silent rooms. But the key isn’t to avoid interruptions at all cost, but learning how to harness them.
A few years ago Jennifer spent a week at Mount Angel Abbey, a Benedictine monastery in Oregon. She journeyed there to visit a relative, Brother Claude Lane, a talented iconographer. When you see one of Brother Claude’s icons, your eyes follow the lines of the figures to encounter elements rich in symbolism – as intended. And since the church used icons as teaching tools, one refers to them as written rather than painted.
However, when the monastery bells toll to announce the six daily prayer gatherings, Brother Claude must set down his brushes and go. Certainly, you can’t schedule your interruptions as neatly as the prayer bells. But, Jennifer exhorts, guard your time to do you blue flame work more carefully.
Furthermore, the author observes, scientific research proves that inconveniences wake up our brains. Also, they make us more creative, but not only in an artistic sense. Inconveniences help us think outside the box when it comes to any kind of problem.
In conclusion, Jennifer offers this summation:
“It’s important to protect your time. Prioritize ruthlessly. Make your calendar spark joy as much as possible. But know that the goal of all this isn’t to block everyone out of your life or even to perfectly control when and how you interact with others. The goal is to share your life with intention, not to avoid sharing your life with others at all.”
Today’s question: Have you ever felt like barricading yourself in a remote location? Please share.
Special note: Chapter 19 appears in the September Short Meditation
Tomorrow’s blog: “The CEO of your life = you”