Things seem to be stagnating, and changing rapidly, at the same time. I'm not sure how this is even possible, but nevertheless, it is true.
There are, however, two things that I can count on, even in these strange times. They are my daily bookends: the morning pages and the bedtime story.
If you're at all familiar with Julia Cameron and The Artist's Way, you know what the morning pages are. I certainly don't do them perfectly -- is there even such a thing? -- but I have been doing them every day, with very few exceptions, since July of 1994. That is nineteen years, and that is something.
The bedtime story...well.
You might think that my fourteen year old daughter is too old for this ritual, but you would be wrong.
You might think this tradition began when she was a little bitty girl, but you'd be wrong about that as well. It goes back much further than that.
I've been reading aloud to people, and with people, for as long as I've been able to find people willing to play with me in that way. Many of my romantic relationships and other friendships have grown deeper and richer through the sharing of stories -- fictional and non-fictional, it doesn't matter. It's all stories. It's all words. It's all...human.
Mostly, though, I am just so grateful that people I care about give me the opportunity to perform for them, and sometimes with them. In many respects, I believe that I could be quite happy living alone, someday, except that I'd still want to read to someone. Maybe I could volunteer at a local library, or create audiobooks. I don't know. If it ever becomes necessary, I'll figure it out.
Morning pages and bedtime stories. When it comes to my daily creative practice, they are purely and simply foundational.