Charlotte Rains Dixon  

Losing My Mojo, or, A Ray of Light

There was an article in the Sunday Oregonian yesterday about all the crises we face in the world–the oil spill, war, the economy–and how they are getting people down.

No, duh.

Usually I am immune to the tyranny of news stories.  Aware, but immune.

Lately, though, I've let it all get me down.  Yesterday, as I tried to work on a piece of writing, I got totally distracted by coverage of a local story, a missing seven-year-old boy, who one minute was happily running down the hall of his school and the next was gone. I was feeling down and discouraged.  Sad about the boy and worried about his mother.  Frustrated by the lack of progress in finding an agent for my novel. (Which absolutely, utterly pales in comparison to the plight of the missing boy.)

And the thought came to me, unbidden:

What if you could be the ray of light in all of this?

I know, it sounds ridiculously new age and schmaltzy.  But my brain works that way sometimes.  Yours probably does too, you just won't admit it publicly.

So, what if I could be a ray of light?  What if you could?  What would we do?

I dunno, I really don't.  But here's a few ideas:

1.  Quit watching the news.  Okay, I don't watch it.  But I read the newspaper.  And I read internet sites avidly.  And even if I could lessen my exposure just a little bit, I would make a better light.

2.  Meditate.  I have an off and on relationship with the practice.  But every time I get into an on period I feel much better.  Clearer.  Dare I say it? Lighter.  More in touch with myself, connected with the universe. 

3.  Write more.  It's the cure for anything that ails you.

4.  Find other creative outlets.  I like to mess around with painting, for instance.  Or needlework.  Or gardening.  Creativity, like writing, is the best revenge.

5.  Read more books.  Good books, classics or great examples of contemporary work.  And read fewer things on the internet.  Except for this blog, of course.

That's five.  Not bad for a discouraged person.  Actually, pondering ways to not be discouraged is quite helpful.  I feel better now.  Think I'll go have a glass of wine.  And maybe that deserves a number, too!

6.  Drink red wine.  And that makes me think of another one…

7.  Hang out with people you love.  Because that is what it is all about, isn't it?

Join me as I grope through the dark.  What are your ideas for shining light in these perilous times?  Or just for getting us all through Monday?

0 thoughts on “Losing My Mojo, or, A Ray of Light

  1. Christi Corbett

    I’m in Oregon too and the story about the missing boy horrified me. I turned off all televisions, picked up my favorite book, and promptly lost myself in the pages.

  2. Charlotte Dixon

    Christi, He is still missing and I’m trying not to obsess. It does no good to constantly check Oregon Live for updates. I have a new book coming tomorrow–The Passage by Justin Cronin–and I think it is going to be one of those books that you lose yourself in. I can’t wait!

  3. Maryse

    My prayers go this boy and his family! When I feel overwhelmed by the bad news (which has been a lot, lately) I remember that there is so much more than what we see. We flow in an ocean of energy and impulse for life. Oil spill, boy kidnapping? What lessons will they teach? What light will come from that darkness? We don’t know. We only grasp one tiny facet of a huge picture. Being with the ones we love, definitely at the top of my list also!

  4. Maryse

    And sorry for the missing ‘to’ in the 1st sentence! 🙂

  5. Jane Rutherford

    I listen to music. And there’s one video that will always improve my mood. It’s a “Free Hugs” video on YouTube. It’s so full of possitive vibes that nothing compares.

  6. Roy

    Hey Charlotte:

    They don’t call it Christmas in July for nothing, you know. For many, many years while writing in the corporate world (before I met you, the Lofters, the MFAers, et cetera), I would need to take a break from…it all. Regroup. Refocus. Re-shine, to turn on your phrase. For a single day, I would call in sick or take a vacation day, and just spend the day watching Christmas movies, reading small sections from A Christmas Carol, looking at old photos and memory books. Usually, that’s all it took for me to shake off the more negative aspects of the here and now, as it were. I’ve been doing pretty well since our MFA days, but this summer, I’ve felt the need to pull some of the Christmas stuff out and just…realign my mood to the things that are important in life.

    Later gater, Roy

  7. Charlotte Dixon

    Ah yes, Maryse, you are good to remind us of that. There’s a famous buddhist story that goes on and on, which essentially teaches this lesson–that what we see is not necessarily the whole picture.

    Jane, I’ll have to look up that Free Hugs video. I’ve seen the one which is people looking at the camera, saying, “I love you.” It is great. And thanks for the reminder about listening to music.

    Oh, Roy, Christmas in July (or anytime) is a great idea! The one Christmas movie that always sets me straight is “Love Actually.” The closing montage of people greeting each other at Heathrow always brings tears to my eyes–and remind me that love is all you need.

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