I am going to perform in May and this has me stuck in what I consider “the excruciating in-between,” or what Pema Chodron, who is more gentle than I am, calls, “the shaky tenderness.”

I am between:

  • excited and terrified
  • the possible outcome of a complete failure or a mind-blowing success
  • what I imagine/dream/feel I want to create and what I am actually able to create

And the thing is, this will not go away. I will perform and I will remain levitradosageus24.com in the in-between. There will be no switch. I will not go from good to bad or vice versa.

This is the trip, in and out of the creative process. We imagine something, can’t figure out how to get there, and have to live in the dissonance. Listening to many famous and fantastic artists say it I begin to believe it.

Anne Patchett creates her novels (Bel Canto, etc) entirely in her head and then takes them out and “kills them.”

“I never learned how to take the beautiful thing in my imagination and put it on paper without feeling I killed it along the way,” she writes in “The Getaway Car.” “I did, however, learn how to weather the death, and I learned how to forgive myself for it.”

men at workIra Glass talks about the gap between your work and your good taste and the years of work it takes to close that gap.

“It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”

Louie C.K. talks about sticking with it for a minute.

There you go. There’s no way around that. There’s people that say: “It’s not fair. You have all that stuff.” I wasn’t born with it. It was a horrible process to get to this. It took me my whole life. If you’re new at this — and by “new at it,” I mean 15 years in, or even 20 — you’re just starting to get traction. Young musicians believe they should be able to throw a band together and be famous, and anything that’s in their way is unfair and evil. What are you, in your 20s, you picked up a guitar? Give it a minute.”

This is where I live. I am not going to find the switch. I am going to commit to doing the work. And sometimes I am going to get tired and give up. And then I will continue to have to do the work.

This is the excruciating in-between, may I learn to forgive myself for it.