Sunday, October 19, 2008

Ravings of a Frustrated Wannabe Scholar

I was a scholar in a past life, I really think I was; but in this one I'm just an artist. I make no bones (I think) about not being a proper expert in any of this Goddess stuff, by which I mean, one with degrees and a dissertation behind her; really, I am just a (very) interested amateur when you come down to it.

So this week, in researching the Goddess Ceres for The Book To Go With The Goddess Oracle Deck (for which I really should attempt to come up with a catchier title), I came across Barbette Stanley Spaeth's book The Roman Goddess Ceres. Which book, alas, is not available at my famously crappy local university library (and, as I am not a student there I do not have access to inter-library loan); so I've been reading what I can of it on Google Books. And I only got to page two before I hit this passage:

Ceres’ name also links her with several ancient Italic divinities, such as Kerrí, Keri Arentikai, Regina Pia Cerria Iovia, and Anceta Ceria. These divinities were worshipped by the Osco-Umbrians or Sabellian-Umbrians, peoples of the central and southern regions of Italy.

And my head just about exploded. These are Goddesses, obscure Goddesses, about Whom I've only ever found a diabolically mysterious mention there and here; and I am fiercely, fiercely jealous of the access to material proper scholars have. I mean, it's true, I have to rely on others' work, and that in English to boot, as I can't read things for myself in Latin or Greek, or even French or the German that every freakin' work on the Etruscans seems to have been written in; so I have a few limitations. But damn. She just tosses these names around like it's the Red Sox lineup for the year.

Yeah, jealous, a bit.

But excited too, in a way I suppose only a fanatic, or a Goddess worshipper who leans towards the nerdy side of things can get; because, OhmyGod! more Obscure Goddesses for the collection, as it were. And I find myself in an odd state, one that I've been in a lot lately for some reason: a kind of blocked or unfocused inspiration.

It's very strange. I have been quite inspired, I mean on fire! about my various projects; yet the way it's playing out in me is that I am so inspired and so excited I can't actually sit still long enough to get anything done. I am full of plans and dreams and ideas but am having a terrible time just doing the damned stuff. I'm not usually like this; not, I mean, that I've ever been any good with discipline, I suppose.

It's not even quite a question of not knowing where to start; I've had that problem all my life and have some ways around that by now. It's that when I sit down to do one thing, I find myself passionately thinking about something else I'd like to do; but if I start on that something else comes up. It's like my inspiration is misfiring, or isn't timed correctly. I need the psychic equivalent of one of those strobe light thingies for your car engine.

Any ideas?


Anonymous said...

I've heard advice that goes both ways, but even though I have a hard time with it myself, I think the best approach is to finish the other one before you move on to the new one. The new one will still be there when you finish, right? I think it was Holly Lisle who said that if you lose the idea, you never really had it.

Alternately, if most of your work is spiritual, you could try praying/asking what you "should" be working on.

Inês Barreto said...

I have no ideas, but I'm writing to thank you for the book! Ceres is my beloved Goddess and I really don't know about this study and this other goddes. Gonna chek out more about it!

In fact, I look for your Ceres' calendar all day. It stays in my work desk. :)

Anonymous said...

I do this all the time!! I think it's part of the process. Even the sitting there looking at all the skeins I dyed (yeah me too) or all the beads or just doing a fabric inventory to see what project calls me next. It's one of the reasons I don't mind the rain here in the Pacific Northwest. It's perfect for this kind of thing.

I'm currently in a weird art space. I'm moving soon and knowing that in a few weeks I'll have easy access to all the supplies that are so difficult to get to right now is what is keeping me going.

I just love the process even though when in the days of nothing happening that feels weird and uncomfortable.

Thanks for the tag by the way. As soon as I come up with 6 things I'll post and tag.

Thalia said...

M0nkeyboy, that's kind of what I've been doing. I'm probably getting more done than I think I am, too. I have this book called Refuse to Choose, about how to cope with it if you're the kind of person who is always wanting to do a million things at once; I should go back and re-read it.

Inês raven, you are welcome. It's hard to find out information about the original Roman Goddesses before Greek influence.

Beweaver, yes, thinking and taking in and wondering are part of the process. It just feels like I've been doing that for the last year or so, and now stuff is wanting to go the other way and come out; but I'm so used to taking things in I don't know quite how to switch the energy. Or something.

Unknown said...

Well... trying to finish before you start something new is really the best way, but not the one I prefer or persue. I believe these writings and rumblings come from Musings... and then, when you feel IT... paper gets filled.
I don´t know. Most of my writing, and certainly I am not a scholar, but a humble teacher, happens in large chunks as if touched by a Muse.

Though you can try draftting... jotting notes... then, when the Muse comes, you just put things together.

Anonymous said...

have you tried your public library? depending on your state and public library's policy, you might be able to get interlibrary loan for that and other books. sometimes for free (or a couple of bucks).