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  • elizabeth bartasius

The Clear - Making a blank canvas to write & live


‘The Clear’ is the gateway.

To what? You ask.

To write, to create, to anything.

If my desk, life, head are not clear,

Then I cannot seem to move, nourish, create or love in the way I commit.

Clutter in my closet, refrigerator, filing cabinet, or the files in my mind, keep me from my goals:

  • Completing a novel

  • Writing a paragraph.

  • Staying present with my husband on a date.

  • Having time to connect and support friends.

Drama, things left undone, and an overly scheduled calendar, leave me paralyzed, spinning wheels, and reacting, rather than consciously creating.

Clearing is the most important thing I can do to keep my writing going.

Sometimes it seems as my whole life is about clearing out just so I can write.

On a graph, my time spent might look like 90% clearing, 10% writing.

That 10% is a must-have: it is as I once heard Elizabeth Gilbert say, where I feel my most authentic self.

So, I wake up each morning and do the 90%.

I make my bed, brush my teeth, put the dishes away, swallow supplements, chug lemon water, walk to shake off the residue of stagnant dreams and sleep.

Then, I write.

I check emails, fix breakfast.

Connect with friends, loved-ones.

Then I write.

If anything at all is in my head space, I address it, or schedule the addressing of it on my calendar, so my mind is free to write.

Then, I write.

If I’ve had an argument with my spouse or a friend is in need, I cannot write until they are clear, until I am clear.

So we clear.

We clear for love.

We clear for our sanity.

We clear for our freedom.

Then I write.

Clear, write.

Clear, write.

Clear, write.

The beautiful, broken-record mantra of artistry: clear, create.

Clear the canvas.

Clear the body.

Clear the mind.

Clear the physical space.

Don’t mistake me by thinking that ALL things in the universe must be cleared in order to write.

I have written with shallow lighting, in a cramped corner surround by piles.

I have written with stacked dirty dishes.

I have created in the midst of swirling snowy white-outs and I have concentrated with lawnmowers rumbling.

I have created some of my favorite works during mental fatigue.

I have typed through blinding tears.

I have cranked out chapters at 5am, before work.

And, I often write in stolen 15 minutes blocks between obligations.

These aren’t my favorite conditions, of course.

I much prefer the quiet of nature, a slight Caribbean breeze, a vacant to-do list, no dinner parties to prepare, and the long meander of a day.

But, that is not life.

So I clear what I can.

I clear as much as I can.

I clear what racks my brain the most.

Then, I write.

Always, I write.

At least, this is how clearing works for me.

For you? Only you know.

Clear according to your own delight.

But, do clear.


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