Artist's Way Blog
|Posted by Kate Gavigan on May 29, 2011 at 10:29 PM|
If you haven’t read Lucy Maud Montgomery’s 1908 classic Anne of Green Gables, you have missed out on a great childhood friend and champion of all things creative! I imagine her as one of my Artist Way cheerleaders and in week 5 I need a cheerleader. Or 10.
My inner critic sounds a lot like Marilla Cuthbert, a past her prime spinster in conversation with an earnest, red-headed 12 year old artist.
"I'd love to call you Aunt Marilla," said Anne wistfully. "I've never had an aunt or any relation at all--not even a grandmother. It would make me feel as if I really belonged to you. Can't I call you Aunt Marilla?"
"No. I'm not your aunt and I don't believe in calling people names that don't belong tothem."
"But we could imagine you were my aunt."
"I couldn't," said Marilla grimly.
"Do you never imagine things different from what they really are?" asked Anne wide-eyed.
"Oh!" Anne drew a long breath. "Oh, Miss--Marilla, how much you miss!"
"I don't believe in imagining things different from what they really are," retorted Marilla. "When the Lord puts us in certain circumstances He doesn't mean for us to imagine them away.
But doesn’t He or She? Someone had to imagine a world without slavery, or small pox, or diptheria. Someone had to imagine The Brothers Karamazov, and Hamlet and Frodo Baggins. What might I imagine?
As I try on imaginary lives maybe like, Anne, I need to rename my inner artist. After all, Ruth, can’t even be spelled with an “E” to improve it.
What's your name?"
The child hesitated for a moment.
"Will you please call me Cordelia?" she said eagerly.
"Call you Cordelia? Is that your name?"
"No-o-o, it's not exactly my name, but I would love to be called Cordelia. It's such a perfectly elegant name."
"I don't know what on earth you mean. If Cordelia isn't your name, what is?"
"Anne Shirley," reluctantly faltered forth the owner of that name, "but, oh, please do call me Cordelia. It can't matter much to you what you call me if I'm only going to be here a little while, can it? And Anne is such an unromantic name."
"Unromantic fiddlesticks!" said the unsympathetic Marilla. "Anne is a real good plain sensible name. You've no need to be ashamed of it."
"Oh, I'm not ashamed of it," explained Anne, "only I like Cordelia better. I've always imagined that my name was Cordelia--at least, I always have of late years. When I was young I used to imagine it was Geraldine, but I like Cordelia better now. But if you call me Anne please call me Anne spelled with an E."
"What difference does it make how it's spelled?" asked Marilla with another rusty smile as she picked up the teapot.
"Oh, it makes such a difference. It looks so much nicer. When you hear a name pronounced can't you always see it in your mind, just as if it was printed out? I can; and A-n-n looks dreadful, but A-n-n-e looks so much more distinguished. If you'll only call me Anne spelled with an E I shall try to reconcile myself to not being called Cordelia."
This week I think I’ll be Rory or Madeline or Ruby Isabella.
So this week if someone asks me what I know about myself, I may steal Anne’s words.
Well, it really isn't worth telling, Mrs. Cadbury... but if you let me tell you what I imagine about myself, you'd find it a lot more interesting.