Nuns and their habits
They are not usually squeaky
Back in the 1990s I was a member of countless bands. Sure. We never practiced. We never played a gig. We didn't record anything or even have songs to speak of.
You don’t need instruments, or songs or even music to be in a band.
All you need is a name.
From there, it’s not difficult to come up with a ‘theme’ for the band and all of the narrative pieces.
Who’s the ‘John’?
Who’s the Ringo?
Who do we imagine that we know could serve as our Yoko?
Instant band, right there, that is. Sure, we’d come up with song titles, reunion tours, assassination attempts and overdoses but the most important was merely the band name.
For many of our bands we’d work out their whole trajectory together.
We lived in a constant game of Spinal Tap without the cameras.
Lists of possible cover songs would fall out of us as we hung around doing dishes or walking to a bar.
One of my favourite bands was back in theatre school in California.
This one included Anthony and Bird.
We found our name on a bread bag:
We were just like the bread: Kinda thick, kinda fluffy and great for making toast. (when it came to toast, I am to this day quite a chef)
This band actually had a song.
Bird had some little rubber dolls in her place that looked like Nuns. Our theme tune went like this: You know it’s fun when the nun goes squeeeeeeeeek!
That was it.
Which is a long story to get to a simple one. Nuns have habits.
As do we all.
I can imagine that life as a nun is little more than a whole bunch of habits every day.
Habits are really quite powerful. Changing habits is difficult.
Have you ever tried getting one of those things off a nun?
Neither have I. That would be a violation.
But at the same time, our lives are much like those nuns -they’re a whole pile of habits.
We were going to be called big loaf and the song we were going to record was because bird Our habits are more than just behaviour. They’re the places we inhabit, roles we play ant the stories going in our head.
Look forward, look back, be prepared, improvise - all habits.
Feelings of anxiety and depression when connected with a story quickly enter our own personal convent of self oppression.
This is why change is so difficult.
Habits are difficult to get out of.
Habits are tough to change.
Any change of habit or new habit has a kind of magical property.
Habits become so automatic, it’s like we’re sleepwalking through life, like we’re in some kind of trance.
Breaking a habit is like breaking out of a trance.
The level of awareness required is mighty.
Habits can be conjured up. Habits can be created.
We share a habit here.
I have stories in my head. Thoughts and things that I figure you might connect with. I wiggle my fingers a bit.
Time passes, then my thoughts enter your brain, like they are currently.
This writing habit is a bit of an odd thing.
The process has been cumulative.
And even yesterday, without a keyboard, or editing, we shared some thoughts.
We are part of each others’ habits.
So, thank you for joining me in this fairly magical process.
The thoughts, snippets and fragments of stories after I share them with you are revisited, refined and shaped into bigger stories, structures while becoming the framework of whole new ideas
In that way, a book is a bit of a nunnery - little more than a collection of habits.
I’m happy to say that the Book of Wrong Answers Vol1 is well on its way. The middle third is all that’s left to edit.
I’m looking forward to my next, new habit - promoting the book.
Like writing, it’s a skill, a process and a habit unto itself.
Either way, I’d encourage all of you to make magic. Make new habits. Write daily and share it with someone.
Because you know that old saying:
You know it’s fun when the nun goes squeeeeeeeek!