Riding the Dragon: The Workplace, the Forest

This is part of my work in the Julia Cameron Artist’s Way series. The work this time is from the book the Artist’s Way at Work: Riding the Dragon. The responses are self-examinations and assessments based on work through a daily series of exercises. While I do keep some material offline as it can be very personal and jarring, I often opt to be fairly open about my experiences, both positive and negative.

Stone Arch Bridge through the trees
Stone Arch Bridge and Mississippi River trail - photo by Diana Rajchel

1. Business environment: kind of a paved wood with a beaten trail. People don’t recognize they’re on defined trails until they go nuts when somebody gets off one. I’d love it to be a Pacific Northwest rainforest (but sunny) but mostly it’s a northern wood with locals that don’t share directions well and use self-referential (unhelpful) points if you get lost.

2. Dangerous situations: baboons. There’s a couple of baboon behaviors going on, domination, craziness, an expectation that I participate in tribal politics to my own detriment.

3. Predators: I don’t know if anyone I’m dealing with right now is outright predatory. What kind of natural predator pretends it’s a victim to ensnare others? There’s a high danger of that, and it is apparently my natural enemy.

4. Beautiful elements: Being in a time outside of time. There’s always a river somewhere. There are lots of bridges, some natural, some built with a great deal of care. The bee population pretty much keeps to itself. Hikers feel safe to explore here.

5. Friendly plants and animals in the forest: violets and moss are everywhere, as is German chamomile. At the edge of the forest where the street runs by a guerilla farmer has started a rose garden. I allow it, because the bravado to do such a thing is hilarious and perfect. Wolves keep the population of deer under control, and while sometimes a goat gets loose and destroys a few plants, it’s never the goat’s fault it got loose – so no blaming the goat. There are also foxes, keeping rodent populations in check; there is no raccoon banditry or river rat insurrection here. While the animals are not nearly as dignified as they might think, they are simply what they are, and they handle the troves of rabid baboons that have no business in this environment with aplomb. Between them, I think they may even be forming a plan about that roving tribe that will end with the baboons behind bars, or at the very least with the bully members of the tribe taken out and replaced with creatures that operate on cooperation instead of aggression.