Tuesday, May 3, 2011

On Writing Daily

Space to create is found in a quiet place. Noise from whatever the source seemingly keeps our depths hidden. It is the silence and the stillness that allow creative thoughts emerge. There has been so much chaos of late that it has become a struggle to find a quiet time, a still place to write. I doubt myself at times in my new endeavor and think: why should I write? There are so many reasons not to do it. Why do I seek to write everyday? Most commonly I hear, "you should only write when you are inspired." However, my gut is telling me to do it anyway.

My day is crowded with things I need to do. I get up everyday and do a hundred tasks because I have to; I want one thing that is about a search for beauty, about taking time to create, or about seeing some unknown truth I had hidden away. I have found a path through the brambles that accesses my soul, to widen the path I must return frequently. I do not fear the interruptions or dislike the noise or even have concern with the chaos, but I need a chance to get away from the distractions. This space inside that has been cleared can be quickly overtaken by neglect just like a garden or clearing left in the hands of nature- all sorts of things grow, but to no great effect. If I waited until I was inspired, I would still be waiting. If I listen to the longing in my soul, then I sit and begin, as now. Ignoring the longing leads to discontent. In a space undisturbed, there is a connection to all of life that comes into being no other way.

We stay so busy, we don't have time to be still. I feel guilty seeking a quiet space. I am constantly interrupted so it seems, I should not ask for this space, this time, and yet not seeking it is not the answer. We interrupt each other whether at home or work- you are stopped in what you are doing by an appointment, a phone call, someone popping round for just a moment, etc. It keeps things shallow, depth needs space and time. The best conversations come when we have time to listen; when we are not doing so many other things.

A modern fault is to think something productive should come from this time away: sounds from the musician, words from the writer, pictures from the artist, but we also need time to be in the silence with nothing to do, nothing to create. Seeking an end seems to backfire. To be, to sit, to allow the depths inside to emerge into this time is essential. It is work: work to create the space, work to make the time, and work to open up to world, but it is how we get to our creative space.

If everyone sticks a straw in and sucks me up, then there is nothing left, unless I am able to refill myself. If my path follows everyone's needs but my own, then I am lost to them and myself. If my path is true to me, then I can give when I am asked. Quiet, like water, nourishes. Sitting on a rock by a babbling brook, you can hear the humming insects, feel the kindness of the breeze, but the minute a conversation begins, you are lost to these moments.

I came upon the Moose walking home from school. His gaggle of friends was slowly making their way toward home, away from him. He stood transfixed at the railing staring into the river bed below. I wondered what kept his interest. I stood by a few moments, but he didn't notice; he continued his observations without awareness of another's presence. There were patterns from the mud and water that shimmered in the afternoon light, but it was the flower blossoms, caught in a small eddy, that held his eye with their color. I wanted to tease him but did not as I sensed making him aware of his rapture with nature could diminish it, and, in the end, diminish him.

We nurture beauty by taking the time to be with it. We nurture creativity by making a place for it to come. Let us encourage one another with the gift of silence in the face of beauty and with a space of time to create everyday as if they were as essential to the spirit as rest and water are to the body.