The water droplets scattered all over the sky, known to scientists as altocumulos clouds, can provide hours of fun. I remember lying in the grass trying to make out shapes, arguing with my sister. I pointed to a mass of fluff and called out, bunny. She said it looked more like a cat. The presence of these cotton balls of moisture, there in the morning hours, quite often meant late afternoon thundershowers.
Shapes. Patterns. Nature's designs. I like them. This week's blog posts have subtle themes, but they are connected nonetheless. Lisa, and Hannah wrote about the characteristics of the muse. Call it motivation, call it divine intervention. The muse is inspiration, and she can be a fair weather friend. Amy wrote about the intensely personal, "tilted perspective" each writer brings to the art form. Emily Dickinson was quoted as saying, "Tell the truth, but tell it slant."
When someone asks me about my writing, they want to know about my writing routine. Do I write at a predetermined time, schedule a visit with the muse? Is the truth I'll uncover, decided upon in advance?
Anyone who writes knows intimately the sentiment coined by Robert Burns, “The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men, oft go awry." As Amy wrote earlier in the week, this is a common theme for mothers.
In my opinion, there is only one way to be rewarded with the inspiration to tell my story slant. Heather Sellers, in Page by Page, calls it butt in chair. Elizabeth George, in Write Away, calls it the value of bum glue. I prefer the shape of inspiration described in Natalie Goldberg's, Writing Down the Bones.
The pattern for me is to beg, borrow, or steal any time I can. As often as I can. Sometimes just once a day, less often than I'd like for a whole day, I sneak away to my chair, coffee in hand, of course. Then I allow loneliness to find me.
"Use loneliness. Its ache creates urgency to reconnect with the world. Take that aching and use it to propel you deeper into your need for expression--to speak, to say who you are and how you care about light and rooms and lullabies."
Do you welcome loneliness or fear it?
Thursday, March 22, 2007