In reflecting about the writing process, I notice a couple of factors. First, writing takes time. It does not magically appear on the page without persistence and dedication and structure. There is quite a bit of effort that goes into producing each and every piece of work, art, really, as the words are crafted out of the writer’s experience and placed accordingly on the page, the lettered canvas . . .
In the current political climate, I find myself torn between wanting to post beautiful images with thoughtful musings or poetry, and wanting to use my words to eviscerate and expose what I see as abounding injustices . . . it is a conflict that I have faced since the Inauguration and before . . . I find it hard to embrace the beauty while the injustices feel so glaring and loom large in our everyday lives . . .
I don’t feel that as an artist, a writer, a social worker, I can not address the injustices I see. Getting out to march the day after the Inauguration, was imperative to me. And, because I adore humor, and humorous people, I find that the humor that I love, creeps its satiric way into the political pieces I write aimed at educating and informing the public . . .
With the snowy weather, and less time to work during the day due to family schedules, I find myself getting behind on the news, and feeling less comfortable engaging in what a friend has termed my “journalistic reporting,” . . . because, as I embrace my “journalistic reporter,” I want the writing to be credible and well-sourced . . .
Lately, I have been gifted with the musings of Mary Oliver, whose writing wisdom I find to be breathtaking and captivating . . . I have found in her work grace infused with unapologetic certainty, and in reading her words, feel some resolution to the conflict I have been contemplating today . . .
Neither is it possible to control, or regulate, the machinery of creativity. One must work with the creative powers – for not to work with it is to work against; in art as in spiritual life there is no neutral place . . .
Of this there can be no question – creative work requires a loyalty as complete as the loyalty of water to the force of gravity . . . there is a notion that creative people are absent-minded, reckless, heedless of social customs and obligations. It is, hopefully, true. For they are in another world altogether. It is a world where the third self is governor . . .
The working, concentrating artist is an adult who refuses interruption from himself, who remains absorbed and energized in and by the work – who is thus responsible to the work . . .
My loyalty is to the inner vision, whenever and howsoever it may arrive . . .
The most regretful people on earth are those who felt the call to creative work, who felt their own creative power restive and uprising, and gave to it neither power nor time . . .
– Mary Oliver, Upstream
And really, I don’t think there is much else to say. Mary has spoken so eloquently to what I have found to be my creative experience . . .
Thank you Mary for your wisdom, and thank you my mother-in-law, for sending this book to me, knowing that it was just what would inspire me, and that it would hit an unwavering nerve . . .
The photo I took as another snow storm was beginning a few days ago. You can see the snowflakes landing on the window of the car, and melting almost on impact . . . blurring the vision of the landscape . . . this temporary occurrence changed as the warmth dropped away and the snow accumulated, inches worth, on the window, obscuring everything . . . surely there is a lesson in here for all of us . . .
I welcome your thoughts. Hope you have an inspired day . . .