Friday, January 11, 2013

epiphany, engaging spirit, work

My morning ritual is specific. I wake up, put water to boil for coffee and immediately come into my office to write down my dreams. I'm a vivid dreamer, I go to the same "world" each night. Over the years I've gotten to know the place rather well, down to the parking garage where I sometimes park my car. After I write down my dreams I write a page in another journal, usually I start with whatever I'm grateful for and then into whatever else is on my mind. I grind the coffee beans and start my coffee in the french press. Then I read poetry. Rumi, Rilke, Gibran, I always choose a poet who uplifts, reminds me what is essential. I meditate. I do all this before checking email, internet, anything. I find when I start my day with silence and poetry they fit better.

Yesterday I had a hellish editing day. I sat with the same page for hours. It was a teeth-pulling writing day. I finally gave up around sunset and retreated to eating unhealthy snacks and internet wormholes.

This morning I went into my meditation after having reread for the 70 millionth time a passage from The Prophet. This morning I read the passage On Work. The phrase Work is love made visible was stuck in me, interrupting my usual mantra. Finally, I settled into the place I love to get to in meditation, the floating, the color eruptions, the silence and then it blossomed, the big "duh!" or epiphany.

Write like the poet you are. Boom.

I think I've danced around this idea before. I've been a poet for years, working almost exclusively in poetry, publishing poetry, writing hundreds of poems. That voice is one I've worked and worked on, honed, sharpened. My love made visible. I've exacted my language until it satisfied me. And somewhere in my crazy-brain, when I sat down to work on this novel, I ignored that language, I put the poetry away. No wonder I'm struggling! I'm attempting to write in an entirely new voice. I think back to the short stories I've written that I love the most, The Half-Wife, Blood, Days of Sainthood, and they were all written in my poetry voice.

This means more work. *sigh* I'm okay with that. Making my love visible. So it is.

Speaking of languages, read this gorgeous piece by Louise Erdrich Two Languages in the Mind, One in the Heart. Something like that, yes, yes.

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