If we’re lucky, I think we come across a phrase, a sentence, a paragraph, maybe a whole chapter in a book that speaks to us. It’s not as if we wrote it, but that it was written for us because it brings clarity to what we don’t really see, brings light to what is dark inside us, brings us truth when we can’t find our own words to write it. In continuing to share what is helpful in Natalie Goldberg’s book, Wild Mind: Living the Writer’s Life, I have come across such a paragraph. One question we ask ourselves, and keep returning to, is why we write/paint/draw/dance/cook/sculpt/play music. We investigate that answer, and use it as a touchstone. It is here that what Goldberg writes, I feel was written for me.
“I wrote because I never felt so whole and alive as I did when I wrote my first poem. I was complete. I created something from myself and nothing was wanting. That was the original flame. It was good enough, but along the way I mixed it all up. I thought it could heal the world; it could heal me…I wanted to throw it way ahead of me, thinking it would cure something way behind me…We need to let writing be writing and let it give us what it gives us in the moment. If we connect with anything in the moment, it frees us of the past, present, and future. We are just there.”
How do we know when we’re writers/chefs/musicians/photographers/painters? When we do it for the first time, and we feel whole. Our soul sits up and cheers that we have done what it was hoping we’d come to all along. It has to intrigue us enough that we return to it again and again. This investigation, this discovery, leads us inside to all the hidden corners and secret cracks. When do we do this? “We have to make the perfect moment. We can’t wait around.” The perfect moment is anytime that we create. If we wait, it doesn’t always come. And if we wait too long, our moments run out.
There is much to be gained from an artistic pursuit and its subsequent practice. We discover how to slip into that space of creativity, how to shush the inner critic, how to make and keep art a priority in our lives. On occasion, as I’ve been writing, other words come to me, or a different, less violent, less graphic scene or dialogue. And when I’ve done the “less” instead of the “first”, it falls flat for me and makes me think that it’s not authentic. Here again, Goldberg writes what I feel. “Yes, I will always be true to my writer self. She is very brave and fearless…I work to care for all of me, so when I do publish the truth, I’ll have a life to stand on, to steady me when I bring to light the deepest secrets of my soul.”
Interested in what my truth has to say? You can visit my website: www.myjoyenterprises.com
Have you found something that someone else created that speaks to you? If you create, are you making perfect moments?
Great things to think about. I don’t have an answer right now. Will be thinking on it.
Goldberg comes up with some really thought-provoking ideas!