Friday, August 24, 2007

Recent Inspirations

“The ocean doesn’t stop. It does not disappoint. It may surge, suck, drown, wreak havoc, but that is its nature and it is always itself, time without end.

“When we make our homes and plant our gardens we do it in defiance of endings, with a hopefulness about the future. No matter what surges and collapses in our lives, don’t we all keep looking for something that does not end?” Dominique Browning, Around the House and In the Garden: A Memoir of Heartbreak, Healing and Home Improvement

From poet William Stafford, when asked how he dealt with writer’s block: “I lower my standards.”

In a season of summertime distractions and scattered work, when I fear that by my disconnected writing schedule I am trying to scale a mountain in brief dayhikes, I take comfort here:

“What if we could be more deliberate in our collection of these little language scraps, these spices, these pieces of fabrics, and when we had a moment or two away from the kids, or the bills, or the job, we could sort through and cluster and group them, just as a quilter puts together matching pieces of cloth, or a cook, the save ingredients? It’s not something we often hear about, this way of writing, though I’ve little doubt there are other writers who’ve learned, like me, to write by doing piecework, who’ve learned to trust the unconscious mind to have a logic all its own. Writers who’ve found that after days or weeks or longer of collecting words, lines, images, we can see patterns emerging: themes, subjects, recurring thoughts, new angles on old ideas. They add up to something. For me, for us, writing as ‘an act of discovery’ is the process of discovering that sum.” Ingrid Wendt, from Mamaphonic: Balancing Motherhood and Other Creative Acts, ed. Bee Lavender

1 comment:

Kristen said...

Love Stafford's quote. Made me laugh. Tx.