I mean, I sometimes wonder if I can still write fiction that peels my skin from the bone. Words I read back after I’ve written them and find that they speak to my soul.
It’s been a long time since I’ve written any fiction. My poor novel is sitting desperately among the cobwebs of my computer, wondering where I am. The short stories I once wrote are just that: short stories I once wrote.
The truth is, I’m afraid.
Because I wonder if I can still write.
And so I procrastinate and procrastinate until I don’t even try anymore. I know it is simply a matter of starting. But. I don’t even start.
I am too busy to scratch my nose, also, so that is one actual fact I can’t ignore. Even if I was brave enough to face the looming blank page, there is no time for that in these early stages of newborn life. These moments, now, are stolen moments I am taking back from Motherhood.
And I’ve chosen to give them to this place.
My heart place.
My home. (Where all of you are. My beautiful bloggy family.)
If history has anything to say about this pattern of me, I will make my way, eventually, to the place of bravery that allows for creativity to run free of the well. I will, once again, bring my whole soul to the surface of my world. I will create worlds, and lives, and beauty through art.
But that time is not now.
Now, I am here. (Happily, peacefully, lovingly I am here.)
Savouring these stolen moments.
Waiting for the baby to wake, running from the fears I know are lurking in the shadows.
I am not afraid to sit still. Here. Now. I am not afraid of this.
The sweet divinity that lingers at the edge of life.
Writers and artists know it well. Actors and musicians feel it within their bodies. And none of us have any clue as to what it is. Not even those who believe, beyond a doubt, that they do know the source of this most beautiful, magical wind.
To understand this force would surely be like bottling and dissecting infinity. How could you bottle a never ending force like that? More to the point, how could you ever truly understand what it was or where it had come from? I just don’t think it would be humanly possible.
I read a book a little while ago, by Sue Monk Kidd, named ‘The Book of Longings’. I’ve been re reading it, and last night I couldn’t help but smile as I came across a familiar idea. The invisible divinity. She mentions it in the book, and right away I knew I had to share it with you all. Surely as readers and writers, both, you have felt this invisible magic. How beautiful it is to know we are not alone in our recognition of it.
The act itself of writing evoked powers, often divine, but often unstable that entered the letters and sent a mysterious animating force rippling through the ink.
Sue Monk Kidd. The Book Of Longings
At University, I studied writing. One of the units I studied was called, ‘Writing: Finding your Voice’ but the thing was…it never seemed as simple as that, to me. That we each have a ‘voice’ we can use to write with in a unique and beautiful way, or that one could simply ‘find’ this voice. Like finding a tennis ball beneath a shrubby, weedy bush in the desert.
All I can say about this mysterious voice is that I feel its magic arise when I relax my entire body and stop thinking. I’ve heard the phrase thrown about that, to evoke the force, we need to ‘get out of our own way’. To me, this is both entirely accurate and also impossible to comprehend.
Just whose way are we getting out of exactly?
And what, exactly, is the mysterious animating force behind it all?
I’ve come to realise that creativity is just the art and flow of being yourself. There’s really not a lot more to it than that.
At its core, creativity seems to be made of the absolute depth of who we are. And the depth of who we are is always waiting, somewhere beneath the surface, to be shared in its most resonant form. (I believe this is true for every human being. Not just those who are considered creative types.)
For me, the purest form my creativity takes is music. My voice, in particular, seems an extension of the calming, soothing essence that naturally seems to spill from the deep, internal parts of me…and so my music always does seem to reappear in my life, no matter how far I stray from it.
For a lot of years I judged myself (my voice, my performance capabilities) based on what others were doing with their own musical talents. Somewhere in my teen years I grabbed a hold of the idea that, although my talent was constantly being validated, I didn’t have a voice that could compare to a real singer. According to young human me, real singers had a range that reached far beyond the heights that my limited range could. Real singers were perfect, never to stray a note in pitch at all.
How sweet it is to have found the most beautiful new gift of evolved perspective when it comes to my music: that being…my music is my essence. Unique and beautiful, and only mine, never to be compared to any other. My voice and my music are here to achieve their own purpose. And this purpose has nothing to do with an out of this world range or perfectly crafted technique.
There may be singers who use a wider range of skills to express their musical essence in order to thrill…but to thrill is not what I am here for. I am here to express the depths of my heart. I am here to heal with my voice and perhaps to bring peace, calm and emotion to those who connect with my music, writing and creativity. How beautiful, to finally come to know this of myself.
And so I continue to release my musical essence as it is.
No more excuses.
No more foolish voice within trying to compare my musical self with others.
They are all beautiful fruits to be savoured and cherished in the fruit bowl of musical life. I am a different fruit, who finally understands that apples and oranges never will compare.
I’m very aware of the rich soil of this place. How I am peeking through the soft earth, unravelling beautifully. How I am fully becoming myself.
Over these past few weeks, I’ve been allowing myself to be as I am, just watching the world go by. Watching all the expectations I had for my life and my dreams fall apart, so sweetly.
I am here to create and to love.
That is all.
It seems that, for most of my life, although I have been creating, although I have been loving…I have been looking to frame this creativity and love within an identity. Within a ‘reason’. For example: I must write a book in order to write legitimately, to be accepted under the culturally approved model of what a writer/creator must wish to strive for.
But I don’t wish to strive for this. Although it would be lovely to hold a book of my heart in my very own hands, I am so fulfilled by life that it truly does not feel necessary, to me.
I only wish to create. To be utterly fulfilled by this most beautiful connection with myself and the people I write for.
How or where my creativity (my essence) finds these people has become unimportant to me. I trust my words and heart will find home, effortlessly. I know this logic might make no sense to some, but for me, to flow through life feels like the only right way.
I never had to write a book to be a writer. I never had to be ‘a writer’.