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’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’.
She places her palms over her ears and breathes into her belly. ‘Don’t wish it away. Such a precious age,’ she’s heard it a million times. She smiles politely. Tells them, silently, they’ve forgotten. Blocked out the bad times, remembered only the good.
She wants to say to them that every coin has two sides; every story, multiple themes running at once. And love. Even the love of a parent has two sides, always. When it’s easy, and when it’s hard.
Bathroom days are hard.
She counts the hairs stuck to the bathroom tiles. She won’t have time to pick them up, piece by scraggily piece. Too busy being an excellent mother, not wishing too loud for peace and quiet to find her once again.
She belongs in the bathroom.
They belong in fresh-white homes, lovingly tending to their overgrown toenails.
Australian summer and there I was, sipping a glass of wine beneath the gumtrees, wrapped in my best winter scarf and topped with a little woolen hat. The wind: shocking.
It’s not unusual for the country town we’re holidaying in to reach these frosty temperatures at night. I’m certain we’ll look back in years to come with fond memories of swaying gums and whirls around the caravan park on bikes, but I also think we’ll marvel at Mother Nature and her wacky sense of humour. During the day, it is not unusual for the temperature to reach forty degrees celsius and beyond, some years, and yet the blankets come out when the sun falls. It’s quite funny, really.
It reminds me of Melbourne (my hometown) and her ability to display every single aspect of all four seasons in one day. The rest of Australia laughs at our expense, but the truth is: Melbournians gladly identify with this peculiar trick of the weather. We happily declare it one of our most impressive party tricks.
I’m breezy and happy, today. After a solo journey back to Melbourne, earlier, to celebrate my beautiful Grandma’s 90th birthday (and a nice big heart-opening drive back, listening to music) I’m so grateful for all the experiences that have brought me here. To this place in my life, I mean. Not just to this dodgy little caravan park in the middle of nowhere.
I am reminded of the worth of life experience each time I feel the beautiful glow of wholeness beneath my skin. Each time I feel the spirit rise within me; the times I’m ready, and quite able, to speak the truths my heart knows to be absolute. I am not perfect. Life is not perfect, and never will be. But I am here, and I am grateful for these exhausting family days (and even you lot fall upon the grateful-o-metre of me…aww, sigh. Like, really, you guys. x) so a girl couldn’t ask for much more to help drift me through my days.
Right. Off to drink my tea and snuggle up with, what is turning out to be, one lovely heart-filling book.
Two years ago, before the universe exploded everything around me, I began two very writerly things. One thing was this blog (and what an absolute gift this place has been to me. Writing and a beautiful little band of friends to share my life with? I mean, what life experience could be more wonderful. )
The other writerly thing I began was my very first novel, which became just about my whole entire heart when it began to spin its delicate web within me. I fell in love with the people, the places, the thoughts, the ideas. Everything. My novel felt like a safe and lovely home, and I felt like I was the lucky owner.
Apparently it wasn’t time for the novel, though, because the universe decided to blow my life up and make me a whole new person (thanks very much universe. Oh, you’re really quite welcome, Brooke.)
Anyway, I’m getting silly ( 🙂 )but according to the universe, there were a few more breadcrumbs of life for me to pick up before this novel could take flight…and without ruining the story for you, I can tell you: the universe was right. My goodness, how right the universe was to blow up my world and my novel.
I can’t quite articulate how I feel about the novel now that I’ve returned to it, but I can say that the clarity of thought and expression I now experience in my creative life— due to the meditation and healing I’ve done since then, I’d imagine — has given me a new set of eyes. And a new piece of my heart to write with. My goodness, you guys. It is the most magical, wonderful thing.
A great deal more of my novel makes sense to me now. I couldn’t possibly have written the novel that was asking to be written back then because I didn’t have the right ingredients within the writerly/ humanly cook book of me, then.
But lately I’ve started hearing whispers from the universe and this is what they’ve said:
I write a lot about real life events. Sometimes I connect to fantasy and spin a beautiful story from worlds that don’t exist, but often I write from a place deep within. A place of memory, but more than that. It’s a place of alchemy, the unconscious breathing life into the conscious.
Friends and lovers gone by — how they’ve changed me. Hopes and dreams lost to the wind of time, moments of what if merging with moments of what is. It is a beautiful gift for a writer: to explore the world within, to honour the people, places, life paths that have madeus who we are.
I hope my inner world will become a gift for you, also. A mirror to help you discover your own story, and the parts of your soul you’ve yet to explore.
Every person who has grown me into who I am lives within the worlds I write.
And every person that lives within me, through my writing, now lives within you.
I will never take for granted the profound beauty of that.