some inspiration will arrive and some of the thoughts and images will manifest themselves into a poem on paper. Sometimes I’ll go for weeks without writing anything, or writing anything worth a damn. I start to get mentally and spiritually unbalanced when that happens and force myself to get down to it whether I feel like it or not. I read a book of essays by writers called The Writing Life. The essays are about writing habits, the origins of poems or novels, relationships, etc. One of the essays that really stuck with me was about making your workspace “sacred” in order to keep your focus alive and your mind open to its own ideas. I’m wondering if you have a workspace you go to, in your house or somewhere nearby, someplace sacred that helps you write.
Ah, yes. For several years my favorite place to write is in the kitchen and usually at night. And I have to get the kitchen just right. I have to get rid of any clutter, wipe the counters, wash and put away any dishes, get some music going, and get the lights down low to create a mood that is receptive to creativity. And then hope that something “happens”. One time I read something that made this little ritual make sense to me. Cleaning things is kind of like communing with dirt, or the earth. Washing things is kind of like communing with water. Creating some mood lighting, such as with candles or a dim light is, of course, like communing with fire. And getting inspired I suppose is like getting your mind to take off into the sky. And of course there’s music. Most religions and their practices involve these same elements. And I’ve always felt that when the creativity is flowing, and something is happening, and a poem manifests itself, I get the feeling afterwards like I’ve just been to church. It’s like an ecstatic experience and is usually the only way I can write. 141
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