Last week, my creative slump came to an end. I was sitting in the rocking chair, watching the kids play, looking out at a peach coloured sunrise, and the beginnings of a poem crept into my mind. I jotted some things down and then waited impatiently for P to get up, have his first cup of coffee, and relieve me so I could run upstairs and write.
Ending a fallow period of writing is like, if you’ll allow the adult comparison, having sex after a long dry spell. It is that basic, that animal, of a feeling. For me, at least. It’s a few weeks of nothing and then suddenly: a rush, a flurry, the inspiration sweeping me along, words beating in my brain; the feeling that this is finally going to happen. The dash to the bedroom, to the desk, fumbling at the laptop, the pen lid, the button on a shirt. The pouring fourth across the page, across the screen. The high and then, the slow come-down.
Ah. Relief. I expect the clouds to open in heavy rain, the birds singing from sheltered perches in the trees.
I am grateful. Let my heart fill with gratitude for this return of words. Of course I knew they’d come. I glow with my thanks. I carry it over into my day. Thank you, Muse, thank you, Inspiration, for visiting me again. I’m always here, listening, ready. Writing like this is like communion, it is natural and also sacred; sex and life and love. It doesn’t always happen like that, the burst of inspiration, but when it does, it’s magic.
Now is the real work of going back over that inspired piece, which is always a bit messy. There are parts of it that are downright cliched, but in editing I work them over to bring out the truth, the essence of what I was trying to say. Sometimes in those hurried inspired times, I resort to cliche as a sort of shorthand. It can be frustrating to try and root out the right words, but I’m learning to enjoy the revision as much as the initial burst of writing.
I’m looking down the nose of a week of solo parenting, and so my writing slips from a regular practice to something I have to try and fit in where I can. I feel like there are so many things I’m trying to “fit in where I can”, and they all feel important to me. I’ve been trying to begin a regular yoga practice, even just 20 minutes a day, and I’m trying to meditate for 10 minutes after the kids go to bed. Plus keep up with the several books I usually have on the go, favourite blogs, this blog, and oh yeah, those three kids…it all feels like so much, but I guess another way to look at it is with gratitude. I’m grateful that I even have the freedom and luxury to be considering all of these things (writing! yoga! meditation!) in my life. Self-care has become such a huge priority these days, and having a partner who works from home and can help facilitate all of this is a real gift.
This post is a part of the What I’m Writing link-up.