the crucible of creativity

Beyond the home of where we each reside, the anxiety of a mass drama is taking place as we are halted from progressing at our usual global speed. The earth itself, travels in space while we live as ants on it. Before the virus, during the virus, and after the virus pandemic. Life will go on as it always has for it is life itself. 

And while the solutions are logical for how to progress (wash hands, practice social distancing, don’t travel unless it’s absolutely necessary, etc), doing what is logical in these times given that we are dealing with a virus, has certainly stirred up feelings from the deep about what it means to be human. Or perhaps more specifically, what we find intolerable about being human that our life design could only ever temporarily hide. 

It’s a new climate to write in. It’s a new climate for all of us to work in, live in, and be in. And it took some time for that reality to set in rather quickly. Personally, as of right now, I’m not used to not writing as much. It has felt more tumultuous to sit and be with myself. To allow myself to be. Perhaps you feel this way too?

I have “tried” to write but I found myself just never really feeling the words that I was writing. Strangely I found myself wondering if meaning had gone away. 

What would I do without writing? For now anyways.  

I turned my attention to other things. Cleaning. Reading. Cooking. 

I’ve watched Contagion (the movie on Netflix). I found a documentary on YouTube on the swine flu pandemic. And I’m halfway through Grace & Frankie also on Netflix. 

I have been reading about trauma and The Egyptian Book of the Dead. I have lingered over daffodils and now tulips longer than I have ever done in the past because I was curious if they knew things that I didn’t and would have something to say. I’ve also thought the same thing about my dogs as I observed how the texture on Sonnet’s coat was made up by each hair. I look at her. She looks at me. And everything is okay. 

And then I look away and feel like maybe it’s not. 

Thankfully I have two dogs. 

So I look into the eyes of the one that loves to stare into my eyes. He’s Puck (aka “LaLa” and “Duckie” because he just seems to find those names so fun). They sparkle and my insides giggle. 

I’ve been hearing from and connecting with people that I haven’t connected with in a long time. I feel busy and find myself wondering “with what?” Nothing that I ever used to be busy with.

Where I live, where it’s usually rainy, it’s been clear and sunny heralding spring from long dark winter rains. 

When I looked up at the sky last night it was filled with stars  encircled by by trees. I felt so near to everything and yet so, so far away. 

I feel as if I’m taking in opposing forces that require some mysterious alchemy that I don’t yet have to bring them together. But I know that there’s brewing going on within, but it feels like unrest. 

And for the last three Sunday mornings, David Whyte has been speaking live on my screen. I’ve seen him in person a few times now, but somehow listening to him at home during this, where I can feel and let the tears run down my face, has felt like the most intimate ever. 

He has often spoken about having a horizon that you travel toward. Even if you never get there, even if you’re not supposed to get there.

It feels more perilous to live without one. But where has the horizon gone?  

He answers because words are meant to liberate and nourish, not confine you if cultivated just right. The outer horizon is shrouded and will probably be for a while, so there is an inner horizon to locate. 

One of the things that I’ve come to terms with during this time as I’m visiting with my melancholy is all the knowing I ask of myself. I know of those that are working hard in hospitals. I have elderly friends that I’m not nearly ready to lose and do what I can to help keep them safe. And I hear stories from people that I both know and don’t know about the losses from COVID. There are people who want to sell their husbands (maybe me too). People who are being creative. People who are dancing, and celebrating birthdays and anniversaries and babies being born. There are people who are quarantined with abuse, people on earth who can’t quarantine, and people who are making art.

Everyone is having an experience and part of the experience that I’m having is to practically be in awe as I feel into accepting all of these realities and so many more than I haven’t even named. 

There are so many figures in the world trying to keep us uplifted because that’s important too. And strangely, what I know for myself is that I’m uplifted when I allow myself to drop down into the darkness of becoming first. A darkness where the night has eyes to recognize its own (to quote David Whyte). 

It doesn’t sound sexy, but it is where the seeds of my creativity have always sprung strong shoots in the past. It seems that this is part of processing my human experience to be able to write to tell about it so what grew can speak, not as me, but through me.

I am stretching. To create roots to grow some new branches so that maybe one day, without knowing for sure, some birds will find a nest in what I have to offer. As those before me, did for me by visiting with their own darkness, their own aloneness, in order to find true belonging.   

The majority of us have never been through this before. Very few are alive since the last time something like this was experienced. So as we live, we are learning. This is the crucible of creativity. 

Sending much love at this time on your journey. It is a privilege to be here with you having this human experience. 

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