What is the thread that transcends chaos, failure, loss and death? Being a maker, creating, is a way of finding that coherence. There is so much time spent failing, experiencing loss and chaos. One thread for me is staying current with my dreaming life, with the night.
This morning, in my dream, I was editing someone else's poem– imagine my delight in being given words that I am unable to come up with while awake! But here, in my dream, (I am more receptive while I am asleep)– I was given a first line:
She paid a dear price in lemons once
I scrawled this on a piece of paper beside my bed, before it vanished. What it means matters less than seeing where it takes me. Have you tried beginning with one line- it could be this one or the first line of a poem, or something from your dream. Set your timer for five minutes, begin with a line, and write without stopping. This practice is always new, and leads to discovery. (Often not at the beginning, but as a daily practice it eventually does lead to something!) It can give you a way into your work, or a new perception for the day.
This is why reading books that inspire, that fuel your heart, is so important. What transports you from the personal to the universal? How do you become "Unbound"? This painting arose from the dream I recorded in my sketchbook, above:
Perspective, the power of perception, which comes from nourishing the inner world, alters your experience and changes the shape of your life. It requires a lot, but the response is profound. I will end with this quote from Joseph Campbell in Reflections on the Art of Living:
...when you look back on your life, it looks as though it were a plot, but when you are into it, it's a mess: just one surprise after the other. Then, later, you see it was perfect. So, I have a theory that if you are on your own path, and no one has ever been on it before, there's no precedent, so everything that happens is a surprise and is timely....every carrier is charged with an individual destiny and destination, and the realization of this alone makes sense of life.
Try writing without stopping for five minutes. Begin with: She paid a dear price in lemons once.
Where does it take you? I'd love to hear from you.