Often the pen is the catalyst to dive into that place where my creativity has its home. It must be the same for any craftsman – holding the tools of his trade is enough to allow body and soul to create. Yesterday, in an ultimate man cave, I picked up an exotic seed pod split down the middle to reveal the most amazing grain and structure. In my hands I was transported only so far into imagining ways this beautiful raw material could be used. For a wood turner or wood carver they would have been able to grasp where to take it. For me it was enough to hold the raw material and begin to imagine worlds within the amazing structure.
Having a rich life helps me write. Rich in terms of relationships, rich in terms of space to think and be, rich in terms of reading material, rich in terms of beauty of surroundings, rich due to a massively wide interest base that allows my thoughts to grasp hold of many things lightly without it being taken up with stringent practise and the pressure that entails. I am careful to keep my life as free of constraints as possible for it’s so easy to allow yourself to be blinkered and fettered by life’s rich distractions.
I loved our recent visit to Batemans. The entrance hall in Rudyard Kipling’s house had a small window overlooking the front door, a window to Rudyard’s wife’s office. The story was told to us of her strict control of who could enter the house, protecting her husband, the writer’s valuable time and space.
For me Rudyard Kipling’s library was dripping with inspiration. When you walk into a room and never want to leave you know you have found your passion. In that place are worlds within worlds and a place to bring your own worlds into being….a library of titles that I would have wanted to sit a while and read; a desk expansive enough to hold his studies, his active projects, his other reading; space to spread out. A domain for one intellect, one mind, one imagination. A palace of creative intent where the possibilities are endless.
For they are…endless.
I started to wonder where my ideas come from. Colin at writing group often shakes his head after I have finished reading anything I write. He often wonders where I have come from and I do wonder that myself at times. I have an incredibly high regard for this old wordsmith and the intricacy of his ideas and vocabulary. A long life full of experiences, a wide internal library full of passions for nature, people, life. He is like a walking embodiment of Rudyard’s library.
So my point? The ideas are all around. They are everywhere. And it just takes one fact, or a name, or a question, or any other interjection upon our consciousness to get us thinking. And words are the tools. A pen or a keyboard often the catalyst. And the trail of sentences marching along the page or screen to make these things permanent because they can’t be then unwritten. But ideas and thoughts can be lost if they aren’t captured.
The short piece that follows tries to encapsulate where I go to in this creative process.
The Possibilities are endless
Before the pen encases thoughts in permanence, ideas have to be brought to bear. They are like motes of dust hanging in the air. Endless are the possibilities but they begin as mere wisps, invisible… or almost. No weight or substance on their own, however ink strings them into lines that binds them into submission, bending and twisting, a torment of tortured moments. An anguished brow, beating these unyielding thoughts into one linked possibility, the gravity of each word, each sentence sending out one stream of consciousness from this ocean of imaginative abandon. One tumbling dance of eddying creativity. One narrative that winds away from the endless into the limited world, where words can only fill so many pages. In finality what remains as a stain on bleach blanched pages is what was made possible, that unsatisfying momento from the place beyond words and the continual hankering for the impossible leading you back unto the shore and another beginning, another cast into the sea of dust.