I remember a time when sitting down to write was a chore. It didn’t matter that writing is my profession of choice, and that I’d spent years eagerly refining compelling lead sentences at newspapers and magazines. Or that I had several unpublished labors of love-hate, full-length book manuscripts that had at one time swept me up in a fevered creative ordeal. All of it had the flavor of marathon running, a sort of gritty commitment to see something through to a punishing finish line.
Then one day six months ago, my relationship to writing changed. Now, without warning, I’ve become a sprinter, a muse-driven chariot of wordsmithing, a glorious language slut and a consort to a tell-all demon, a confessional urge that insists on going intimately public in blogs, books and radio shows. If I knew enlightenment meant inviting the world into every nook and cranny of my heart, I might have hesitated. As it stands, it’s a bit too late to say no thank you the reportorial word river that flows through me—that would be tantamount to erecting a beaver dam to slow down Niagra Falls.
This post is short and sweet. I just want you to know I’m burning up in the inferno of creative flow. And instead of fortifying this personality, soldifying it into a “writer” I am being cindered. There is so little of me left some days, when the writing is done, I drift like ash through the world, airborne and light.
This feeling of disappearing used to happen only when I wrote poetry. Then, I would open up like a fully dilated cervix to allow the birthing of a poem. Now, everyday I am a fully open faucet for the torrent of words. Poems, blogs, books and more, are pouring out of me, not-me.
And this is my lover, this muse of words. He whispers softly into my ear as I drift to sleep at night and then slips into my dreams and seeds me with inspiration and ideas. By day, he takes me with great force, binding me to my desk and riding me hard. I’m alive to his touch, awake to his urging, fully penetrated by this daimon that would have me shatter to bits any idea that I can hide from my reader the story he tells. I am the dictation taker, yielding to the voice that proclaims itself heard. I am nothing but the empty space into which his words write themselves.
The other day a friend lamented that in his post-awakening life, he was drifting without clear purpose. A professional photographer for years, he now felt no passion for his craft. My advice to him was in the form of a simple Rumi quote: “Let the beauty of what you love be what you do. There are a thousand ways to kneel and kiss the earth.”
I am kissing the earth with written words, kneeling before my lover-muse for as long as he will have me. Awakening has left me free and fearless to bow before my own destiny.
I’m wondering: How do you kiss the earth with what you love to do?
Awareness is here, (and plugging my latest muse-driven piece at elephant journal, Are Weapons of Mass Distraction Keeping You from Inner Peace?)