Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The Art of Writing (and Riting [and Righting]) Life

As a writer, I have had many "aha!" moments. I have surfed on inspiration's wave thousands of times, and come away from my creations with joyous grins and gleeful pride. "I wrote this!"

Probably half of those amazing creations have been to replace, fix, improve, or expand the  other half of the amazing creations.

As a writer, I am constantly making "perfect!" even more perfect. Because the "perfect" of one moment is simply the building block for the next perfection.

Though all perfect really means, at least for my writing vocabulary, is that what I have expressed in prose, poetry, or song, is a perfect match to what I am feeling at that moment.

Sometimes the writing is a way of harvesting from whatever verdant pasture hosts my ideas, and putting it before my eyes so I can really find out if it's A truth, or MY truth.

And sometimes the writing really is a cycle of stepping stones, like layers of paint on a canvas.

Today's example is a song I have been working on for about a year. It's for Threshold Choir, which of course means it can't just be a flippant little piece of music. It has to be examined and woven and tried on and examined again. Rather like my stories.

And like my stories, this song has been rewritten maybe twenty times. And each time I think, "Ah! got it! Beautiful. This is it!" and I write it down and sing it and sing it and I never present it, because I after that glorious moment, I feel it is still missing... something.

And then there is another Aha! and the song changes, meshes, expands and contracts.

Tonite I think my latest inspiration could be the finish touch! I wonder what I'll think tomorrow.

Life is like that also. So many "aha!" moments. So many truths. So many times thinking, "Yes, this is it! I have found my: purpose, strength, soul mate, song, support, meaning, work, love, happy place, desire... My Perfection." And we stride along in confidence for a day or a week or a year (or an hour, or a moment, or a breath,) and then we realize that the song we're singing, the purpose we're following, the happy we're placing, is feeling out of tune again.
Old patterns are cropping up again.
Old wounds are bruising again.

And we look and we pray and we find the next opening, the next clearing, the NEXT "aha!"

The difference between writing and living is, of course, that we don't get to cut out whole chapters or verses from our lives, when we realize "Aha!" turned to "Oh, crap."

We eventually do finish the story, the song, or the poem. But life's inspiration never stops.

We are creating every moment we are breathing. Absorbing and processing and harvesting the ideas that come from living our lives, and adding them to our foundations, and stepping forward and finding the next perfection, the next aha!, the next stone in the path.

And actually, if you think about it, every published or presented piece still has the ghosts of old perfections attached to it, too. I can delete and cross out, write over, rip up and throw away; but since the idea was harvested, since that "aha" moment existed, it is part of  the foundation of the final story. Each "perfection" is an essential step of the creation.

I don't know what writing is like for others, but I do know what living is like for myself and for many of the people around me. It is not just one glorious moment of inspiration which leads to a long and perfect state of being. It is a step by step building of a path, full of a thousand "Aha's" and a million waves of grace. We CAN'T step forward until we have had the inspiration that leads us to the next inspiration.

So I'm going to keep singing. And Writing. And Riting, and Righting. In every aspect. And I will welcome, and rejoice in, every Perfect creation.

I hope you have thousands of them too!


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