The stars are in our belly; the Milky Way our umbilicus.
Is it a consolation that the stuff of which we’re made
is star-stuff too?
– That wherever you go you can never fully disappear –
dispersal only: carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen.
Tree, rain, coal, glow-worm, horse, gnat, rock.
Monday, 9 July 2012
a word full of secrets
In an old copy of 'Resurgence' I've just refound an article by Michael Ventura on writing, 'A Room to Write'. In the article he points out that the one outstanding commitment one makes to this process is the commitment to showing up at your writing desk (whether that's a café, your van or the kitchen table) and staying there for as long as it takes. 'Writing is something you do alone in a room,' he states. 'It's the most important thing to remember if you really want to be a writer...How many years––how many years––can you remain alone in a room?'
He's not, of course, by a long way the first to state this obvious but hard-to-achieve truth. All writers and writing tutors say it. 'Your talent of the room, your ability to be there with all your soul, can overwhelm you,' he continues. Yep – there is something crazy about this process, about the fact that our life here at the desk, with the creations of our imagination, becomes so real to us – sometimes so real that other things can recede into the unreal.
'The psyche is dangerous,' says Ventura. 'Working with words is not like working with colour or sound or stone or movement. Colour and sound and stone and movement are all around us; they are natural elements, they've always been in the universe, and those who work with them are servants of these timeless materials. But words are pure creations of the human psyche. Every single word is full of secrets, full of associations. Every word leads to another and another and another, down and down, through passages of dark and light. Every single word leads, in this way, to the same destination: your soul. Which is, in part, the soul of everyone. Every word has the capacity to start that journey. And once you're on it, there is no knowing what will happen.'
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