Wednesday, September 05, 2012
Advice To A Young Writer
My mother said,
“Eat well and get plenty of rest.”
I say, “Remember your dreams,
For these night visitors carry the secrets of
The imaginal world.”
Keep notes on your life,
The good the bad and the ugly.
They all have their place in the chronicle
That comes to rest on the thin blue line.
Make sure you eavesdrop often,
For in those words on the wind
You will unfold characters beyond
Your wildest dreams,
And what you might mistake for weeds
Could be a meadow of wild irises.
Pay attention to the details of your life—
The way you prefer milk in your coffee
Or the feel of your lover’s hand as it touches your face.
These will be the juice that fuels your writing tank.
These will be the moments that fill your reservoir to overflowing.
Remember always the days, weeks and months
When writing seems an empty wasteland,
For this, too, will be a story.
It will keep you less than arrogant and a little more than humble.
It will keep your raft afloat through the turbulent rapids of your mind.
Grow accustomed to the taste of sacrifice,
The way it slices over the tongue
And tears at the soft places of the heart,
For the path of the writer is littered with fragments
Dropped along the way.
Do not compare yourself to other writers
Even when the urge to do so is mighty and strong,
For this will pull you away from the stories of your life
And will plunge you into a well of loneliness,
A well so deep that your exit could be doomed,
For you know in the seeds of your heart
That if you do not write, you will drown.
Always remember aloneness.
It is the handmaiden of the muse
And will be the candlelight that points you
To your jewels, your secret cave of demons and diamonds.
And write, no matter what the winds of history whisper in your ear.
Your story cannot be forsaken.
You are the only one to tell it,
And your ancestors are waiting for you to remember them,
To write the stories they could not tell themselves.
— Margaret Caminsky-Shapiro
Note: The above selection is a poem which I found on my computer this morning in the daily selection from Larry Robinson.
Yes, this poem/essay is addressed specifically to writers and aspiring writers, but I think its message applies as well to spiritual practitioners, including those going through Kundalini awakening. Why? Because we too must pay attention to the details in our lives, and we should by all means keep a journal, one in which we record not only the details of our present experience but also the recollections of our past history, for everything will be meaningful at this time. This is the time for life review, for revisiting major and minor incidents of our earlier life--everything will be relevant and memories will come up in a most forceful and dramatic way.
Further, let us not forget, that Kundalini itself seems to play a major role in the creative process--many think that certain creative geniuses such as Mozart and Van Gogh were driven by the intense energies of Kundalini to produce their masterworks. We do not ourselves have to be creative geniuses to participate in this process--we simply have to open our hearts, pick up our pencils (or brushes if we are visual artists or instruments if we are musicians) and let the juices flow. Our lives themselves become our creations, and our reflections on them our works of art.
I think the passages (above) about the "dry periods," when nothing seems to be happening in our transformation process, as well as the observations about loneliness are especially relevant to us all. The life of someone undergoing deep spiritual transformation, like that of the creative artist, is a very solitary one--no one else can fully understand the process--only we ourselves can make the journey and the passage can be challenging and sometimes seem overwhelming, because what is happening is unique to ourselves.