Sunday, April 12, 2015

Let Genius Burn!

Clarissa says,
Some of the malevolent complexes' favorite thieveries and punishments of women's creativity revolve around promising the soul-self "time to create" somewhere off in the foggy future. Or promising that when one has several days in a row free, then the rumpus will begin at last. It's hogwash. 
I am emerging from a very dark and difficult night. I don't fault myself for curling up in order to survive. There is a time in each cycle for hibernation, to conserve energy. It is necessary. I know that I was drawing a protective shield around my centered self, shutting down complex functions, running on instinct. I know that in the hard work in the dark, I tilled the rocky ground and planted many seeds, tending them quietly, waiting. And I made many promises to placate that creative genius that comes knocking, saying, "I'm here! Get up! Let's go!" I pushed it down the road, I sang it sweet songs of someday.

Now though, in the morning light in which I find myself, it is time to shake loose. Time to breathe in, to welcome the creative genius. To give my little seedlings some sunlight and see how they will grow. To remember that there is a creative river just upstream and a dam ripe for breaking.

Today I was reminded of a passage from one of my favorite books. Everyone knows that good novels reveal themselves slowly, over many readings and re-readings. For example, when I first read Little Women I didn't notice how tremendous it was that Jo's family honored her creative life. And not only honored it, but let her forsake all other duties when genius burned.
Every few weeks she would shut herself up in her room, put on her scribbling suit, and `fall into a vortex', as she expressed it, writing away at her novel with all her heart and soul, for till that was finished she could find no peace. She did not think herself a genius by any means, but when the writing fit came on, she gave herself up to it with entire abandon, and led a blissful life, unconscious of want, care, or bad weather, while she sat safe and happy in an imaginary world, full of friends almost as real and dear to her as any in the flesh. Sleep forsook her eyes, meals stood untasted, day and night were all too short to enjoy the happiness which blessed her only at such times, and made these hours worth living, even if they bore no other fruit. The devine afflatus usually lasted a week or two, and then she emerged from her `vortex', hungry, sleepy, cross, or despondent.
It's time to prepare for the approach of the 'vortex', to make ready for the breaking of the dam. Let it come and let me be ready!

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