Friday, September 07, 2007

ruminating idleness

taking flight
Michael Leunig


Writing is a solitary pursuit, or so it is assumed. It certainly appears that way from the observer. One sees a person sitting off to the side, pen and paper in hand, or a laptop running, lost in an imagination journey, oblivious to the rustling of the world at large. Far away eyes......or perhaps glossed over, alone. But the act of writing is anything but solitary. Rather, it is when one addresses the innocent powerless word, introduces it to others of the same ilk, and encourages the interaction by molding them together that a writer's world is filled with tangled human emotions.
Some say it is a sure sign of schizophrenia. Some say......"oh, she's just an eccentric...."


Like prayer, writing sometimes feels very solitary......it feels like a one way communication with no one to answer back. Both acts take work, especially if there are distractions which cannot be ignored. As well, there are many many times when writing doesn't lead to any resolution....or that the writer simply can't find the exact word they are searching for and the piece feels unfinished. Ah, but when the right word is found? When a sentence serpentines exactly how it should? When the prayer feels like a mining of the soul? It's a transcendent breathing of the heart.


For me, writing helps me find out what I am going to say. It's a simple as that.



for more sunday scribblings on writing, check out this verbose site.

18 comments:

kenju said...

Ah, but when the right word is found? When a sentence serpentines exactly how it should? When the prayer feels like a mining of the soul? It's a transcendent breathing of the heart.


AMEN!! I think writing a book must be solitary (until you get feedback) but writing a blog is not, as it holds immediate feedback. I love it!

Michele says hello.

Carmi said...

I've long viewed writing in simple terms: it is little more than the clear expression of thought. Yet arriving at that clarity, infusing it with style, meaning, a unique voice, power...that's a whole other ballgame.

I feel like a duck when I write, paddling furiously beneath the water's surface while the rest of the world sees nothing but smoothness and speed.

Either way, it's always a joy to read your perspectives on this magic gift we have.

I'm privileged to be one of Michele's chosen visitors tonight. Keep that pen sharp!

The Harbour of Ourselves said...

Ah, the world would be poorer without Leunig...

I think solitude is a gift given so that we can receive ourselves.....

gautami tripathy said...

I can write anywhere. In a crowd. I do most of writing outside of home. Writing is solitary. Itgives us that amidst a crowd. I welcome that.

I like the solitude it provides.

Kate's Typewriter said...

"prayer feels like a mining of the soul"... that's intense... it's interesting that writing, a form of communication that perhaps has provided the greatest ability for humans to connect with each other across time and space, so often feels like a solitary practice, even a lonely journey.

Regina Clare Jane said...

This was really perfect, Awareness... I always come away from your writing more spiritually uplifted... I guess my sould was mined...
So, thanks...

GreenishLady said...

I love that last line - we write to find what we are going to say. I so often look back, and say "Did I say that? Where did that come from?" I really love the unexpected avenues the mind will take when we begin to write.

Awareness said...

Judy...I agree with you. Writing a whole book must feel much more solitary....but i wonder if it feels lonely? Since I havent ever taken on writing a book, I can only assume that if it felt too lonely, one would stop writing? I don't know.

Carmi...thank you. I like your duck analogy....so true. It reminds me of waitressing years ago. Calm taking orders etc and then absolute chaos behind closed doors :)

paul....i love that....a gift given to receive ourselves. solitary is the name of the harbour?
Leunig....I remember a few posts where you have referred to him and went looking again.....I fell in love with his animation, sense of humour and reverence. I've written a few of his prayer/poems down for future postings. He's a gem

gautami.....I'm the same way. It doesn't matter where I am, I can easily slip into that zone. It's always been that way for me and I love it's escapism as well as it's stimulation.

Welcome Kate! I'm so pleased to read a comment from you.....your writing has touched and intrigued me. I agree with you.....and I think that was partially what I was trying to convey. Interactive with others in many ways, particularly after offering up the "end product" and interactive with self and God......not all the time, but when it happens it feels like a mining of the soul....writing and prayer at times merge don't you think?

regina...thank you so much for your kind words. when i sat down to tackle this week's prompt, I honestly didn't know what I was going to write about. I have written about the process of writing before....it left me really wondering. It turned out to be an exercise in allowing the words to find me.....and to just go with what came to mind.

green......it blows my mind when it happens, as it did while writing this post, and it makes me laugh. I guess I probably talk out an idea or an issue as well more than I realize.

thank you for such great comments!!

Sara said...

Hello, Michele sent me...and I'm glad she did. Enjoyed this post very much...Your writing is very inspiring...thank you.

BreadBox said...

Awareness, your voice is you, and you are your voice, and writing is your expression of it for those of us other than your loves, your life.
Thank you for sharing what you write: and I will comment on the longer post above when I have time: it brings a well spring of things to say, of moves and noise, and New Brunswick and Ontario. But for now, the thoughts elude, and bed calls. On the morrow, perhaps.
Michele sent me,
N.

Amber said...

"When the prayer feels like a mining of the soul? It's a transcendent breathing of the heart. "---

This is perfect. Beautiful.

:)

Awareness said...

sara...glad you dropped by

breadbox....it is definately my creative outlet, soapbox, therapy, personal entertainment. Gee, and when I'm lucky all of the above at the same time. :) Though my pen was so silent for a long time.....Now? I can't imagine my days without writing. It feels like it has become a basic need.

amber. thank you. that line was a gift i think. it came from somewhere other than my pointy little head..... :)

Gypsy said...

I write a lot in my little courtyard at my favourite pub. No-one usually bothers me and there is something about the place that makes the words spill out of me like nowhere else does. I also find that writing with paper and pen is easier because your mind has time to absorb your thoughts. There isn't such a feeling of urgency as when you are typing on a keyboard. But then I am a bit strange....:)

lisrobbe said...

For me writing is mostly solitary becasue I am mostly alone when I do it. Late at night, early in the morning perhaps no sound in the background except the turning of a ceiling fan. I find it distracting to try and write in public places.

Awareness said...

gypsy.....ages ago, there used to be a deli around the corner from where I used to teach. Most lunch hours, I would head over there with my journal to write in the back of the restaurant. The owners were marvellous and let me hang out and take up room......now, my journal comes with me wherever I go, but i now only use it to capture ideas, words etc.....sometimes poetry lines that find me....
Most of my writing now is created/completed while sitting at my computer.

lisrobbe...welcome. Like you, I do my best writing early morning or late at night. I prefer early morning when it feels like the rest of the world is sound asleep. it is solitary, yes, but I can honestly state that I never feel alone when I'm writing. I am joined by characters, old friends, muses, family, people in my life.....it changes depending on what I'm writing about. There also is a constant companion who seems to keep an eye on me too....I do feel a presence, though have yet to find the words to describe it properly.

Patois said...

I enjoyed your likening writing to prayer. It's a wonderful comparison, and one that I'd never had thought of. But now it seems so obvious. Thanks.

Kamsin said...

I really love your last line. Simple and yet sometimes so terribly complex.

Rob Kistner said...

This schizophrenic eccentric really liked what you wrote here... ;)