we’re only particles of change i know, i know
orbiting around the sun
hejira, joni mitchell
it is happening again. another case of writer’s block here on the wrong planet. another power cut.
it’s not what you say, but the way that you say it.
having ideas is not the issue. finding a fluid way to navigate the maze of questions, notions and responses, that is what matters. not writing makes me sick in spirit. being someone who struggles to maintain radio contact with her internal resources, the sort of thinking-writing i do here has become crucially sustaining. a creative source and outlet. a pathway i need to visit regularly in order to connect with a little bit of mystery.
whether the words flow at a similar pace to my thoughts, each guiding the other across the page, has nothing to do with intention. it is pot luck when i hit on those two essential ingredients of well-enough-ness and the right-head-space simultaneously.
i’ve been thinking about three buddhist monks i saw in the cafe here on the wrong planet a few weeks ago. i have the idea that if i’d spoken with them i might have caught some good medicine. i was going to say an antiviral, but i mean something bigger than that. something like those defragging programmes that clean all the muck and detritus from your computer, leaving it to run faster and more smoothly. like that delightful sensation of a settling deep in your guts, when confusion lifts for a while and acceptance sets in.
a long long time ago i used to access that space quite spontaneously when in countryside or by the sea. sitting on rocks on a beach in cornwall watching the tide turn. swimming solo in a secret cove. cycling narrow lanes in devon. atop a mountain in wales. walking on the downs near here. these were times and places where peace of mind arrived inside me, unbidden.
places where time ceases to pass for a while, and times when your heart expands and is in the sky and the sea and beyond the horizon.
your foolish mind stops whirring, your ego takes off for a short time, the hot sand beneath your feet warms right up through your body and explodes out of the top of your head, and you are just a miniscule speck of that sand. as if all of your insides suddenly reconfigured into a perfect balance. like the sun setting in your belly. everything is part of everything, and all of that everything is ok. the space you endlessly desire to inhabit, but never find through effort. it is only once you arrive there that you can be sure it exists. and only then do you realise you couldn’t find it till you gave up trying.
the right head space for writing is a somewhat diluted version of this meditative state. i never find it by searching. when i’ve stuff i want to say, i enter a mental fog by default. whatever it is i want to discuss, i wish to do that so very much that i immediately draw a blank. i feel driven and adopt a panicky, pinning things down approach which is constricting and entirely unhelpful. playfulness and expansion are the key, and when they come they come through letting go.