Breathing Space

Another gray, laden day. The weather has warmed enough to melt much of the ice that previously coated everything. Now the rains are again on their way, although with luck we will avoid the lowland flooding of last week. Unfortunately we will likely lose most of our snow.

After a period of writing fiercely I have found myself wordless. I wonder whether I needed to pull back this past week and breathe following those last few very raw and vulnerable posts.

What is your rhythm for writing and other art making?

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13 thoughts on “Breathing Space

    • I try to write two or three days a week, there being so many other needs and demands. For a few years I Wrote every workday morning often at a local coffee shop, now gone. Over time there developed a group of us who met and wrote, a place of great warmth and friendship. What a gift, a space to write and talk and make long lasting friendships.

  1. This is such a thought-provoking question, Michael. It seems my life circumstances often dictate what I feel I can write. When I’m teaching, I always feel the need to take care of the responsibilities that role imposes before I can do anything “creative.” But unbidden, as I greet some mornings, words start flowing though my thoughts along with the sense of urgency that they are not my words but rather a message that needs to be shared. If I ignore that urgency for the sake of “duty,” I am often unable to focus on “work” anyway. But there are other times when words don’t flow, days when I don’t want them to flow, days when I prefer to be a recluse, or days when I really need to live in the present moment without feeling the pressure to write anything. And still there is an ever-present nagging ache that I need to create the time and space to finish editing and revising my book manuscript. It always ranks lowest on my list of priorities…

    • Carol, yes, words have their own lives, making their own demands on us. I find there are days when they are so insistent I literally can’t focus on anything else, even as I want to. They then become the present moment!
      I wonder why it happens that manuscripts fall to the bottom of the stack of tasks, even as they want so much to find a place in the larger world.

  2. Hi Michael. I was a worried about you because you hadn’t posted in the past week or so, but understand your pulling back. I find that writing from my soul takes a lot of energy, and I feel drained afterwords. You did write several powerful posts and maybe you also become drained with the work it takes to put yourself out there in your rawness. I wonder if we need to seek a period of safety after we expose ourselves through our writing.

    • Pat, you are perceptive. I’ve noticed that after my most personal posts I often need some time to rest and to regroup. Writing, as you so well know, can seem so immensely personal even in the public sphere. Speaking what is true and close is so rewarding and so very vulnerable.

  3. Increasingly, find myself bereft of words.

    I find it difficult to explain myself, especially when put on the spot.

    I have been thinking about this for the past few months. I am speaking less. I don’t feel the need to explain my point of view. I reply to questions in fewer words. Sometimes I just shake my head and walk away.

    This is an interesting phenomena to me. It feels like I have run out of fight, run out of words, run out of knowing. I am not dragging the canoe along the banks of the river anymore.

    Enjoy your rest and silence.

    • I am filled with wondering about the transformation you describe. What, do you think, has allowed you to stop dragging the canoe along the bank? To perhaps trust yourself and the canoe enough to enter the current and be carried along?

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