songs of love and wild light

I went out barefoot and in my nightgown to the garden, to feel the cool night breeze coming in from the sea. The world was singing that hot, dark song of midsummer : cicadas crying love, love. The moon floated vague, swollen with cloud, behind the damp grey sky. It's light was a small, silent storm.

I could have stood there for hours, letting all the civilised words in me unravel until I was just love and storm in the night wind. It's so easy to sense our forever, out there in the wild and beautiful dark.





Yesterday I mentioned something Kelly Sauer wrote about loving her own work. (Kelly is one of my favourite photographers and also has taught me much through her example over the years about taking oneself seriously and designing a creative brand.) She wrote that she wants her own work to be her favourite.

I had never before considered such a perspective, but it instantly made sense to me. I don't want to write what I can write, or even what I should write, but what I love best out of all the ways in the world to write. And I want to do it as well as I possibly can. Consequently, it should follow that my own work would be my favourite. Not because I think it's superior, but because it embraces all I love.

Of course, it isn't that easy. I might happily say a quilt I've made is my favourite, even compared with shop-bought ones, but something I've written - ? I don't understand why the difference should exist, but it does. Writing is not so unlike quilt-making, and yet it seems generally a greater humility, discretion, is expected in writers (and artists) than in people who do handwork. Do you agree?

8 comments:

  1. I agee, that seems to be the expectation of writers-greater humility. But I like Kelly's perspective.

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    1. thank you, blossom on a tree can be hard to photograph nicely. at least it is for me, I am not very clever at these things :-)

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  3. I absolutely agree. Wholeheartedly.

    There's such an overblown mythology around writers and writing, (just as crafting quilts and things can be denigrated as "not art"), that to approach the simple, honest doing of it can feel intimidating. Cutting through all the nonsense that generates fear, and blocks. When really, writing can be one of the most true-hearted of pleasures.

    And isn't writing what and how we love the most clear and honest way to our own "voice"?

    Anyway, I love what you've written here. I could chat for ages about all of this. xx

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    1. Yes. I have always felt that writing was craft, rather than art. And conversely, some handwork should be considered art - some quilts, and bedspreads, and clothes are definitely pieces of art, in my opinion. Oh, I could type for hours in response to your comment! :-)

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  4. its a difficult one isn't it? I think when we make a quilt, it is a quilt, we work on it as a material thing and that is it. But writing? Writing can never be anything but a representation of something else, a metaphor, a picture we are trying to paint in words, a pointer that points *through* the words to something the words themselves can never be. Unless we are putting words down on the page purely for their shape or typography, without placing any meaning on the actual words, then it will always evoke something that it actually, is not. I can absolutely say any handcraft I do, a piece of knitting for example, yes, I knitted that and it is MY work and I am proud of it but writing, no, I do not *own* a single word of what I write, just like your wonderful paragraph at the top of the post, did you actually write this or did the summer's night write it for you, or was it some kind of collaboration? that paragraph gives me the impression that you would like to send you words out to the wind and let it blow them away. Maybe that is what writing is ultimately for ... ? I don't know ...

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    1. Interesting point - and yes, I always say that I am more a translator than a writer. I would think though that gave me even more permission to declare my writing my "favourite", because it was not really mine but came through me. (Not that I do declare any such thing, just musing here.)

      I must confess I don't really want my words to blow away - by which I mean, to no longer belong to me, but to change shape and meaning however a reader chooses. Although yes, they come through me, I have been the victim of plagarism, and of people taking my words and changing their meaning to suit themselves then claiming that new meaning as theirs - and, well, it's annoying. :-)

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