fallowing

Now is the difficult moment after the telling is done. Now I scratch at the dirt and the wind and my own mind, wanting a new story to write. There's never any thought of taking some time off. Nor is there thought of audience, or whether there's any value at all in my works. Things like that are entirely beside the point. Simply, I am a writer. It's how my heart beats.

I get scared that, if a story doesn't come quickly, it won't come at all. Summer leers at me, reminding me of how it is my fallow season, my dried-up withering just-breathing season, and if I have no story to carry with me into the drought, I will be silenced for months.



So I catch at everything and examine it close for possible story. Every song, every smile glimpsed across a room. I go back through what I've just written, wondering how I can spin it out, spin it on, make new story from old. I wrangle myths from passing moments and try to shake the god right out of sky so I can look into his lush mountain-coloured eyes and see there promises of love I might steal and turn into story.

Sometimes though, I get wise, and sit for a while in quiet. And then pig-farmer daughters and furious sorcerers and the women who live under oak-rooted puddles come to sit also in my quiet, drawn to the possibilities I offer them, just I am drawn to theirs. I have to remember not to grab them and eat their story-rich bones, but just stay ... listen ... wait ...

Nothing can come in to my imagination if I'm clutching white-knuckled, half-strangling, at any passing inspiration.



(This is the sixth post in a daily series about stories and storytelling, to help promote my fund-raising storybook The Coracle Sky, which is now available.)


5 comments:

  1. Lovely shot and words. Inspiration is a fickle muse!

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  2. Summer is my fallow time also. As I have often said, I too struggle with this season. Your words: "Summer leers at me...my dried-up withering just-breathing season". *sigh*. Yes. Too, too true. xx

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  3. I also don't like summer too much. Norwegian summers are not too bad, because they tend to be rainy and a little crazy, but while living in California I felt I would go crazy. I wasn't writing then, so not sure how it would have affected that, but I know I get more inspiration from rain and changing skies. Still, I guess inspiration can be found anywhere.

    And I also like what you said about sitting quietly and not stress about finding those stories. I feel I need that too now. I haven't been able to write much, and I worry a little, but perhaps the words will come when I can calm down more, during Christmas vacation.

    Thanks as always, Sarah :)

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  4. Stories can't be wrestled with of wrought from only our thoughts. They kind of exist above and around us and we are mere conduits. I love the magical way you have described the journey of story here :)

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  5. a true writer permeates all of your words
    you have my attention

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