“The aspiring poet is constantly lowering a bucket only half way down a well. coming up time and again with nothing but empty air. The frustration is immense. But you must keep doing it anyway. After many years of practice, the chain draws unexpectedly tight, and you have dipped into the waters that will continue to entice you back. You’ll have broken the skin on the pool of yourself.”
– SEAMUS HEANEY
Welcome to the first of a regular blog slot each Wednesday, which I’m calling Writers’ Well because: it’s intended to be a source of nourishment and inspiration for the writer in you; it expresses my belief that creative writing benefits our well being on so many levels and…I love the above quote from Seamus Heaney. It gives me goosebumps every time.
Each week, I’ll share one of the writing prompts used the previous Friday in my weekly workshop, along with an example of what was written in response. Today’s prompt is…Where do you go?
Write the name of a place in response to each of the following four questions. Ideally the places you name should be real and specific. Of course, you could use the same place for one than one. Now choose one of the four to write about and expand upon for 10 minutes.
Where do you go when…
– you want to be alone?
– you want to be in the company of others?
– you want to celebrate?
– you want to connect with something bigger (life, love, spirit, God – whatever you want to call it)?
I chose to expand upon my answer to the first. This is what I wrote:
Funny really, but when I want to be ‘alone’ it’s not that I want to be ‘alone’ as such – rather, I want the opportunity to be with ‘life’ in a very direct way, without the distraction of technology or human company – so I go out. Usually, towards water – the river, a beach, but anywhere that allows me to see the sky, feel the breeze on my cheeks, put one foot in front of the other and let the ground support me. When I’m alone, I open, and as I open, that inner well within starts to refill. I can almost feel it happening. There are signs you see; I might skip or twirl, start singing, reach out to touch something beautiful near me. I might just stop, close my eyes and breathe.
And as the well gets filled, I feel lighter, and the weight of expectation and worry has diluted into the vastness of the space all around me, so I can carry it with more grace, and start to see solutions.
Just like my body needs food and drink, so my soul must feed regularly on alone time in nature – and when I’ve taken in my fill, I can return – ready to let others drink from the well again.
And if you’re really lucky, one of these might drop by to sate their thirst…
So, where do you go…?