I find myself growing quieter and quieter.
Joseph Campbell writes in the Power of Myth:
“You must have a room, or a certain hour or so a day, where you don’t know what was in the newspapers that morning, you don’t know who your friends are, you don’t know what you owe anybody, you don’t know what anybody owes to you. This is a place where you can simply experience and bring forth what you are and what you might be. This is the place of creative incubation. At first you may find that nothing happens there. But if you have a sacred place and use it, something eventually will happen.”
I like to think I might be in this room more often than not, lately. What is my name? What am I here to do? Campbell helps me think of the silence that replies as the first inkling of an answer.
A few times a week, sometimes daily, I start tearing pictures, watching them magnetize towards each other.
Images and collage have become a regular conversation I have with myself and my interior. No words needed. All those back issues of expensive subscriptions suddenly a repository I mine for treasure.
(Yes, this was a hard week.)
Images work where language cannot suffice, but language is still the thread that keeps me company in the quiet room, and that I use for stitching poems.
Partial shelfie, (poetry edition). Sad, reverent, beautiful poetry.
Nearly all of it moves me from reading to writing as the language stirs and stirs and demands its own bowl to rise in, its own pot to simmer in. Poetry as sourdough, as stone soup, as patchwork–take a little of the old, add it to the new.
Let it feed you, disturb you, restore you, keep you warm.
But more than anything else, real life is the actual patchwork of my days. The real thing I turn my needle and thread on. It is tending house and one another, remembering to feed the chickens, phone calls with friends, a run at sunset, and forever sweeping the floor, that fills this quiet room. This quiet season when we forget what we know, who we are. Where we wait for what comes next.