Saturday, July 01, 2006

The Impulse is the Same

Over the last few years I have finally learned to trust my instincts when it comes to writing a poem. It is a confidence game.

The recipe for the alchemical mix, that makes a strong poem stand sturdily on all its legs, appears to be magical. And I suppose it is, like gathering the ingredients for casting a spell. One needs focus, hope, trust, faith and discipline. Talent doesn’t hurt either.

I discovered last fall that often, but not always, the impulse to take a picture is the same as in choosing an image for a poem.

As an example seeing this bald eagle from the water taxi on Elliot Bay a few weeks back not only made me desperately long for a telephoto lens, it also make it’s way into a poem you can view a draft of here where I post most of my drafts so Andrew and I do not need to exchange paper copies of poems.

I’ve been thinking about impulses lately. I have them often around martyr type stuff and for a time I thought of becoming a nun. Now that I am working for a church it has become apparent that this idea was only an impulse, a useful escapist daydream. I am too much of a self-centered artist to ever be able to be as open and giving as one needs to be. It was a kind of convoluted way of feeling sorry for myself.

My awareness right now, surrounded by middle-aged women who have dedicated their lives to this community of faith is a reactive one. Eek! Please don’t let me go there, that world where one lives to serve only others.

It is not that I don’t wish for all sentient beings to be awakened, liberated, happy and free. I most heartily do!

It is just that my preference is to be behind the lens or holding onto a pencil as the world moves through me and together we can go looking for truth, beauty and the occasional frustratingly small bald eagle.


Blogger David Matthews said...

nice poem.

4:08 PM  
Blogger Darius said...

The creative process really is fascinating and so hard to pin down as to what makes it happen. Also why someone can be creative in one area, but not show a spark of creativity in another.

10:54 AM  

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