Searching for Ground
It is the duty of any artist to ask where the resistance comes from, and then to go there.
For a week I have posed the question to myself, charted it across my mind’s eye like a cartographer in search of the Fountain of Youth. Like the pinnacle of high mountains peering through the clouds, an answer surfaced: My resistance to new writing is coming from over-stimulation. My heart has unwound too much of itself, setting patterns in a complex weave that threatens to fray under pressure.
The pattern for Parker has grown increasingly thin. I saw Wesley today and she read my facial expression like a Tarot card. “You’re exhausted, it’s too much, isn’t it?” she said. I confessed: “He’s a shit-ton of work Wes, I just don’t know if I can do it.”
The pattern for friends has grown heartsick, as many move away each winter when the craft school closes. November has been a month of goodbyes made tangible by handmade silver earrings, a salt-fired mug, an earthenware container, and a hand woven scarf – all items I have traded with departing friends for my framed black and white photos. Tokens in time.
The pattern for the MFA has exhausted itself for the semester, but the deadlines keep coming in even though my last packet was done two weeks ago. One such deadline pushes me to write twenty more pages this week alone. My perfectionist-self ordinarily eats these opportunities up, but I need break before going to Oregon in six weeks for the next residency.
Too many things happening at once. A lot of heart-investment and not enough filling my own well back up. However, naming the source of the resistance is only half the battle.
Tomorrow I will give thanks for what I do have, which is really so much more than I’ll ever be able to measure or weight against the stampede of time. I will peer into that well and offer my eyes and heart in exchange for redemption. Redeem the words. Redeem the poetic. Redeem rhythm. Redeem the fruition of steeping stories, fetal ideas, first thoughts. Redeem, redeem, redeem.