The Art of Solitude – Finding Your Creative Space

http://pixabay.com/en/wanderer-man-garda-bocca-larici-357640/

Credit: Pixabay Images

 

Can we create something meaningful and enduring from chaos?  In today’s social media hyped world – viral yes, enduring no. I find it easier to start outside then dive into the center and create from that space. That means finding the environment, the space, a ritual, an object that inspires, a scent, music that sets the atmosphere. Ease into that inner place then linger, you’ll be surprised by who shows up.

Maya Angelou was known for her eccentric writing habits. Every month, she books a local hotel room. No decorations or pictures on the wall. Her blank canvas. Locked away from 6.30am  to about 2pm with a Roget’s Thesaurus, a dictionary, and the King James Bible. She wears a head tie to keep from twisting her hair (one husband hated the twists).
Since the little mind needs to be occupied so the big mind can think deeply, she replaced the twisting with crossword puzzles and a deck of cards. She told the Daily Beast in an interview, “Will I write a sentence that will just float off the page? Easy reading is damn hard writing.”

Thomas Kinkade the controversial painter of light, also creates from what he calls  – an inner space that begins first thing in the morning, interacts with the world then returns to that nurturing centered solitude.  Meaning he wakes up, stays in bed meditating on a simple verse – The Lord is my shepherd…this is the day the Lord had made – then he goes to his private sun deck overlooking the foothills of Monte Sereno CA, where he has a wooden stand for his Bible, a notebook for ideas,  sketching tools and holds a “divine meeting.”

http://pixabay.com/en/bridge-japanese-garden-arch-53769/

Pixabay Images: Japanese Garden Arch

If you prefer to kick up your metabolism before your cerebral faculties, then go out in nature –  enjoy the sweet morning breeze, the melody of chirping birds, the scent and beauty of flowers during a quick run, a jog on the beach, sunrise gardening or even walking the dog. All excellent ways to get your creative juices flowing and clear your mind.

Ernest Hemingway, the master of dialog noted in his documents to the Wisdom Foundation in California, published in Playboy Jan. 1963, “I do most of my work in my head. I never begin to write until my ideas are in order. Frequently I recite passages of dialogue as it is being written; the ear is a good censor. I never set down a sentence on paper until I have it so expressed that it will be clear to anyone.” Hemingway called his style the Iceberg Theory: the facts float above water; the supporting structure and symbolism work out of sight. A concept  also called the Theory of Omission.

Roseanne Barr in judging a contestant in Last Comic Standing (NBC) after a bland routine, advised him to go “smoke something.” Writers, artists and even those listed here, have used alcohol in varying degrees, but that beast takes more than it gives. All I need is the sight of a mountain range. When I go to the library, I pick a seat looking out the windows. Good thing I live in a valley.

I’m drawn to those seemingly insurmountable peaks till I’m one with them, then I rise above. Because I know the answer to my mantra:
I will lift up my eyes to the hills,
where does my help come from?

 

 

Honoring Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou -  Wikipedia Images

Maya Angelou – Wikipedia Images

Maya Angelou; April 4, 1928 – May 28, 2014.
Her website states, “Dr. Maya Angelou is a remarkable Renaissance woman who is hailed as one of the great voices of contemporary literature.” She was a poet, author, educator, historian, a mother and mostly a friend whose voice we’ll always hear urging us to do better, to teach others what we’ve learnt and to accept each other as God’s children.

She gone, but not really. Through her work and poems, she lives on…

A Brave and Startling Truth – Maya Angelou

We, this people, on a small and lonely planet
Traveling through casual space
Past aloof stars, across the way of indifferent suns
To a destination where all signs tell us
It is possible and imperative that we learn
A brave and startling truth

And when we come to it
To the day of peacemaking
When we release our fingers
From fists of hostility
And allow the pure air to cool our palms

When we come to it
When the curtain falls on the minstrel show of hate
And faces sooted with scorn are scrubbed clean
When battlefields and coliseum
No longer rake our unique and particular sons and daughters
Up with the bruised and bloody grass
To lie in identical plots in foreign soil

When the rapacious storming of the churches
The screaming racket in the temples have ceased
When the pennants are waving gaily
When the banners of the world tremble
Stoutly in the good, clean breeze

When we come to it
When we let the rifles fall from our shoulders
And children dress their dolls in flags of truce
When land mines of death have been removed
And the aged can walk into evenings of peace
When religious ritual is not perfumed
By the incense of burning flesh
And childhood dreams are not kicked awake
By nightmares of abuse

When we come to it
Then we will confess that not the Pyramids
With their stones set in mysterious perfection
Nor the Gardens of Babylon
Hanging as eternal beauty
In our collective memory
Not the Grand Canyon
Kindled into delicious color
By Western sunsets

Nor the Danube, flowing its blue soul into Europe
Not the sacred peak of Mount Fuji
Stretching to the Rising Sun
Neither Father Amazon nor Mother Mississippi who, without favor,
Nurture all creatures in the depths and on the shores
These are not the only wonders of the world

When we come to it
We, this people, on this minuscule and kithless globe
Who reach daily for the bomb, the blade and the dagger
Yet who petition in the dark for tokens of peace
We, this people on this mote of matter
In whose mouths abide cankerous words
Which challenge our very existence
Yet out of those same mouths
Come songs of such exquisite sweetness
That the heart falters in its labor
And the body is quieted into awe

We, this people, on this small and drifting planet
Whose hands can strike with such abandon
That in a twinkling, life is sapped from the living
Yet those same hands can touch with such healing, irresistible tenderness
That the haughty neck is happy to bow
And the proud back is glad to bend
Out of such chaos, of such contradiction
We learn that we are neither devils nor divines

When we come to it
We, this people, on this wayward, floating body
Created on this earth, of this earth
Have the power to fashion for this earth
A climate where every man and every woman
Can live freely without sanctimonious piety
Without crippling fear

When we come to it
We must confess that we are the possible
We are the miraculous, the true wonder of this world
That is when, and only when
We come to it.

 

Maya Angelou (/ˈm.ə ˈænəl/;[1][2] born Marguerite Ann Johnson; was an American author and poet. She published seven autobiographies, three books of essays, and several books of poetry, and is credited with a list of plays, movies, and television shows spanning more than fifty years. She received dozens of awards and over thirty honorary doctoral degrees. Angelou is best known for her series of seven autobiographies, which focus on her childhood and early adult experiences. The first, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969), tells of her life up to the age of seventeen, and brought her international recognition and acclaim. (Source : Wikipedia)