Emma reading

Today I want to talk about being a writer, a poet, a maker of alternate universes. And naturally, I will draw on my own understandings, not necessarily truths. First, what is it that drives a person to write? It can’t be the idea of making money, though that is what does inspire works that are more about following templates than allowing what is deep within a person to emerge as art. I say this without trying to demean pulp fiction. Those stories fill a need, a fantasy that steers one away from one’s own depths, something that is too painful for many would-be readers. I want to talk about myself as a reader and writer, more specifically as a writer.

Before I talk about “writing,” I want to talk about reading. As a naturist like Emma seen above, I read while clothing-free. Reading is a solitary event unless one is reading to a young child, or someone who is disabled in some form or other. Why one reads is unique to each individual, and even different from time to time for an individual. It takes a certain frame of mind to read blogs such as mine, or what I will call serious books.

One cannot compose a poem when one is too involved in life, for outer existence affords too much gratification: there is no need to do or say anything original. … Nevertheless, the experience of solitude is a vital factor -necessary if not sufficient- for artistic expression.”

Eros and Pathos

These words were written by Aldo Carotenuto in his book, Eros and Pathos, in a chapter called Solitude and Creativity. The book is seen in the photo to the right. Solitude is not necessarily a state of being which demands the absence of others. Much of my poetry was written while I was busy with life as a father, husband and teacher. Despite their presence in my life, there were many, many hours when they were in bed when an inner solitude pulled me to plunge deeper into the depths and expose the rawness within. More recent poems, as found in my Naked Poetry series, found a different level of creativity.

Being in a relationship does get in the way of writing, as Carotenuto mentions above. When life is filled with the relationship -hiking, activity, socialising, shared moments- the head is pulled into the outer world. An example from my life would be the week I spent at my son’s home taking care of the two youngest grandchildren. Outer life was filled from morning to night. There was no pull to write. My reading switched to a SciFi fantasy that didn’t demand any thinking. And sleep, filled the rest of my time.

Now that I am at home, there are hours when solitude presents itself. There is space and time for solitude. And with solitude, the journey inward appears in bits and pieces. And, in turn, the story that I am writing takes a turn further inward and downward. I am now beginning chapter 9, where the main characters are preparing to enter into an alternate reality, the world of gods and goddesses. Their mission is to discover the source of soul, the life force that animates. Mother Earth and Father Sky, the eternal relationship that has the two parent the world. Masculine and feminine circle each other for eternity, constantly attempting to unite as one. Though we expend so much of our energy in pursuit of that submersion into “other” we can never escape our skin. We can never become other. The other can never become us. Now, with that said, here are the first few sentences of chapter nine.

The Underworld – “You’ll follow me,” Zuhre told Meghan and Bruce. As she took a step through the moon gate, Bruce saw the framed space begin to shimmer in the darkness. Meghan followed Zuhre while Bruce hesitated.