From the window seat in our master bedroom, looking through the French doors into our study, I can see the white bookcases lining one wall. They remind me of honeycombs we kept on the farm, books now the honey that my bees/mind goes after. Then an old issue of Border Crossings captured my attention where I read an interview with Canadian artist Betty Goodwin.
She says, “A work is a deeply personal mixture of your earlier experiences and also your life at the present in this world. But I can’t shred it and say it’s absolutely this or that. It’s based in something you don’t even realize yourself until it gives you back information. It’s like you’re pulling and pulling and trying to get something. And then there’s that magic time when it begins to pull you. If that doesn’t happen, you can’t push it any more and it dies.”
This quote captures my feelings about how writing connects me with my on-going life, that somehow its shaping me as I shape it, just as dreams do. As an artist, whether a writer or visual artist as Betty Goodwin is, it’s essential to have this dialogue with the work and our lives. Then both come alive in ways we might not have imagined.
So how do you know when that happens? From my experience, the writing takes on a buzz. I’m drawn to developing it further. It almost takes on a life of its own. But I’d love to know how it happens for others!