Friday, March 4, 2011

Fall in Love Three Times Today

My classroom has been tossing little reminders at me in the past several days that it's time to get back to writing. The first came during a workshop yesterday designed to help me be a better writing teacher, maybe the 6th in a long series this year. They are geared toward creating a whole writing environment, which I have done to some extent. I'm trying to ride that inspiration into doing some writing of my own, which I have just begun. Anyway, during the workshop, I was perusing the presenter's books, and came across this quote about creativity taken from a letter from Martha Graham to Agnes De Mille...

"There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action. And because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique and if it you block it, it will never exist through any other medium, and be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how "good" it is, nor how valuable, nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep open and aware directly to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open."

This struck me hard, because like anyone who writes, I often battle the devil-on-my-shoulder, whose basic message is, "Who the hell do you think you ARE to yammer on about stuff and expect anyone to be remotely interested?" The song has different lyrics all the time, but the tune is the same. I also read, "A work of art uses the artist to get itself done; as I work, I am able to find out what it wants to be." I find this concept bolstering right now, though, to remind myself that it doesn't really matter, and whether or not anyone reads anything I write is not my decision to make, nor my matter to control. I just need to write it.

Although I do have one friend who threatened to throw himself into an electric fence if I didn't post soon. So, CTD, this one's for you...

I find that when I look at the world expectantly, looking for things to inspire me, the Universe never, ever lets me down. So I'm watching and waiting.

I also read today that a key to being a writer, and indeed a passionate creator of any kind, is to "fall in love three times a day." With a photograph, a perfect strawberry, a beautiful human, an expression of vulnerability from a 12-year-old-boy. Matthew Fox said, "If we fell in love with one of Mozart's work each week, we would have seven years of joy. How could we ever be bored?" Today, already, I fell in love with the sunset searing behind the winter trees, and the line from one of my student's poems. (In a poem entitled "How to Climb Mount Everest," she included the line, "Muster the last of your fading strength to finally reach the summit. If you have enough oxygen left, you can yodel.") So, I'm two out of three for my falling-in-love goal today, and it's not yet 3:00.

One last sign from the Universe...I had to fill out a choice form for yet another in-service workshop for next week, and the workshop titles were things like Fun in the Mac Lab and a bunch of other computer-y things I do not care about a bit, and one called "Teachers Write." We're supposed to just show up, and...write. Or share something we've already written. Nothing like this has ever been offered at my school before, and the fact that it jumped into my world has meaning, I think. Or rather, I ascribe meaning to it....which is essentially the same thing.

I hope this March is finding some crocuses poking through YOUR spirit, too.


  1. So glad you wrote again. Go CTD for pushing you! Write for you and the rest will take care of itself.

  2. Happy to see you writing here again too!

  3. Who was it who said "fall in love three times a day" as advice for writers? I've been trying to remember what book I got that from for years.