Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Genius, Power, Magic

Those are words that Goethe uses to communicate the impact of pursuing ones aspirations with boldness. It's one of my lifelong favorite quotes, one I've taken inspiration from as I (so hesitantly and self-consciously) tread my way forward. Yes, I've had my bold moments, and yes, so many of them have proven powerful and magical. The 'genius' part recalls one of my other favorite quotes, from the poem "Desiderata", by Max Ehrmann, which includes the line, "...no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should." There does seem to be something genius about how things work themselves out when one stands behind a cause, a belief, a commitment, how - going back to Goethe again - "...a whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way"

I'm back at The Millay Colony for the Arts with Ponczka, for 2 weeks. I was first here almost 12 years ago (and blogged about that here in May 2010). She'll be painting, I'll be writing. And we'll be walking the roads and the State Park next door, huggling up for afternoon naps and probably drinking too much wine. In short, we'll be in Paradise.

Where the boldness comes in is that I decided to write a novel while here. Seems impossible. And there comes a quaking in my gut as I tap out those words. But a queer energy comes with it too. The notion first came to me in one of my weekly sessions with my writing partner Judith a couple of weeks ago. When she and I write, we sit down and go at it for an agreed upon period of time, sometimes doing a fifteen minute warm-up, but always ending with a solid hour, pen-to-paper, or fingers to keypad, nothing more than brief pauses to catch your breath allowed. Amazing how that works. There always come the moments when the mind becomes blank, the writing has caught up to the thinking. There is something like panic as the control of the conscious mind is lost. What will take over now? What will come out?

Well, something always does come out. Sometimes gibberish. More often something more. Eventually, always something more. Sometimes, brilliance. Sometimes, nakedness. Sometimes, a coalescing of what's been tumbling about inside, but which that so careful, needing-to-impress, needing to be right, to be error-less, conscious mind has been unable, unwilling, un bold enough to put together.

Judith is a tigress. She faces demons and bogeymen and dreams relentlessly. And writing together gives us both courage. And, what do ya know...genuis, power, magic...it's all there, everywhere. It hides in every mote and fiber of creation. Waiting for us to breathe it in, tease it out. Waiting for now, for us to be present enough, open to the world and all that's in it.


  1. Sounds lovely Kirby! Enjoy!

  2. Be blessed in your writing, Dear Brother. May your Muse be fierce, as your words are pulled out by her overwhelming presence in your psyche, as she terrorizes you into giving her free reign over your wonderful imagination, until your genius is laid bare for all to see.

    Be blessed, My Brother.

  3. Thank you, Liza! It IS so lovely. I know that you would drink it all in.

    And RevBob, thanks for your words and presence, here and in your other comments.

    Yes! Yes! Yes!

  4. I don't like magic...That last bit, where things are garbled then come together, don't call that magic...call that the Holy Spirit leading you...Letting the wind carry you along though you don't know exactly where it is taking you...Why give credit to magic which is associated with so many bad things? I know people use it all the time but if you are going to start something this big, then start with a little of Goethe, but not all of Goethe...Forgive my boldness...Forgive my genius...But do not forgive if I go to the dark side...It was not a good choice for Luke either, & I don't want your novel to help the wrong team...They call that "flow" abstract expressionism in New York...In Quebec they refer to Les Automatistes...Both movements refer to the Holy Ghost inspiring...That when you let go in your work he can speak through you...(I imagine this comment will peeve some people off...Tough noogies...)

    1. Thank You, Sari, my friend! I Love magic, but I think this is only a semantic difference. Thank you for your support, your belief, your invocation.
      And YES, I'm all for the Holy Ghost!