What does the writer do when they are not writing?
I have not been writing. Not here, at all; not much, elsewhere. To be fair, my journal pages still get filled, and to be honest, those journal pages will always get filled. Because, to paraphrase Anaïs Nin, the journal is the place where I create myself. In attempting to find that quote, and failing, I found another that is speaking to me right now:
“All of my creation is an effort to weave a web of connection with the world: I am always weaving it because it was once broken.”
So that is where I have been–avoiding the dive into the page, the untangling of words from my tongue. I had broken the web of connection in some ways: on the one hand, finetuning and focusing on other things, practical things, life things, on the other hand, a little too caught up on those life things to reflect and integrate.
Also, I have not been reading. Instead, I have been screen-staring, doomscrolling, podcast-listening. Reading begets writing. Writing also begets reading. Art begets art. Begets, if you look at or write it for long enough, looks a lot like beignets.
So I am here thinking about French donuts, alongside Nin’s idea of brokenness as the crux of creation. How beautiful to know, and I write know instead of believe, because this is something I intrinsically feel, and that which I intrinsically feel is that which I know–that it is from this brokenness that we weave.
Walking and weaving our way back to the things we love, back to the brokenness that is the source. Not capital-s Source–the source of all things, divine, unalterable, eternality/totality–but this lowercase-s source, the cosmic veil of existence in this physical form that brings with it suffering and art and transcendence, too.
I am thinking about creation as another cycle of expansion and contraction. As is life itself. As is everything in this world emanating from capital-s Source. How the moments of contraction are the winters: the process of compost and decay, the inward-looking creation of rich lowercase-s source material. And how the moments of expansion are the outburst, the blooming, the reaping. Within moments of expansion, we find contractions, too. Inside contractions, expansions. The fractal balance. The yin and the yang of it all.
And this homeostasis flushes itself when the cycle reaches a point of fullness–as in the bright moon, the sweeping waters, the womb–and begins to bubble back out–as in the dark moon, the tides receding, the release of blood.
Because at some point, you have to let go.
Because at some point, you need to stop consuming and start creating. Through dance or voice or on this blog, the tapping of words onto a white screen. This is my synthesis, the cohesion of however many months of living have elapsed since my last reflection into a simple sweet package, a post, a poem.
This. The creation of self. My other form of breathing. Creativity often comes, as it did tonight, when I cannot sleep. The insomnia, perhaps, the brokenness, leads me to read, to light some candles, to put on some quiet, contemplative music, and do this.
Art begets art, brokenness begets beignets.
In fact, if we can parse out the difference between a caffeine-and-blue-light-induced insomnia and the-birthing-pains-of-something-creative insomnia, we can reframe this restlessness as a surge of electricity, of source, of course.
I started writing this blog post with two words in mind: threshold, and trifecta.
The last Full Moon was in Taurus and fell on the same evening as Halloween (October 31). It was a threshold of sorts. I intrinsically felt so and know others did, too. A threshold into a new month and a completion of the lunar cycle–yes–but also in many ways a threshold into a new world, as it happened just days before the U.S. election (still yet to be resolved as of this writing in the early hours of November 6, 2020, Taipei time), and months into the still-yet-to-be-resolved pandemic.
“Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.”
These words by Arundhati Roy were on my mind around March and April, too. The new world is still not here, who knows, it may not arrive in my lifetime. But I find the breathing is louder, the new world is getting closer to being born. Perhaps this Full Moon, this mystical Blue Moon lighting the sky with its glow of compassion, was the water breaking. The threshold. Perhaps now we are beginning to push.
What I find interesting in terms of the slooooow resolution of the pandemic, and now the election, is that the world wants to be brought to a halt (using the word ‘want’ here in the sense of universal intelligence, and the use of ‘world’ here includes us). The new world is being birthed by us and is birthing us at the same time. So we needed and wanted time for this, to dissolve and integrate the structures and systems that are neither working nor sustainable, that are so harmful they hurt to think about, let alone live through.
As Nietzsche said, in a way that fits quite neatly into this birth analogy: that which is falling deserves to be pushed. The time is now, and now, and now again, to push, to tumble and contract and compost and cross the threshold and breathe and then bloom and birth into existence.
And so it is becoming. And so it became. And so it is.
And this is the trifecta of sorts, the trifecta I did not know I wanted to write about, that I did not anticipate would be born here and now, as the sun comes up to meet the green goddess mountains of Taiwan another day.
From wholeness somehow comes brokenness, and from this brokenness, we move along familiar lines of source, creation, longing, and destruction back to wholeness again.
Love you guys.