Six years ago today, I experienced an unexpected eruption in my world. I then returned home to discover that a bid I’d made on eBay had won a portrait of an individual whose story I’d wind up following in these subsequent years.
The day brought one of those bittersweet blends of beginnings and endings that life can so often deliver. A relationship was mortally wounded in that eruption, and the portrait, which featured Hitler’s mistress, Eva Braun, opened the door to what would become The Munich Girl: A Novel of the Legacies That Outlast War.
I’d been writing for about a quarter of a century and had no awareness of the very definite, very surprising path that day’s turn of events was launching. That new stage was about to reveal that, more than being what I do, writing itself is something that acts upon me, strengthening a sense of connection with my own wholeness, and with that of others.
My role — my responsibility — is to listen and watch for these revelations, rather than attempting to impose ideas or plans of my own on what unfolds as a story — or anything else.
Along the way, I’ve been thankful to discover that this is also a kinder and generally more effective approach to living, daily — as in one of them at a time. This has brought a very different relationship with time, one more fluid and expansive.
Writers often notice how during generative times in their work, their experience of energy is a flow that can seem almost like dreaming — a soaring over great expanses until suddenly, we’re compelled to stop and rest wings whose strength trails off for a while.
Then a cycle of recharging, refilling, becomes needful. We encounter that juncture of the energetic difference between being inspired to do, until we reach a point of having, and then remembering, often through a kind of fatigue, that within this cycle we need to be “re-sourced” from what it is that reinforces our being.
Writer Penney Peirce offers a helpful model of this inner cycle in her book, The Intuitive Way. She describes how, moving from a centered place of being, and receiving what comes to meet us there, we are inspired toward doing, and this takes shape in action that eventually leads to achieving or having. We may then begin to notice a fading, a weakening of the wings, so to speak, that is the reminder that it’s time to do what our very cells know they must: rest, recharge, and be restored again to a state of being that’s ready for the next cycle. Ready to receive. Cells do not restore themselves after they expend their energy, but are restored by something beyond themselves. Cells seem to know innately the wisdom of returning to their fullest being through the “re-sourcing” of what truly sustains them.
So often today, the world and its suggestions can make it very easy to get caught in just one segment of this cycle Penney Peirce describes – stuck on a repeating, depleting loop of constantly attempting to do and have. In fact, collective consciousness (which, so often, actually seems more UNconscious) offers more reinforcement to do this than to comply with the requirements of that cycle of inner wisdom.
However, waiting for me each and every day is a choice point:
I can accommodate the demands and insistence of the world.
Or I can turn toward the more trustworthy and sustaining one — a world without end, referenced so long ago, by Ones who saw it, and invite us toward it.
The fact that writing and creative exploration are so inextricably woven with it — are, in fact, the very path to it — is one of the sweetest graces I’ve yet discovered.