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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Can You Feel it? There's something forming

Something that you feel will find its own form

This one is so much about how I think, feel, and want to live my life-and write. It is a summary of how to live a good life-and how to write too. I'm so in tune, I dig it so deeply, that I hardly know what to write about it here. But I will give it a good try, while trying not to muck it up with an overly intellectual analysis and so on.

It is very Buddhist, don/t you think? It isn't hard to see where old Mr Kerouac is coming from here. It is a basic Buddhist type teaching that we are the products of our thoughts, or feelings. And of course it is a basic concept we hear a lot about in the self development, spiritual development, even the foodies tell us we are what we eat. You KNOW what I mean, right?

And in an ideal world, all writers (as well as everyone else) would dig the idea and go with it and let it be a part of their lives. Of course we don't live in any kind of ideal world do we? But it's an idea we can take on board as writers. If we feel it, or think it, then we can allow ourselves to know it will take some kind of form-in time.

It may that the form it takes isn't the one we had in mind, or that we tried to force it into. Feelings are really their own things, just as thoughts are. And the forms they take are also their own things. Not up to us to interfere too much I think. I guess it is a kind of intuition thing: the feeling comes, the feeling develops, and takes shape and form. In writerly terms we could say: the feeling or idea comes, it evolves in our minds or in our notebooks or whatever, then spews out the other end in the form of a story, poem, article, essay, novel, or some other written or creatively genius type form.

This leads me to the other thought I had about this. It might be that the 'something' that you feel is not so much a feeling as in emotion or even idea or whatever. Dig my meaning here please. In this kind of case it isn't so much a feeling of yours that needs to take form; it is full blown entity (I use the term loosely here, I think), a full blown formed story. You know how it is: a full blown narrative or poem or whatever bursts into mind fully formed already. Your job then is to get out of the way and let it come out in its own time and in its own way. It's time to get the pen moving across the page or the fingers pounding the keyboard. It is like we become the channels for the thing-this something that Kerouac refers to.

It's important to have faith in those feelings, whether they are 'feelings' in the normal sense of the word or when we feel there is something bursting to get out. It's about trusting that these somethings are are capable of taking their own forms, with sometimes minimal help or input from us.

The last thought that strikes me is that things we feel (in both the senses I mention above) will take their own form, whatever we do. We can struggle and resist, struggle to help them out, and perhaps distort the form they take, but they will take form regardless. Or we can trust our feelings (again in both the senses discussed) and let them flow, get out of the way, and let them take the form they are meant to take, the forms that will perhaps serve us better anyway. For a writer this is invaluable advice. Harks back to No. 1 I think: Scribbled secret notebooks, and wild typewritten pages, for yr own joy.

I think if we can move beyond the need to control or manipulate our feelings and thoughts and allow them to take their own form, then we can move closer to the point where we can say, I am a writer of truth and real life.

Enough. Hope it doesn't sound too much like waffle. Just typing wildly is all.

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