The words always spring up and I find my way, but the well is dry. I wonder if it’s the grey day, a tinge of January funk creeping back in, or perhaps some side-effect of tonight’s supermoon total lunar eclipse. I scheduled this meeting with my Muse but it seems that she stood me up!
Meanwhile, my friends wait for me to join them for some hang time at a restaurant in East Nashville. The clock is tick-tocking and frustration is beginning to rise.
I turn to my inbox, grasping for some sort of spark and there find words from poet Mary Oliver that speak directly to my state of mind in this moment.
She reminds me that creative work can be hard sometimes and that inspiration doesn’t always show up on our schedule. Sometimes we have to sit with it, chew on it, wrestle with it, until it’s good and ready to come through, practicalities be damned.
And that’s okay. Because anything worth doing usually takes some time. More than we expect, even. But if we’re moving the ball forward for ourselves (and thus our world), it’s worth it.
“In creative work — creative work of all kinds — those who are the world’s working artists are not trying to help the world go around, but forward. Which is something altogether different from the ordinary. Such work does not refute the ordinary. It is, simply, something else. Its labor requires a different outlook — a different set of priorities.”
My responsibility is not to the ordinary, or the timely. It does not include mustard, or teeth. It does not extend to the lost button, or the beans in the pot. My loyalty is to the inner vision, whenever and howsoever it may arrive. If I have a meeting with you at three o’clock, rejoice if I am late. Rejoice even more if I do not arrive at all.
There is no other way work of artistic worth can be done. And the occasional success, to the striver, is worth everything. The most regretful people on earth are those who felt the call to creative work, who felt their own creative power restive and uprising, and gave to it neither power nor time.”
If you find yourself feeling a bit dry of inspiration this week, take heart, loosen your expectations and then ask yourself if you’ve given your work all of the time and power that it needs to grow.
Make this week magnificent!