The depths of our aloneness becomes apparent by the silence that arises once we turn away from the world; however, creativity rests within this silence. Patience is required for the gestation and birth of the seeds–of creativity, transformation and expansion–that are begging for growth inside of us; because blessings come from spaces that rest beyond our sight, impatience strangles our potential preventing us from going beyond our expectations. No critic, complement, or soul can provide the patience and faith necessary to live through the tribulations that come with any creative endeavor. Our creative maturation arises from releasing stranglehold time has on creativity, as Rilke says, “Time eludes measurement. What is a year? And tear years is nothing. Being an artist means, not reckoning and counting, but ripening like the tree which does not force its sap and stands confident in the storms of spring without the fear that after them may come no summer. It does come.” Everyone, especially the writer, must go beyond the mirages and impression resting before our eyes, and seek the depths of our humanity; literature is a tool for survival and exploration. Through literature we expand our consciousness and commit to balance.
Through deepening the relationship to ourselves and telling the story of that journey we become guides for people taking that voyage; Rilke understood the impact of literature by saying, “a whole world- its joys, richness, and variegated wholeness-will draw you in. Live for a little while in these books. Learn what you find worth learning.” Through literature our fears, troubles, and hopes are laid before us, and the author becomes an example of our own potential. For Rilke it was the bible and J. P. Jacobson, but, for me, James Baldwin laid the joys, richness, and pain of becoming at my feet and guided me as far as he could. Our spiritual mentors are often the reasons we read; our urge to write comes from them diving into their own soul, and proving the journey is worth every step.
Learning to trust your inclinations and developing confidence in your voice is impertinent to our growth; our work is created within a solitude no one can reach. That is why every critic, opinion, or review is always distant from the space creation happens. From every human being to the acorn in the ground life on this planet is in a continual state of gestation, birth, development, and death; impatience attacks our mind, and fear rushes our creative process. Ideas, like the acorn, move on their own time, and we must learn to mimic the acorn and value quality and grace over speed. We are meant to contribute to the tradition of work that is everlasting; our truest selves rests in a space unbothered with the pressures of time.
Like a gardener patiently nurturing flowers we allow ourselves to blossom and unfold without the pressures of time; Victor Frankl’s wonderful book, Doctor of the Soul, tells a story about a man that dreamed of being released from Auschwitz in thirty days, but as the days passed, and there were no signs of freedom his hope began to diminish on the 30th day, the day his dream told him he would be freed; he was released from the camp, through death. I believe this happens on a smaller scale to artists all around the world; as we set out on creative ventures and the days pass, often with much silence, we quit before the manifestation of our goals. Like Aset in pursuit of Asar’s body we must not grow weary in our journey towards wholeness; Aset set out on a mission to resurrect divine intelligence, and had no worry of the amount of time it would take. Despair comes from placing time restraints on our creative process, for a craft that takes years to master we must prepare to stay the course. We wouldn’t rush a acorn.
Frankl was confronted by a fellow inmate, let’s call him Felix. Felix shared a dream that he had in February 1945. A voice told him he could wish for something. So he wished to know when he would be liberated from the concentration camp and have his sufferings come to an end. The voice replied March the 30th. Felix had a strong sense of hope and was convinced. The voice in his dream was right as the date ticked closer, the war got worse making it appear to be very unlikely that freedom was near on March the 29th. Felix suddenly became ill on March the 30th, the day he expected to be free. He lost consciousness on March the 31st as he was dead to paraphrase. Frankl’s own words says “the ultimate cause of my friend’s death was that the expected liberation did not come and he was severely disappointed. This suddenly load his body’s resistance against the latent typhus infection. His faith in the future and his will to live had become paralyzed and his body fell victim to illness and thus the voice of his dream was right”.
A beautiful collection of letters that is a great companion for every artist; each letter provides wisdom on the obstacles we all face, and provides insight into overcoming the inhibitors to our success. Letters to a young poet should be read by every artist; whether you are a healer, yogi, astrologist, reiki initiate, or poet this collection should be kept on your hip.