I woke from a dream somewhere in France to thinking about the blank page. I spent years studying, thinking about, staring at empty spaces – canvas, paper, blocks of wood and stone. Waiting for magic. Whether working from a live model, landscape or still life, I rarely made a mark until I felt the piece inside me, with a sense the mark, the chisel stroke, I made was already there. I aspired to this state of creativity but sometimes I was lazy or distracted and worked mechanically, just ‘making’ shape, light, dark with shallow results. But working from a deeper state – sometimes called ‘flow’, my teacher called ‘being’, resulted in my strongest work. Writing, I realize, is no different. What interests me is is still what comes from deep within. The mechanical difference for me is that I cannot stare at pages or my computer screen, waiting for words to appear. With writing I must dive in and start. Still, the meditative state is key. And these days, with this practice, I’m finding it easier to carry with me throughout the day like a sweet secret. This is the closest I come to a spiritual practice – writing begins to feel like a kind of prayer.
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