Writing yourself to the spiritual place you want to be in.
I recently picked up a book, the Accidental Masterpiece in which the author speaks of the impact of art on our lives. And says, also, that we can choose to pull that impact into our lives, to create our own art or just a life informed by art, or perhaps, we can even choose a life transformed by art. And art may be ours for the defining.
arguably, are love, death, and sex in no particular ranking. There are aspects or items in life, such as beauty, architecture, or nature which seem to boost us toward those vehicles of transcendence.
Eric Maisel tells us we can create a special place, real or imaginary, which will be a safe, but inspiring place to write. I think what we are doing in setting up that place is creating a spiritual dwelling place for ourselves. (I’m hesitant to use the example, but a church is such a place set up by its members for the spiritual sense it gives them—or failing that—a place for the default rituals—the next best thing.)
For us, receivers of the revealed wisdom that we are “spiritual beings in a secular universe,” we can choose what is spiritual and what is art and what nourishes the human spirit. Those things, those places, those ideas that we can bring together, that we can curate, accumulate, create. We may engage in our own practice of art so it will inspire us further.
This is no small item. Inspiring ourselves. Even when inspired by something or someone else we participate in our own inspiration. Certainly, we must. Art and other creative acts are never truly isolated. We bring them forth as products of ourselves, our world, and our culture.
So it is with our writing, or it can be. This is true, also, of those who don’t think of themselves as writers. Writing is an art or craft like many other endeavors. What you get out of it is in relation to what you put into it.
The short lesson on writing is this: write, revise, and keep going. Perfection is an illusion. Don’t get hung up on it. It doesn’t matter what you write, but write what you want. As an endeavor of the human spirit, write randomly. Leave the topic open. Just keep writing.
After a few pages, some things will draw your attention. Different categories of things. Some things will seem to be negatives—make a note to eliminate or overcome them and move on to write in other directions. Some goal, wish, or desire may pop out of the writing. Acknowledge it and keep writing.
When you’re at this for a while two spiritual things (our secular human spirit) will materialize: What it takes to nurture your spirit and What it is that you do that nurtures your spirit. For me, just this kind of writing does it.
Other things may suggest themselves through your writing that you can do—nature walks, camping trips, art or other museums, or whatever you may find. If you try it all and run out of things come back and write at it some more.
You may just find that words, thoughts, and concepts may do it for you. That is, they may elevate your spirit, your mood, your outlook. You may be moved to write about that experience for others. Even in that process you may find nurturance for your very human spirit, that soul-like thing. If each of us gets the spiritual nurturance we need, we are less likely to point angrily at each other and say, You spoiled my happiness.
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