Quote for the day — disenchantment

Everything Matters: Beyond Meds

enchantmentSometimes people feel that recognizing the truth of suffering conditions a pessimistic outlook on life, that somehow it is life-denying. Actually, it is quite the reverse. By denying what is true, for example, the truth of impermanence, we live in a world of illusion and enchantment. Then when circumstances change in ways we don’t like, we feel disappointed, angry, or bitter. The Buddha expressed the liberating power of seeing the unreliability of conditions. “All that is subject to arising is subject to cessation. Becoming disenchanted one becomes dispassionate. Through dispassion the mind is liberated.”

It’s telling that in English “disenchanted,” “disillusioned,” and dispassionate” often have a negative connotation. But looking more closely at their meaning reveals their connection to freedom. Becoming disenchanted means breaking the spell of enchantment, waking up into a greater and fuller reality. This is the happy ending of so many great myths and fairy tales. Being…

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“There is always in me two women at least…”

Here is a  quote from a favorite woman writer (I have so many!) Anais Nin on keeping her famous diaries. I find the words so inspiring, the “echoes and reverberations” transform and enchant me.

This diary is my kief, hashish, and opium pipe.  This is my drug and my vice.  Instead of writing a novel, I lie back with this book and a pen, and dream, and indulge in refractions and defractions… I must relive my life in the dream.  The dream is my only life.  I see in the echoes  and reverberations, the tranfigurations which alone keep wonder pure.  Otherwise all magic is lost.  Otherwise life show its deformities and the homeliness becomes rust… All matter must be fused this way through the lens of my vise or the rust of living would slow down my rhythm to a sob.

 

Making Time

This week has been a writing frenzy for me…or a change. I’m so happy. Of course, blogging time has been non-existent. Still trying to get a schedule together to include that.  I am presently working on a second draft of a young adult paranormal novel, which is being co-written with my daughter.  I’ve been so overwhelmed with her responses, which, of course, keep me motivated. She has the rest of it outlined and noted, and we’ve worked on visualizing the way things happen, the way the characters look, act, the rhythms of speech, etc.  Having her input has a tremendous joy, though we are not at all times in perfect agreement on the text. She also plans to do some Manga-type drawings for the story, which I hopefully be able to share here.

The bottom line? Writing productivity has been up. Like William Hazlitt says: The more a man writes, the more he can write.

It is brilliantly strange and enchanting when one makes writing a habit (in some way) that it becomes…dare I say the word, easier.  Not that it’s easy…don’t yell at me. I know it’s not an easy task all the time…okay, most of the time, but there is something to getting a certain number of pages done, or a certain amount of hours at the desk jotting or tapping away that feeds the writer’s soul, makes the images flow easier, and also brings about those surges in writing genius that we delude ourselves into thinking that we really have. All in all, it makes us keep going, and that my friends and fellow writers is the reason we are here.

The best time for planning a book is while you’re doing the dishes. ~Agatha Christie

And once we are sunk in deep into our story, old, new, or in the re-write stage, I wonder is some of you find yourselves zoning off at any given moment in your life, like when doing dishes, or taking a walk, or a shower, driving in the car, or before you fall asleep, with your story in your head, a scene you’re working on visualized while doing something else?

I love this little story on productivity from For Writers Only by Sophie Burnham:

Emile Zola sat ten hours a day at his desk. Much of this
time was spent staring out the window in a brooding effort

to call up a certain scene. It was work. Zola claimed that
at times the struggle with a certain passage was so intense
it caused an erection.
But sitting ten hours is hard on the back. Another writer
walks. “Three miles a page,” he says.

Give me your opinions on how you keep the writer’s pace at a productive level. You can leave out the erection records if you want.

You Do Not even have to leave your room…

“You do not even have to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen.  Do not even listen, simply wait.  Do not even wait, be still and solitary.  The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.”  ~Franz Kafka

 

Okay….I’m still waiting….what is happening?  The heat has turned on and the plant is in the warm stream of air and is moving back and forth and I’m thinking, I should move that plant, it may be too hot for it in that spot.

And so I sit.  It’s not like I don’t have any writing projects to work on. I have three going right now, which may be why I sit here. Too many things pulling me around, scattering my focus.  I believe when we write we have to become part of the story. We have to live, eat and breath as one or all the characters we’ve created do. With this focus comes and unending stream of scenes that we can sit and witness, and with some creative luck get those images down on paper with just the right, most publishable words that will send readers into another world that they’ll never want to leave.

It’s not easy of course. Often we sit and try over and over again. Some days I write all nonsense. I look at it the next day and think, what the fuck was I thinking yesterday.  Other days, I look at what I’ve written and think it’s brilliant. (Okay, maybe not brilliant, brilliant, but that sort-of kinda almost brilliant that my favorite writers have).  Still, the main thing, is that we have to set the time down and try, no, do the writing and what will come of it is a moment of brilliant. Without doing it regularly, well, the slump sets in.

As Sophy Burnham says: “When I am happiest, I write every almost every day.”

Me too.

The man behind the Wings…

Author Henry James, a favorite here in the disenchanted twilight was born on this day, April 15, 1843. Some of his works include, Portrait of a Lady, The Bostonians, The Turn of the Screw, Daisy Miller, The Embassadors,  and by far one of my favorites in literature, The Wings of the Dove, my muse for Pale Girls.

“Be not afraid of life. Believe that life is worth living, and your belief will help create the fact.” – Henry James

Charcoal drawing my John Singer Sargent (1913)