I walk up the stairs in the low light of my quiet house. Outside it is not yet sunrise. In these early mornings, I feel my way through shadows, wander to my desk to write. Practice the ritual of eking out space for magic. Follow threads and share the process as it unravels.

This morning the Muse whispers, “Pull Bird by Bird from the shelf and flip to any page.”

I hear the silent prompting that reverberates from somewhere in my deep well, but I stave off suggestions. Let myself get distracted by ‘important’ practicals. Sort a drawer and tend to pending tasks. The sun begins to illuminate the day without a word to page.

Shadows shrink away and my writing room is brighter. Non-writing tasks complete, I turn to the book shelf to find Anne Lamott’s classic instructions on writing and life. Flip to any page. Share it here with you.

“You get your confidence and intuition back by trusting yourself, by being militantly on your own side. You need to trust yourself, especially on the first draft, where amid the anxiety and self-doubt, there should be a real sense of your imagination and your memories walking and woolgathering, tramping the hills, romping all over the place. Trust them. Don’t look at your feet to see if you are doing it right. Just dance.

You get your intuition back when you make space for it, when you stop the chattering of the rational mind. The rational mind doesn’t nourish you. You assume that it gives you the truth, because the rational mind is the golden calf that this culture worships, but this is not true. Rationality squeezes out much that is rich and juicy and fascinating.

Sometimes intuition needs coaxing, because intuition is a little shy. But if you try not to crowd it, intuition often wafts up from the soul or subconscious, and then becomes a tiny fitful little flame. It will be blown out by too much compulsion and manic attention, but will burn quietly when watched with gentle concentration.

So try to calm down, get quiet, breathe, and listen…”

~ Anne Lamott Bird by Bird


4 thoughts on “On What Wafts Up

  1. “the rational mind is the golden calf that this culture worships”
    Yes, indeed, and our Creator points this out in The Revelation of Arès. We must develop our spiritual nature, that part of us which loves, makes peace, listens to the Good in our heart.


  2. Oh my heavens! What a coincidence. I just bought that book on the weekend and am loving every word. She is so funny and true. The best book on writing that I’ve read to date.


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