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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Mary Oliver, Comment on Creativity

“The most regretful people on earth are those
who felt the call to creative work,
who felt their own creative power restive and uprising,
and gave to it neither power nor time.”

I love this quote.  It inspires me.  It admonishes me to relinquish my self-imposed craving for perfection and propels me to release what churns inside of me, regardless.

Part of me has always dreamed of being a great writer; part of me has always been terrified of publicly sharing my writing.  I recognize the vast difference between great writing and average writing and have not wanted to be discounted as mediocre.  For years, for decades actually, all I wrote on a personal level were thoughtful notes, interesting letters and soul-searching journal entries.  On a business level, I crafted pleas for crucial funding, wrote substantial reports and weighty grant proposals, and plenty of those.

Nevertheless, I need to write!  Something in me struggles to be heard, to be seen in words.  Something in me desires and loves words – adores shades of meaning, the play and juxtaposition of sounds in a sentence, the vibrant images, the palpable feelings, the delectable tastes and invigorating fragrances that words evoke.  Like painting or photography or creating pictures in any medium, writing crafts bursting-ripe word images.

Writing skills will improve with constant use, with relentless re-writes, with diligence and discipline and self-acceptance.  My writing cannot be termed “great”, but it is essential and deeply satisfying to me.  However, I believe in myself and in my own gifts and abilities.  As I generate my own words and thoughts and stories, asking for direct criticism from others, I will discover and nurture my own creative work.

I need to write; I feel my “own creative power restive and uprising”, as Mary Oliver says.  Writing pulls me along into the muddled mystery of life, pushes me into chaotic creative exertion.  When I provide vigour and time, my writing urges an artistic spirit to spill out from me and to flood my life.  Juicy joy!

I’ll coax and entice you to join me on that inventive journey.  And ask…

How are you giving power and time to your own creative work?


Anonymous said...

Not only are you an amazing writer, and I know this because as a student I never wrote a single essay and receievd superb grades...wink, wink....but you are a most excellent story teller...think about it!!

xo, love you

Carol Steel said...

Thank you. It has taken me a few years to deal with who I really am. And to own it. Carol

Anonymous said...

This is an inspiration! Too many people, including me, have avoided doing what they know they need to do to be authentic for way too long. Good for you. Thank you for your courage. B.H.

Carol Steel said...

Thanks for this comment. Good luck on your own journey. Carol