So many times I’ve heard the “essay in my head” or the “poem in my head,” the words effortless and organically stringing themselves together, the ideas and the cadences apt. Perfectly so. The ideas and words just flow in my mind, a perfect spontaneous composition.
Then I grab a pen to capture the stream of word-tumble feeling-thought, so I can claim, publish, own this exquisite expression. But the ideas just sort of land on the page without the same life in them, without the same depth or beauty.
I remember pulling a fish from the Atlantic ocean — the fish’s other-worldly iridescence, the powerful aliveness of muscular swish-jerk from its center. And then, later, how it just lay there — limp, cold, and grey.
That’s how it feels so often after trying to get down the composition in my head and put it on the page. So often, it feels like that fish that does not want to be pulled from its boundless, buoyant element.
The imagination is an ocean — all potential. When we conceive a creation in our minds, it is limitless, lovely and perfect. But when we manifest it, we bring it down from the realm of the mind (thought) into the world of the body (senses). As the abstract becomes concrete, the infinite becomes finite. Embodying, grounding, manifesting: these mean limitation.
I have to come back to this principle time and again. To remember that my willingness to create must co-exist with an acceptance of imperfection. That my desire to have and to hold what I have imagined may come at the cost. But, oh, how delicious those inspirations can be when they are lovingly prepared.
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