On Becoming Baffled

August 15, 2012 § 5 Comments

Most days, I find it hard to be creative. And so what I find encouraging in my creative pursuits is often rather heavy in itself – not the blind willfulness of the guests in SNL’s “You Can Do Anything!” sketch, but those words that remind you, “Oh yeah. This isn’t supposed to be easy.”

Recently I came across “The Real Work” by Wendell Berry.

It may be that when we no longer know what to do
we have come to our real work,

and that when we no longer know which way to go
we have come to our real journey.

The mind that is not baffled is not employed.

The impeded stream is the one that sings.

I don’t want to be baffled or impeded. I really don’t. Mary Karr, in her memoir Lit, says that if she had the choice to be happy or to be a poet, she would choose to be happy. Her professor tells her not to worry – she doesn’t ever get to make that choice.

I don’t want to feel blocked, but I know that my desire to create is strongest in such moments.

I’m practicing this as I move into a new apartment. I wanted oh so much light and space as possible. My initial impression was that it was dark and cramped. But it’s not that way at all. My anxiety towards a new transition spilled into my memory, darkening it. So I started taking pictures where I saw light. I found that the light was everywhere.


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