The Disembodied Genius

November 15, 2012 § Leave a comment

Yesterday as my class visited with the poets Maxine Scates and Jeanne Marie Beaumont, we talked about the writing process and how one knows a piece is completed:

“Every time I find an ending, it feels like a gift.”
“The poem should be telling me things I don’t know.”
“The poem, like breath, is the world passing through us.”

They saw themselves as a vehicle for the poem, often a voice for those who don’t have a voice.

Their comments – particularly Beaumont’s who openly admits and celebrates her superstitious nature – reminded of Elizabeth Gilbert’s TED Talk a few years ago on our relationship to the creative spirit, “a divine, attendant spirit that comes to human beings from some distant, unknowable source for distant unknowable reasons.” It’s not that we are geniuses, it’s that we have a genius. Creativity does not come from us directly; we just show up to do our part.

So today I am showing up to my kitchen table, pen and paper close by, and we will see what the day brings. And here’s an invitation to you, Reader – a weekend do, if you will: Show up to your creative space and wait.


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