I’ve always been one of those writers who said they “heard voices” and didn’t see pictures. I could tell you how my characters felt but not what they looked like. Even my dreams were primarily auditory and not visual.
During my month of play I gave myself the same sleep intention every night, “What stories should I tell?” I didn’t even mention a character’s name because I didn’t want to influence my subconscious. For a few weeks I had no response. None in my dreams and none in one of those moments of inspiration that come when you least except it. I just kept on doing what I was already doing. I couldn’t say that I trusted the process, I just hadn’t invested anything emotionally in a particular outcome.
After a few weeks of practicing mixing colors and playing with various texture techniques, I was surprised to find myself thinking in pictures and not words. Now considering my fears around not writing and wondering if I would ever write again, this might have made me even more afraid that my silence was permanent and not just a passing pause. But instead I found it invigorating. Laying in bed, waiting to fall asleep and I would wonder what would happen if added a glaze of burnt sienna or dripped some India ink across the half-finished collage that waited on my desk. I saw myself grabbing a handful of colorful papers and gluing them willy-nilly and watching a sunset explode in front of me.
Making art was changing the way my brain worked.
A pair of haiku for today.
paints tales only I can hear
when I close my eyes
silence sits with me
I am unafraid. Art sings,
colors hold my hand
Susan Taylor Brown.
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Ditto what Candice said. Great line. Great poems. Words paint pictures all the time for me. These poems, too.
Thanks, Slatts. It’s something you’re quite used to by now, I suppose but it is really amazing in its newness to me, this discovery of stories without words.
Lovely, Susan. I’m enjoying your posts so much. The poetry is beautiful and I find myself rooting for you, willing you to find yourself, your words, your play. Praying that new life spring forth from the winter season.
Thank you, Dori. I appreciate the kind words. They encourage me to keep going.
The month was an awakening for me….now the trick is going to be to keep on going in the right direction while my feet feel so rooted in the clay.
Love the dream question. I am going to try that: “what do I want to do next?”
And I love those last lines in your haiku. They follow each other.
Thank you, Andi. Oooh, now I need to try and do a series of haiku with the end lines telling another story.
I love doing sleep suggestions. Often find them very helpful.
Thanks, Candace. Top of My Lungs is one of Natalie’s I haven’t seen. Thank you for the recommendation.