I’ve been perplexed all week with what to write today.
Partly that’s because I’ve been so busy, and my mind has twirled with necessary bits and pieces of putting information together on several projects. Part of it also lies with my frustration at the circumstances these days which limit my ability to get out and about and interact with the larger world around me –to find new material.
I wanted to blame my lack of ideas on circumstances—perhaps giving me a chance to play the “Oh, woe is me—poor pitiful me” card.
But Emily Dickinson saved me. Now how could a nineteenth century poet dead more than 130 years have accomplished such a task?
Well, because I remember studying her poetry and her life while I was in college. One of the points stressed about her was she rarely left the confines of her home and in later years of her life, kept to her room and didn’t interact with many people other than through correspondence. Much of her poetry was never published during her lifetime. Her greatness as a poet wasn’t truly recognized or accepted until well into the twentieth century.
Her choice to stay within the confines of her home most likely are very dissimilar to why I’m tied down. But what I take from her is she learned to always look for her ideas within her mind, her life and what she observed in the littlest elements of her surroundings.
I must also do that to jumpstart my creativity and my joy in my life. Without that I lose sight of what’s important to me. I will devolve into a dissatisfied, unhappy harpy. I don’t want to become that. And much of Dickinson’s poetry did display elements of an unhappy, maladjusted woman.
But then I was most attracted to the more positive of her poetry.
But my point is, for whatever reasons Dickinson chose to isolate herself, she didn’t let that hinder her creativity—whether one enjoys reading it or not.
So I can’t let circumstances hinder my creativity, and thus again thanks to Emily Dickinson, I came up with today’s topic and what to do with it.
You see one of my tasks toward the end of this week was to put my mind back into the California setting for my book Seasons of Wine and Love. Currently it’s available in digital format, but so many of my readers want print I’ve decided to make it available that way.
And since I’m a writer, I always think I can improve my product. One of the elements I wanted to do then was update and tweak my description and add some discussion questions. That meant I needed to skim over my notes and the manuscript and reacquaint myself with Gabrielle, Tony, Churchill, and the lovely wine country of northern California where the story takes place.
Part of this was also looking over all the photos I took on prior trips to those locales. While I viewed them, I thought to myself: what did I see in this photo to take it and does this photo still appeal to me in the same way?
The answers overall were interesting. I took the photos because at the time I thought someday I might need to be reminded of details…
More interesting to me, however, was my new thought—maybe a more important one—now I look and see the beauty within whatever I photographed, the little details that appeal even more to me now.
I guess my creativity and curiosity have not disappeared.
Until next week…