If the things you love about what you do are not reflecting themselves in your work in the way that you want them to, be more than just patient. You’ve been here before and it’s likely that you will be here again. Be porous and attentive to the happenings within you.

If clarity has deserted you and you cannot speak of your worries, not even to the most generous or insightful friends you have, try to make your peace with it. You are equipped to see the most difficult parts of yourself. You might see defensiveness raise its spiky head, you might see a debilitating self-loathing, you might see an isolation whose egotism you are unwilling to really acknowledge, and you might see other messy and troubling occurrences you cannot name. There is no getting “past them” because they surface from you. At times, they might change shape. But you will be able to face them.

Meanwhile, remember to look elsewhere, at all the life around that has nothing to do with you. Do not insist on speaking. Widen home.

This morning again it was in the dusty pines
Mary Oliver

Not in shyness but in disgust
the owl
turns its face from me and pours itself
into the air, hurrying

until it is out of sight—
and, after all,
even if we came by some miracle
upon a language which we both knew,

what is it I might say
there in the orange light of early morning,
in the owl’s resting time,
that would have any pluck and worth in it?—

not admonition, or blame,
and not recrimination,
and not, I say, unholy weeping,
and not, for god’s sake, any bending of the knees

in the cold and rough grass
under its gold and glassy eyes
which, in such a conversation, you must imagine
turned upon you.

So I cannot improve upon the scene
as it happens:
my opportunity
and my stony silence

as death
rises up—
god’s bark-colored thumb—
and opens the sheath of its wings

and turns its hungry, hooked head
upon me, and away,
and softly,
lamp-eyed,

becomes the perfect, billowing instrument
as it glides
through the wind
like a knife.

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