|Leonid Osipovich Pasternak|
Listening is a huge part of writing. Being receptive. Noticing details as well as the wide sweep of something. Bowing to the emotions, considering ideas that do not, perhaps, come naturally to the writer. One needs to, wants to, sometimes cannot help but give attention to what one receives, hears, notices. Even if the attention given springs from disgust or boredom, these reactions must also be heeded because it is all grist for the proverbial mill.
When I listen to others who create, no matter their medium, I hear them express similar ideas about the need to go inside themselves, slow down, allow ideas and feelings to flow or charge or explode. This shared experience is an interesting and delightful aspect of creativity. It's an exciting, enthralling and sometimes quite scary process in which we participate.
I think that listening to the deep animal lovers felt familiar because it is so similar, maybe identical to, my experience of creativity and creative expression. Those who love animals (or babies or music or the soil or colour or the stars or…) are listeners and receivers. Noticers. Animal lovers create space for and are open to inner knowing and exploration. They respect that which they love, as do writers and painters, singers and dancers. This sort of love sometimes requires us to "get out of the way," as one friend said today of her time with animals.
And this is true for me when I am writing. I am a participant and a co-creator at the same time. As in any relationship, I sometimes have to just get out of the way and let the thing flow and be whatever it is. Then I come back into the process or unfolding and consciously shape and direct it, but – when it works the best – only in a way that shines the truest light on that character or story or scene, so that it can show itself. It is so difficult sometimes, and such a privilege, too.
So these conversations today have given me several hours of pleasure and opportunity and fun. I've learned some new perspectives on love and devotion. It has been thoroughly satisfying. Thanks very much to all those animal lovers and open listeners today.