Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves like locked rooms or like books written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them...Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer. -Rainer Maria Rilke
For several years now, I’ve made a practice of sitting down to write each morning. I do this shortly after I wake up -before my walk and after my coffee-while the impressions of sleep still swirl in my subconscious mind. This morning writing is not for public consumption, will not appear in essays, or on any of the blogs, or even on Facebook or Twitter. These words are just for me, and they come from a place so deep inside that I couldn’t consciously find my way there.
More times than I can count, I have learned something new about myself during this writing time. There is some connection between my spirit and the pen, some alchemy that occurs when my hand starts moving across the page which causes truths to rise up from the hidden levels of my soul and appear in front of me on the page. It connects me with the deeper questions about what is “unsolved in my heart” and allows me the patience to observe them from different angles.
I come to this writing time with great anticipation, because it’s the one time of day I can sit with my own thoughts, the time of day I allow myself to dig deeply for thoughts and ideas and feelings. The paper and pen become my tools for excavation, sweeping across my mind for hidden nuggets of gold.
There is so little time for stillness in the everyday world. We itch to fill every second with stimulation or productivity, and modern technology certainly gives us ever opportunity to do just that.
Whether it’s the actual writing itself, or just the 30 minutes of quiet, I rely on that sacred time to help me unearth my most important feelings and thoughts, and bring them with all honesty to the page.
How about you? What does writing bring to light for you? How do you excavate your deepest thoughts and feelings from the safety of their burial place?