There have been days when the clouds build. They grow heavier throughout the day, piling up, and sagging low over the dry fields. Night falls, morning comes, and the clouds dissipate with nary a drop fallen. For weeks now, I have felt myself to be in a creative drought. Nothing seems to be flowing. Notions and ideas circulate, but fail to precipitate. It seems the conditions are not quite right. Critical mass has not been attained.
I understand that there is a time to gather. Raw material needs to be taken in. But it can’t be shipped in by the truckload, like a commodity. It needs to be found. It needs to be discovered where it is unlooked for. I am allowing myself to not look for inspiration. Somehow, I find it. I absorb it. Somewhere in the brain, images, phrases and notions are collecting, waiting for… something. A lightning strike or a sudden exothermic reaction. Or maybe just a gradual overfilling of the vessel, when the fluid finally crests the rim and spills over the side.
Yesterday I woke up disoriented. Dislocated. I didn’t know where I was. I had started the day in six different rooms over the past week. This time, I was home. But it took awhile to figure that out. Soon enough, I found my workday morning routine.
The highway was robed in fog. A think grey cloud lay heavily over the earth, rendering every shape indistinct, dreamlike, and mysterious. My vision was clouded, but my eyes were opened to wonder, and my thoughts strayed. I drove past my exit.
This evening, I attended an Ecuadorian cultural festival in small-town Wisconsin. I was honored to have been invited by a friend who hails form the Saraguro region of that country. Dozens of striking people in traditional garb talked, danced, and laughed. A magnificent bonfire was lit. Homemade beef soup was shared from the world’s largest cook pot. I enjoyed great conversation with some newly-met friends, and I found myself wishing I spoke better Spanish.
I love words. They are more fluid than they are given credit for. Every word is a creation. A dream. A mutable feast. Simply a series of squiggled lines, but imbued with the spirit of that which it seems to indicate. The meaning of a word is a shape in the fog. Sueño is “dream” en Español. It rolls over the tongue like broth. Sueño drifts over the landscape of the subconscious like the tilde ripples over the shore of a lower case “n.”
Va a llover. Sooner or later, it’s going to rain.