Monday, May 15, 2017

On Warmth

Sarah Stickney

When thinking about the ideal state in which to write, I often remember something

 Andy Goldsworthy says in the documentary about his work, Rivers and Tides: he

 is talking about making ice sculpture and says, "when the work is going well, I'm

 warm." Though my own work is in words, not rocks and ice, I feel similarly. When

 I'm writing well my body feels loose, lively. My perpetually chilly toes warm up. My

 mind turns from cold solid to warm liquid, and my thoughts begin to resemble the

 young calves I can see in Rensing's pasture, lolloping happily across the new

 spring grass.

The usual demands of daily life tend to freeze the poetry body-and- mind. I assume it

 is a survival tactic; the imagination goes into hibernation so as not to be harmed by

 the grind, by those who don't or won't believe in it. But a mere ten days here have

 been enough to warm and wake mine.

One of the immediate effects I noticed about being at Rensing was that I began to

 indulge in future dreams and plans. I began thinking of other ways that I could

 make time for writing, other places I might go, possible projects and new directions.

 Experiencing the blossoming excitement that came with these dreams made me

 realize how I had accidentally, imperceptibly ceased to dream in the past months

 of traffic-bills- work- worry. I know my best work has been done in those times

 and places in which the broadest possibilities felt tangibly present, and Rensing

 has helped me find that place again.

Just as some kinds of dailiness can wear, others support and inspire. With every

 passing day here my mind is more intact, clearer, quieter. It is readier to receive

 and be a vessel. I am so grateful.

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