Return To The Well
I love to see evidence that supports what I already know. I’ll be watching some documentary and there are two electrons that were once linked and now separated by a vast distance, responding to one another as if still connected; here is a scientist saying that the body, specifically the heart, provides far, far more information to the brain than the brain provides to the body. Why, here is science itself saying we’re all connected, and that mere thoughts of love and compassion are good for us while thoughts of anger and envy are bad for us. Yet even this lovely evidence leaves me feeling mildly insecure. It reminds me, in fact, of reading good reviews of my book. It is so nice to know that what was of value to me in the writing is now of value to someone else in the reading. But to say that I need those good reviews to know that what I wished to share had value is like saying I need science to tell me it is better to think about love than violence.
I could not have written something of value unless I had first rested within the value of that which I wanted to share. It is only within that resting, which has no evidence other than itself, that the sharing can occur. So too with my own existence. I do not need anyone else to prove to me that love is more important than food and shelter. Just as with what I write, I must know the truth of life for myself, must be able to rest within that knowledge for myself, as myself, to be able to live from it. The evidence, no matter how compelling, still exists outside of me, and by the laws of the funhouse mirror that is the world my eyes perceive, this same evidence will eventually betray me as I turn to it for a safety it cannot provide.
Live in the world you already know. That world is you. To know life fully, from the stars to the oceans, you need only know yourself. Turn in moments of fear to the well from which your stories emerge. It is the very same well from which you emerged and to which you will one day return.
Write Within Yourself: An Author's Companion. "A book to keep nearby whenever your writer's spirit needs feeding." Deb Caletti.