With our complex lives, sometimes there is only a tiny space to write, when inspiration insists. Here is a poem that came through that space one day. Poem 13, “The Crack Between,” from Thrown Again into the Frazzle Machine: Poems of Grace, Hope, and Healing: https://youtu.be/35taG1fpLOo
When I first started writing my poetic journal 21 years ago, I had spiral notebooks stashed everywhere, so whenever a poem came to me I could write it down. I would even jump back out of bed at night…multiple times. I was intoxicated by the creative impulse. I knew if I waited, those specific compelling words would vanish and that poem would be gone.
After a point I realized I had to have some balance. I needed sleep, I had to pay attention driving, I had other responsibilities to myself and to family and friends. And so I made a decision to limit writing time (with a few exceptions). I don’t sit at my desk and spend a designated amount of hours each day. I write poems wherever I am when words come to me that intrigue, that seem to be leading to somewhere interesting. (Unlike ordinary thoughts, the opening lines of a poem seem “highlighted” in some way.) I still have notebooks in several places, but fewer. I rarely jump up from bed at night, though a poem may come out of a dream upon waking.
I consider these poems a divine gift, a sacred trust. And if I write something for someone, I try my best to get it to them. I hear the words and that is how I write them on the page, so that you can “hear” them too.
How do you find balance in your life between the inner and outer demands?