I Write Because I can

It is the energy of positive feelings that generate inside me the patterns necessary to attract what I need and want from the universe.  I know it as the energy of well-being and it is my muse, my inspiration, my gut-born sensations out of which I know i am being as fully me as I am able to be in the moment.

Creative writing, pen & inking, water coloring are why I do my life  Along with aiming to be with my patients and my family and friends, creativity leads me back to my soul–my transcendental, phenomenological raison d’etait.

At least as far back as I can remember there is little that has captured my desire as throughly as sex, food and writing.  I think, in that order.  When I was first introduced to American Literature, I said immediately, “I want to be a writer.”  It is only in the last few years that i discovered that if I allowed my deeper spiritual nature to emerge, right behind it existed my inspired, divinely connected writing, creating self.

For nearly fifty years writing was an objective, egoic adventure.  it was almost entirely up-stream, self-critical labor of love–but, nonetheless labor.  It was a personal, entirely submerged, hard-to-crank out desire.  Writing and artistic endeavors in general escaped the blessing of my soul and emerged as a shy, intellectualized, somewhat nerdy enterprise.  And, when I did let it see the light of day it was painfully distributed in the most selective manner, preceded by and followed by an apology.  Yet, what remained highest on my “I Want” list was to be a writer.

Recently, I was talking with someone I had just met at a dinner party.  The conversation came around to spirituality & I found myself saying that I found it embarrassing to reveal my spiritual side to people.  I surprised myself because i was not aware that I felt that way.  Later in the evening after returning home, I revisited that phrase in my head and it occurred to me that the level and degree of concern that I had for my spiritual life equalled or parralled the same concern that I had for writing.

Julia Cameron, the hero of recovering artists, writes, “We should write because writing brings clarity and passion to the art of living.  Writing is sensual, experiential, grounding.  We should write because writing is good for the soul.  We should write because writing yields us a body of work, a felt path through the world we live in.”

It is a bright, leafless November the the very cusp of December.  It is one of those remarkable days when the stillness and the mid-day light create a mirror on the surface of the lake.  I think about a walk but something louder cries out from a deeper instinct–Write!

I am struck by this thought that i immediately fill my fountain pen with a new supply of jet-black ink and I grab for a journal pad that is always nearby and I begin to write without having the slightest idea what thoughts will emerge next.  I feel like a young child settling in, covered with a quilt and delightedly, eagerly waiting to be told a story.  I am comforted by the stillness of the day, comforted by the lack of want that plagued the more egoic side of me for most of my life.  Wow! Just think about this for a moment–Lack of want, this is a delicious state of oneness whereby the soul has captured your mood, your very spirit and you find yourself not thinking about tomorrow or yesterday.

Here we are, you and I in the quiet comfort of the moment, feeling warm, full, happy and grateful.  I have absolutely nothing to do but to sit here and write to you while you are sitting there reading what I have written.  We can slow down.  I can slow my hand and be more eloquent about the shape of my cursive letters, and you can slow down the pace of your reading.   The extra few minutes that it will take to read and to write will not really be missed.  We will not be saying at the end of life, “oh that dreadful sunday when I could have read so much faster, written so much faster.  We will not really be robbing these moments from another endeavor.  We can decide right now to abandon all sense of urgency and take in these words and make them our own.  Pause and add your own words to these thoughts.  Pick up my thought right here and bring it elsewhere than where I am going.  This is not grade school, not an exercise.  You can take these words and make them your own.  i do not own these words.  They are our words & we can savor each and every one of them.  You can decide right here, right now that urgency is the enemy of a creative life.

“Slow-down,”  I am telling myself and hear the sound of each letter as it forms the word, that makes the sentence that becomes a paragraph in this essay we are spending together.  After all, words are, if anything connective and my pleasure in writing is my fantasy that you are reading here in the moment with me–now.  We are being read to by a stream of consciousness, this meanderanding stream, this river-bed of soothing words making their way down stream, glistening  in the sunlight of this bright November day.

Last night before I went to bed, I finished reading, “sammy” a wonderful short story about a legally blind, hard of hearing man who discovers himself, late in life, moving to Morgantown, West Virginia. I followed sammy through his aging struggles to see, to hear, to walk, to climb and yes, even to pee, that horrible, forceless, dribble that reminds mostly men that times they are a changing.

I want to tell you about sammy because his words, last night became my words.  For a brief time I had moved in my mind to Morgantown and the small part of me that knew I was not him, for a moment, envied Sammy’s clarity and I felt the wetness of his tee-shirt as he struggled, in the heat of the day to find himself having arrived on the opposite side of town from which he was heading.

Do you know what I envied at that moment.  Not the sweat, not the struggle and certainly not the perils of aging–but the clarity.  Sammy had a clarity about the moment that made me want to slow down the pace at which I was reading his words.  Sammy made me want to savor his experience.  He had brought me along with him to Morgantown.

What a delightful treat, no worries about plagiarizing, no fear that I would not remember or recall details–just the simple pleasure of getting lost in a timeless fashion in his words, like i am helping you to get lost in my words, our words, our shared world of words for a brief second in time.  The day is still lingering, bernie cooked up a pot of greens and garlic and the aroma perfumes the house like a wood-fire on a cold winter night.

What started as a bright November day will soon turn into the short grey december days that are so New England.  And when that moment arrives it will hold the same unknown story that is emerging in this moment.  It is not as if we can run out of words or combining them into sentences that become thoughts that run-on into mornings and sunsets.  I write because I can.  I write because I deeply believe in my spiritual connection to you and to the divine.

I savor the very smell of words, the taste they leave on my pallet and the colors they leave in the images they create in my mind.  I write because it is God’s wish and mine that I remain connected to vitality and breath as long as I possibly can.  And as long as I remain deeply connected with the simple fact that, “in the beginning there was the word.”

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9 comments on “I Write Because I can

  1. Al,
    You write beautiful words and you paint beautiful paintings; however, this last painting seemed as tho’ it was about death and depressing when you still have life which is so very precious to us all. Therefore, with all your positive energy, paint a beautiful uplifting picture to inspire us all.

    • aldussault says:

      thank you for taking time to response–i appreciate all comments. I was wondering which painting you felt was depressing–was it the sun setting on a glorious day….was it the photo in the post or another….stay well al

  2. phebs says:

    Dear Al,
    I’ve always felt “shy, nerdy,,,” about writing.
    Knowing someone else does too makes me less of a dork.
    Thanks.

  3. Eric Yang says:

    A very engaging and absorbing piece – thank you so much for sharing.

  4. Ahhh, but death inspired art IS uplifting as Sunsets lead to Sunrises. It is all in the perspective. I personally find all of your pieces uplifting. Sometimes I like to write just so that I won’t forget something. Writing is another way of capturing the moment, like a photo or a painting.

  5. Collette Williams says:

    You said, “… Pause and add your own words to these thoughts. Pick up my thought right here and bring it elsewhere than where I am going…” I liked your thoughtful invitation to share words, fantasies, or whatever flowed into my mind after reading your words. What comes to me now – in this moment – is that I hear rain drops falling on the skylights above my head. It’s a dark, drismal, bone-chilling night that makes me oh-so-happy to be warm inside, wrapped up in Aunt Connie’s worn-soft, rose-patterened afghan that was gifted to me over 25 years ago. I remain dry and warm inside while our real Christmas tree is getting a good soaking out on the deck. … can’t wait to bring it inside tomorrow and breathe in the fresh woodsy fragrance of balsalm fir – the same cherished fragrance I associate with happy Christmases growing up in Maine. … Thanks for the invite Al – I didn’t know where your words would take me until I settled into the gift of now, in my cozy home.

  6. Collette just gave a textbook example of painting a picture through writing. It was as though I could hear the raindrops and smell the tree…wonderful!
    Some people find a blank page to be intimidating, I feel as if it is a launching pad to the wonders of the universe. In the beginning there was the word and in the end there will be only the word.Recently my friend Meghan admitted to me that she has been writing in notebooks since she was able to hold a pen. She will not allow anyone to read her notebooks, she writes only for herself. She writes because she can’t help herself. She took me into a room of her house which is stacked from floor to ceiling with notebooks full of her prose. I asked her what she writes about and she said that she has documented every day of her life from when she was a child. A room full of wonders. Maybe someday she will allow me to peruse the stacks but for now I respect her shyness. I can only imagine how good of a writer she has become through such practice. Writing is not how she earns her living. It is her art and hobby and I know exactly how she feels and I identify with her because I feel the same way about my photos and videos. Not to the point where I won’t show them, but I understand about doing for love of the art and not for money. I write because I can. She writes because she can’t not.

  7. Ellen says:

    I also feel embarrassed when attempting to discuss my spirituality with someone else. Perhaps it’s because I’m just beginning to tap into what that means for me. I don’t feel confident yet using words in an attempt to describe or understand my spirituality and share that with another individual.

    But I’m not embarrassed to say that through the words of my spiritual teachers, I’m beginning to feel my spirituality. And boy, does it feel good!

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