Reflections in Inkstain

Posted: June 28, 2009 in pencil shavings
pen, paper, coffee, joy

pen, paper, coffee, joy


The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all your Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all your Tears wash out a Word of it

— Omar Khayyam

There is something profoundly satisfying about writing as a physical act; sunlit heavy paper and pen, fast ink and a hot coffee.  The act alone is transformative; lulling the brainwaves from beta into a hypnotic alpha state, where the mind opens and connects to its surroundings, its world, its possibilities.

The words, the result, don’t even matter to a writer half the time.  I’ve written book after book in this hypnotic state, not knowing what has occurred, not reading, not even caring.  Writing for me is a momentary act, a living ritual that draws me closer to the universal whole.

The caution of course is the suggestibility one enters in this state, of writing, and reading.  In the hypnotic state, new associations are 200 times more likely to take root, than the things we tell ourselves in our waking hours.  This implies a certain responsibility that writers have to their readers and to themselves – that each act, each passage, promote healthfulness, wholesomeness, discovery – instead of negative assumptions like self-blame, and excuse.

Clinical hypnotherapy has taught us something about the suggestibility of the mind, while spiritualism has taught about beauty and truth and classical interpretations.  Yet it exists at the individual level, the one experience, the artist continually defining and rediscovering oneself.

The value of art is in the experience; not in the business trend.  It is a sadistic irony that concern for industry deprives the art of its marketability; and unconcern for industry opens the mind to discovery, which is then directly of value.

Finally, the inspiration that comes from within is the more value.  Inspiration that comes from without often results in mediocrity and compromise, as well as frustration – because it is mundane, dishonest, and not inspired.

In business, you start with the customer, then build a product to fill their needs.  In art it’s the opposite – you start with discovery.  Make enough discoveries, like an iceberg, the ships will start to take notice – or fail to at their peril.

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