Friday, 25 April 2014

I would swim more rivers

Last time I came to Ty Newydd two years ago, I packed my swimsuit but never swam. This time I promised myself I would, even though it is April this time and not June. I was going to do it yesterday when the sun was scorching but I got absorbed in my writing and vowed to swim today. And today it was grey and rainy. But I knew I couldn't live with myself if I didn't go. So I did. I swam in the sea on the North Welsh coast in April in the rain and it was glorious, freezing, but glorious.

As a writer to say that something takes your breath away is a cliche and really, how often does that happen? But, diving into the sea in April really will snatch your breath and invigorate your senses and free your mind. I'm going to do it more often :)

I have had a wonderful week here on the NAWE and Lapidus retreat. I always do. I have sent off one novel and started another, written loads of poems and chatted with fascinating women (apologies to the men but they just weren't so cool). And, just now, I found this stone on my windowsill.

We did one writing exercise about why we write and the piece I wrote seemed to resonate with the women here. So I'll share it with you and maybe it will mean something to someone else. And it features those daisies again.

Why do I write?

I write because what else is there but the flow of ink on paper?
Because, sitting here with this pen in my hand,
hearing the pens of neighbours pouring forth, I feel at home.
I feel whole. I feel this is where I belong.
And sometimes, all of life feels a distraction from this motion
of pen on paper, of fingers on keyboard.

I write to give voice to the secrets of my heart,
to be voluble and free like a babbling brook flowing
out into the endless ocean.
I write to heal, to hear, to be understood.
Maybe I write to be loved.

I write to explore, to travel, to wander and wonder
into the places that others can't reach,
that others fear to go.
I write to jump naked into the abysss, knowing that words
will catch me.

You say my life has been interesting,
Yes, I say, but not happy.
I follow the interest and it leads me to places a wiser person would not go.
But it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.
Better to say it, do it, live it, than regret it.
Better to pick daisies while we still can.

And maybe happiness is not something to strive for.
Maybe interesting is enough. 
Maybe life provides the spark, the food, the material.
And writing is my joy.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, that is very similar to how I feel about my life and about writing.