Saturday, November 23, 2013

Writing and trance

 al·che·my[al-kuh-mee] noun, plural al·che·mies

a form of chemistry and speculative philosophy practiced in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance and concerned principally with discovering methods for transmuting baser metals into gold and with finding a universal solvent and an elixir of life.
any magical power or process of transmuting a common substance, usually of little value, into a substance of great value.
Distillation is a process I think I've identified as the unifying factor in prose or poetry I wish I'd written.  It is alchemy, as described in either definition 1 or 2 above.  It is a writer finding the one thing, the thread, the particle, the essence of anything and running while it streams behind like a heraldic banner.

The dream of evolving as a writer, finding how to be a better writer, seems to require ecstatic dancing or any act that induces an altered state of consciousness.  The gears need to disengage so as not to grind fragile associations into dust.  Dream-thought, symbols and substitutes,  elusive in ordinary reality, need the air generated by trance to come alive. 


Anonymous said...

*nods and nods*

When I took up the Nanowrimo challenge, I found it required even more hours living in an imaginary world, in order to write about it.
Love to dance, anyway..

Marylinn Kelly said...

Denise - NaNoWriMo is a serious challenge, especially if one wants the writing to make sense and present a more or less seamless piece of work. Having done it devoutly once and having a piece of fiction that wanders and grows in a helpless fashion in my word file, I know about maintaining residence in an imaginary world, but then, that's true regardless. Wishing you a happily altered state, xo

T. said...

"Dream-thought, symbols and substitutes, elusive in ordinary reality, need the air generated by trance to come alive."

You nailed it, Marylinn.

And so much the pity when the trance comes at the wrong time — while driving, when at work, etc., when what one needs to really do is drop everything and attend to the muse.

Marylinn Kelly said...

T. - Thank you. And this is why they invented small notebooks, the backs of unopened envelopes, pens that always work, and the eye-rolling response of others to writerly ways, as long as we don't block traffic. Oh, and learning to read our nearly-illegible handwriting. xo