by Raymond Alexander Kukkee
“It has special meaning, for it suggests and proves that imperfection can lead to exotic beauty and perfection that is unique.”
Where do YOU write? Is your ‘writing space’ only for writing, not to be used for any other purpose? Do you allow, or abhor visitors, disturbances, or distractions? Is that writing area a sanctuary of the muse? I have my own way of looking at the writing sanctuary.
How is YOUR writing sanctuary?
It seems to me the sanctity of a writer’s work area is only as good as the sanctity of the mind that is working within that area.
Clutter, old books, wonky handmade ceramic mugs full of pointy 4B pencils that are too soft to write anything without smudging, and 14 -year-old road maps with cracks where the folds are– don’t phase me.
Plants that need watering, broken rolling card indexes with dusty plastic covers, a set of orange ceramic ducks, golden pups– which were old Christmas presents. Old, broken, dysfunctional printers –none of these things actually detract from the process or stop one from writing, they merely influence a mind seeking distraction and encourage the manufacture of excuses and complaining .
That process draws much energy ; energy that could be spent writing peacefully, creatively, and thoughtfully. Avoidance of creative work at all costs is easier with distracting stuff to complain about. Visitors to my writer’s work area fall in the same category. Just a distraction, but not a refraction or deletion of viewpoint. I’ll explain why.
I’ve always thought it would be a good idea to be much neater and better organized in my writing nook than I am, and I can even see the benefit of doing so, if that rule was included in the first chapter of “Limitations of Creativity and How to Avoid Them”, seventh edition. If that book was to exist, that is…perhaps I should write it.
I could even be persuaded to go along with that. Straighten up the place, water the plants, throw out the ceramic ducks. Put locks on the inside of the doors, or perhaps in some cases, they would be better placed on the outside after you get in there. Ding-ding-ding-ding...Well, okay, I’ll admit that’s a digression, a red herring, bait for anyone paying attention . Comparative data is available. Never mind that for now.
Some people need to be sanctified. I hereby declare that from now on, it is important to be holy and free of clutter in your work space, but leave mine alone. Tell you what. You can sit silently and gaze at your barren walls and blank sheet of paper alone, with no extra, interesting stuff to look at, and you may even find yourself free and unburdened by the presence of other people visiting and watching every word you write, —if you choose to be an island .
If it works for you, do it. It won’t work for me.
I think it may be more important to simply discard you own personal baggage of the mind; the worry, thoughts of taxes, doom, high gasoline prices, weeds in the garden, bad weather, and aching feet. The sanctity of anything evaporates pretty quickly when you are worried to death or in pain, so here’s a hint, practice gloom if you insist, but try merriment sometime. You might like it, as you you sit nice and sanctified in your cubbyhole, office, or a dark hole in the ground with a Tootsie pop clamped tightly between your teeth, muttering about how to spell “sanctity” and make the next payment on the laptop.
Where you choose to write, and how you choose to write, is quite a personal issue. How you choose to feel about it is also personal. If it’s on a two-thousand dollar laptop you can’t really afford while being paid pennies per day, there’s a forum on reality right next to the forum on the sanctity of writing space you should look at.
By the way, they’re talking about scrapping the penny, yet again, what then? Will they have to pay us in nickels? I can see it now, I may even be able to move up to HB pencils. Let’s go all the way and get 2H. Whoa, yet another distraction. See what happens?
On the wall in my writing space I have a broken clock that works. I call it “Time is Broken’. I made it. It is a stoneware ceramic plate with a lot of fancy little clock parts. It is a deep-dished, unglazed reddish stoneware piece almost reminiscent of Bizen ware, a famous type of Japanese pottery. The clock has a huge crack in it that extends from the rim between three o’clock and four o’clock, then makes a sharp turn toward the middle where the clock mechanism appears. It was supposed to be a Bonsai pot originally, that’s why there was a hole in the middle, but now it has golden hands growing there- and large numbers to make it easier to read with tired, burned-out computer vision.
I did not break it, I did not cause the crack when I took it out of the ceramic kiln, it cracked all by itself later from stress, -in the clay, that is, –within the sanctity of my work area. It has special meaning, for it suggests and proves that imperfection can lead to exotic beauty and perfection that is unique.
Coincidentally, it also has shadows on it, as genuine Bizen ware does; that would be from my foolishly piling test ceramic blocks on it when it was being fired, of course, a slight error in judgment and procedure. A mistake. The point is, it now has shadows. Interesting shadows. Magic depositions of influence. Shadows that influence the sanctity of my writing work area.
People that visit my writing sanctuary are like those shadows. They inspire, make designs on the essence of the soul, and yes, they do change my work at times.
“Ah!”, you say, ” “so people and things plunked in your work place do bother you!”
Yes, but the functional imperfection resulting also inspires and promotes perfection, for it allows me to be imperfect and happy while I practice to become better. It takes work and inspiration and happiness; it takes peace and contentment and shadows. Knowing yourself is one of the greatest assets a writer can have. An imperfect sanctity, an imperfect sanctuary.
Now there’s the point. The reality of a sanctuary–of a writer’s work area –is all in the mind.
Is that Incoming I hear?