Friday, November 14, 2008

On Writing Poetry (or Lyrics or the Poetic) - another'n from the notebook

The heart is a massive, powerful beast awakening, gathering strength, on occasion striking, charging, goring, thundering, bellowing, thrashing.

The mind rides atop the heart-beast with swiftness, agility, prowess, cunning, whipchord intelligence, adept reflexes, sparkling cerebral laughter, grim-wit and sharp-wit and wise-wit, keenness and determination (and pride and vanity). The mind's purely intellectual thrill and mirth tingle atop the beast-heart, agitating its spiritual animality (only rarely does the beast laugh, and then it is belly and soul and pure delightful pain emotion and terror and the mind-rider's cackles are completely overwhelmed by the psychic noise of it) - the mind dares to leap upon this vast unwieldy brute and seek to direct its awesome power to the mind's own ends (foolish and impetuous but joyous and on rare occasion, successful).

This is my honest attempt at explicating the phenomenon from my own experience. Yeah, it's subjective, but...

from my notebook Aug 2008

Tom Waits is playing (a slow one) across the hall in the lounge. (It's not a long distance, but it's so gratifying to be able to say 'across the hall' in another room after the rather more cramped atmosphere of our last house, from which we moved only recenlty.) BBC Radio Four is playing (also across the hall, diagonally) in the kitchen where Andie is working at various things. I'm in my study (finally! after so long having an 'office' in our bedroom) reading a pop level Donald Guthrie commentary on Ephesians. It's a 70s paperback, pages falling out, with an obnoxious red and yellow cover featuring a soul-destroyingly ugly photo of an open Bible with a rainbow superimposed to end upon its pages. But I wasn't even noticing that. I was noticing the pleasing symmetry of the approaching hour of 11:00, the children several hours in their beds, Waits and the BBC presenters competing for aural attention, blending rather well, and Guthrie's expert terse comments under my mind's perusal.

I'm tired, in more ways than one. I have several diverse anxieties pulling at my heart. I am experiencing my frequent malaise in the face of a number of upcoming writing/preaching projects, notwithstanding the thrill it gives me to be privileged to be part of the them, and the pleasing prospect it is to have good work before one to start chipping away at, shaping it up toward an at least presentable, if not finished, product.

Despite these vaguely dubious feelings, the afforementioned scene describes one of the truly fine moments in life. And there's Radio 4 announcing the hour. We have to try to wind down toward sleep now. Waits has moved through some of his amusing burlesques and is now driving home a solid, Western, forward-moving stomp. That's not wind-down music. Well, fine human scenes can't always fade out as smoothly as they emerge.