Being a writer, I’m always in search of metaphors. It’s a way to make sense of the world. To make sense of myself. When I was a librarian, I finally decided that the best metaphor for that point in my working life was spinning plates, like in a circus. I loved my years working in the library and it was never a dull moment, b ut it always felt like you had so many places spinning at once.
Once I embarked on a writing career, I began the hunt for another metaphor to explain my process. During my extensive reading about writing and writers, I came upon The Soul Tells a Story: Engaging Creativity with Spirituality in the Writing Life, by Vinita Hampton Wright. She described a well of memories that we all draw upon. That image really rang true to me for several reasons. A well refreshes and sustains us. Yet there are times when we drop the bucket down and it comes up empty. The well is dry. We have to get out into the world and do something to replenish it–make memories!
At the beginning of the year, I worked through Julie Hedlund’s Twelve Days of Christmas, to set writing goals for myself. I titled the end result My Wellness Blueprint for Writing and included a poem I wrote on the cover:
The Well What is worth remembering? A feeling of peace, being carefree, with the whole day stretching out before you. If you live long enough, you recapture the essence, though not the innocence of childhood. Once again, you bask in the luxury of each precious day. Now that I'm old, I dip the bucket down into a deep well of memories. Sometimes the rope has to be let all the way out. Even then, it often comes up empty. Other days, it takes both hands to raise it, as heavy as Peter's nets. Today was such a day. My heart aches, but it is full and overflowing.
Be well. Fill your well. Write well.