the writing gap
About how I wrote those poems yesterday. Kind of left out a huge chunk of the process, which I call the yoga gap, but really you don’t have to do yoga to get the gap. You can do anything. Anne Tyler vacuums. Martha Beck rollerblades. Julia Cameron takes walks. Natalie Goldberg meditates.
I like to write first thing in the morning, and yesterday I tried writing my moon poem right after NASA impaled the moon crater. But it wasn’t happening. I got a couple of lines (5 to be exact) of prose. I updated my FB status. But that was it. No blog. No morning pages. No nothing.
I felt scattered and my energy was low, not to mention my mood, so I decided to give up on writing for the day and go to yoga class. Maybe there would be a moon poem in the future, and maybe not.
I was in such a hurry to get away from my writing room that I got to the studio early. I did ten minutes of meditation. Meditation isn’t hard. What you do is try to not think about anything, which is impossible, so then you just notice what you’re thinking about. Right as you start to notice how boring and repetitive your mind is, thoughts slow down.
This is one place I know for sure where gaps appear, but meditation is not for everyone. That’s why yoga was invented, so that people could have something to do rather than sit in the lotus position until their legs fell asleep. Yoga is like a moving meditation.
In yoga I focus not on mind but body. Mind comes into it a little bit, because mind never likes to let go, but there are longer gaps where all I do is try to hold the pose for one more breath. And even better gaps when I give up and collapse early into a resting pose.
Into these gaps yesterday, the poems, plus some other ideas that will help me complete this poetry project, appeared. I was surprised because neither of the poems had anything to do with NASA’s latest mission. But they both had the moon as a central image.
So yoga works for me, but I’m thinking anything physical and repetitive is good. For example, I still haven’t finished the second moon poem, and my house needs vacuuming.