I wish to be with those who know secret things, or else alone.
~Rainer Maria Rilke
We are at odds. Writing is not an act of seclusion, it is an act of reaching out, of embracing, challenging, or calling forth. It is an outward act which requires silence and seclusion, but then calls to the world it meets, embracing it and welcoming it in. […]
I’m grateful for the demands of my life, there is less time to write, more time to feel and know the world around me. Ora et Labora, the blessings of balance. It is what the Romantic’s lack, balance, aching muscles, roots, and the soothing resistance of bread dough. Not everyone is suited to physical labor, but the presence of mundane tasks is an essential to creative wholeness.
If the writer takes up his own voice as he works, though—if he has any compassion, any empathy, any truth in him, he’ll find that he’s spoken for others as well as for himself.
For a long while, I sat and read and pondered and stared. I was wondering how to answer—how to explain that, at the very least, saying solitude is a communal act and silence is terribly vocal may be on some essential level true, it doesn’t make it any easier.
Then I realised that everything I have to say on this subject, I’ve already said in a story called “Ragabone.” You can read it here.
And that’s all I have to say.