Sunday, 26 September 2010

Things That Happen (6)

I could go on through my twenties and my early thirties and talk about the things that happened, but for the most part, my spiritual journey simply became the accumulation of information, rather, the absorbing of it, like a body of a hibernating animal storing up fat and energy for the long winter, or a tree’s leaves absorbing the light and sunshine of the day for the cool evening.

Around 2002, after a few barren years of writing, and in the throes of a stumbling marriage, I began to reach for the pen again. Odd, because I was becoming very comfortable with my move from a desktop computer to a laptop, and I had committed myself to writing and completing my novel, Trees. I knew Trees had a deep personal and spiritual meaning to me, and that it was as much my own renewed journey, as it was the novel’s main character, Carlos. I struggled for a while to work directly on the laptop, and soon found myself scribbling away with a pen in journals and kid’s copy books I found around the house.

When it comes to writing fiction, the hand, the pen, the ink, the page, is the most honest and powerful mirror on the soul a writer can have. I had no idea what I was re-awakening, or what was about to reveal itself to me. But I’m glad what happened, happened. I would not be who I am today without it and the better for it.

I first came upon automatic writing while reading a lot of surrealist authors like Andre Breton when I was younger, though, I had never considered the practice as an actual method of creative output. (Hubert A Silaa, actually gives his own view on this here - something I happened to stumble on this evening while writing this piece) For a short time, I did experiment with ‘cut up writing’ after reading some essays on William S. Burroughs and other experimental novelists. I am also a little uncomfortable with such labels and the movements and connotations they seem to force upon the interpretation of a work which should always stand on its own two feet. How dare I associate my own experience of writing with a process of writing both maligned and celebrated?

In part seven of this series ‘Things That Happen’, I’d like to talk about my own experiences and what did happen.


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