Every now and then I go through moments in my creative life that remind me a little of the cliché scene in a film of an old abandoned western town where the wind blows dry and gusty, swirling the dust up off the road as the tumble weeds come rolling by, one after another, making their way down the long road.
There’s nothing but silence—no life, no conversations, no folks walking into the saloon for drinks and a good time, no shootouts, no drama; it’s only the ravens circling, cawing, and the hot breeze blowing, the blistering sun high in the sky.
Sometimes there are brief spells in life that are arid, and feel void of excitement and flamboyant color, even when that excitement and color are the very things that are longed for.
But instead, the waters are still and like glass, with no ripples nor movement.
When the waters are still, they remind me to listen that much more intently, and invite me to peer into their glassy darkness…
Perhaps this is the time to quiet the soul, to rest and to let go; perhaps this is when one makes peace with not having much to offer in a particularly colorful or interesting way, because the creative soul just simply craves to sit in silence.
To take in…
To sit still until something organically moves the creative soul.
To breath in, to fill up, in order to replenish and then turn new experiences into something worth exhaling out into the world, worth sharing.
I cook, and I create recipes; but sometimes, nothing entices, plain and simple.
I write, but if my spiritual “screen” is temporarily not tuned in to seeing all the various forms of vibrancy, and capturing and holding onto them, then there is stillness and not much to offer, for the moment.
Even in my dry times, I am aware of the beauty and life that surrounds me, and I certainly do take pleasure in it; but as far as mixing it around within myself in order to spew it out in a new form, well… that’s the part that’s missing.
But that’s ok.
Having moments when I don’t have much to give is alright.
When these moments gently creep in and I feel this particular type of silence set in on my creative soul, I listen to it and try to decipher how to make the most of it.
Often, the still waters whisper to me that it’s time to slow things down a little bit, and take that step off those tracks that seem to go round and round.
Perhaps it’s a protective switch that gets tripped when it’s time to make some time for myself.
And just like the dry gusty wind in the abandoned western town that blows those tumbleweeds along, my “still waters” come and go, too…
When the waters are still, they remind me to listen that much more intently, and invite me to peer into their glassy darkness in order to see my own face reflected.
Even the water that ferociously flows in a river comes to a place where it becomes still sometimes; it all depends on the terrain it finds itself thrust into, and what is called for in that space and place.
When the waters are still, it is that much more important to lean in and listen, in the silence.
Taste what’s good and pass it on.