Saturday, August 20, 2016

On Creativity and Belief

From my Morning Pages journal of January 29, 2001, I found this entry on creativity and belief:

"Peoples of the Earth XII"
…Big wind storm this morning, trees outside are really rocking, clouds are screaming across the sky. The branches that form the lady’s face in the tree outside are moving, making it look almost animated, as if she’s moving and talking, laughing. I could have a conversation with her this morning. “Good morning, Lady” I say. “Good morning, sweetheart” she replies. “I see it’s a windy day so you are able to move and speak with me.” “I can speak with you always. Just usually in the whisper of light breezes or hushed in soft air flows. Today I can sing and shout and you can notice that I am doing so.” “Yes, I can hear you way up here in my house. The sound of your laughter comes in through the door and through the skylight.”

“Tell me” I say “who are you?” “Why I am as you see me” she replies, “the Lady in the Tree is the name you give me and that is who I am, nothing more. I see you every day that you see me. If you don’t see me, then I don’t exist.” “You mean you exist only when I see you, the rest of the time you are not there?” “Right, the rest of the time, the thing that’s me is just branches on a tree. You see me, you give me life.” “Huh. Aren’t I powerful though! Like painting, I create you when I see you and that’s when you come to life.” “That’s right.”

"Peoples of the Earth IX"
“Well, this is interesting, having a conversation with a tree.  What should I ask you? What do you see up there?” “That’s two questions, which one do you want answered?” “How about: what do you see up there?” “I see the earth and sky, birds, flowers. I watch the neighbors come and go, I peak in your window and watch you write in that book, (and) when you look up I smile and wink.” “Aren’t you smiling and winking all the time?” “No, just when you look up. You can’t prove otherwise. When you look at the page, I only exist in your head.” “So I’m purposefully not look at you, I’m still talking to you and you’re still talking to me.” “I know. People would say you’re crazy or having delusions, having a conversation with a Tree Lady, whose face you won’t even look at right now.” “There, I peeked to see you laughing and nodding and smiling.” “Yes, I know, I saw you.”

“So what” Tree Lady says, “would you say to the accusation that you’re crazy having a conversation with a face you made up by seeing a space in some tree branches. You’ve even named me, given me a voice; you must be crazy!” “You and I both know the truth of this conversation” I say, laughing.  “I have three blank pages to fill every day and I don’t have great 3-page-long thoughts every day, so if it takes an imaginary (there! I admitted it!) conversation with a lady’s face I imagine I see in the tree branches (outside the window where I write) to fill up these lines, then, yah sure you betcha I’m gonna having a nice long chat with the Tree Lady.  Or with the pen. Or with the chair. Or with the coffee cup which announces ‘I’m 40 and damn proud of it!’ I only need to keep that cup another 28 years and it will be true. The cup will be 40. I hear the whistle of your laugh at the door, Tree Lady. I see your lips move and your eye wink. Belief is a powerful thing.”

I end this story with a quote by Mary Oliver from her poem 'The World I Live In' : 
"only if there are angels in your head will you ever, possibly, see one."