Write Anywhere Venues

Write Anywhere #22


Chartres cathedral labyrinth, France

The weekly Friday feature of Write Anywhere venues here on kristin nador writes anywhere has been a personal challenge as well as a challenge to my readers that we can discover the fuel for creativity anywhere. Whether you are a writer, a painter, a photographer, a musician, a seamstress, a crafter, a poet, a performer, or a creative of any type, you can energize your skills, abilities and inspirations by taking yourself out of the regular routine of life. Allow yourself to hear what’s going on deep in your brain cells and your spirit so it can be expressed through your creative pursuits. The beginning of a new year can be one of the best times to take stock of your creative goals and I found a very unusual place to seek my muse.

Write Anywhere #22: Labyrinth

The sun warmed the crisp winter air as I climbed up a small hill to The Labyrinth in Hunter Park. What’s a labyrinth you might ask? You mean that weird movie with David Bowie? No, labyrinths have been around since ancient times. They are intricate mazes or paths of different shapes that seems chaotic but have a distinct thread that will take you from the outside of the path to the inside. They have existed in many cultures with accompanying symbolic meanings, but there has been a resurgence of interest in labyrinths for spiritual meditation and stress-reduction in recent years. There is even a Labyrinth society where you can search for labyrinths in your local area.

Where will your creative path lead you this year?

This labyrinth is at the high point of the park where a basketball court once stood. The circular maze is painted on the concrete in bright city-curb yellow. The area was deserted; park visitors congregated at the more active areas of the park like the playground and the dog park below. Not as awe-inspiring as the one at the cathedral of Chartres, but inviting nonetheless. I felt a little silly as I started to follow the path, but I was determined to make this a productive experience.

I took slow measured steps, let the air fill my lungs and tried to empty my mind of all the usual clutter that vies for my attention. I felt a little disconcerted at having no media to consume: no breaking news, no Twitter feed, no email, no phone calls. That’s the signal that tells me I am in need of unplugging so I can concentrate on more important matters.

I thought a little, prayed a little, thought a little more. I can’t say I had some earth-shattering spiritual experience or got a thunderbolt of an idea for my writing, but it refreshed my body and my thought processes. When I sat at a nearby bench to write, the words flowed. Thoughts were expressed. Coincidentally (or not) it brought to mind a passage I had recently read:

“What is literature but the expression of  moods by the vehicle of symbol and incident? And are there not moods which need heaven, hell, purgatory, and faeryland for their expression, no less than this dilapidated earth? Nay, are there not moods which shall find no expression unless there be men who dare to mix heaven, hell, purgatory, and faeryland together, or even to set the heads of beasts to the bodies of men, or to thrust the souls of men into the heart of rocks? Let us go forth, the tellers of tales, and seize whatever prey the heart long for, and have no fear. Everything exists, everything is true, and the earth is only a little dust under our feet.” – W. B. Keats, The Celtic Twilight

Where did you write this week?

Question: Do you find you are more creative in quiet surroundings or do you need sound and action around you to create?

9 replies »

  1. I wrote in the usual places: my comfy chair, in bed, at work (but, shhhh, don’t tell my boss), at church (in a meeting room), and at the Gypsy. Nowhere near as cool as a labyrinth.

    Normally, I need peace and quiet to write. (Remember the annoying opera music that time at Borders or the people at VI?) If I am looking for inspiration, though, I like to change my surroundings. People and their conversations fuel my writing.

    I LOVE LOVE this blog, Kristin, and I am so happy to see you reaching so many people with your wit and wisdom.

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  2. I wrote following a meander in a labyrinth and was moved by the silence and stillness. Here is that blog: http://bit.ly/jT2m9p

    Sometimes this kind of silence is quite penetrating for me, almost too much. So often I am writing in places where there’s a bit of cover noise and activity–masking my own anxiety, perhaps? I have written often about needing silence but also having difficulty letting myself be in it. The labyrinth really offered a hint of structure (in its own way) to that silence.

    Judy Stone-Goldman
    The Reflective Writer
    http://www.thereflectivewriter.com
    Personal-Professional Balance Through Writing

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  3. Well, you may have gotten me just a little overly fascinated with labyrinths now.

    Sound is usually a booster for creativity for me, if it gets too quiet I often get antsy. But action distracts me very, very, very quickly.

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  4. How cool! I’m going to have to give this a try. And I’m very surprised to find that there are a few labyrinths close to me. Why have I never heard of them before? I definitely need peace and quiet to write. I’m much more productive without distractions. Thanks for sharing your experience, Kristin!

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  5. I love, love, love Yeats’ Celtic Twilight. I really need to re-read it, especially after this day. Thanks for reminding me of that, and for sharing the quote. It was needed. 🙂

    I had no idea we had labyrinths in town! Even if it is in an old basketball court. That’s pretty cool.

    Glad to hear you got some progress made, and can’t wait to see what you come up with. 😀

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