Unremembered wings

On February 20th 2011, I wrote in my notebook that I would have to take inspiration from Edisson and explore 1,000 ways of how not to make an image before I would know how to do it!  I didn't really know what blogging was, I hadn't used a Digital SLR before, I switched from PC to Mac overnight, I didn't know what twitter was, and I hadn't a clue what to write about!

Julia Cameron describes blocked creatives, as artists who have sublimated their true path and creative lives to pursue other work, often meeting the desires and needs of others. She says that creativity as a commodity is absorbed and exploited in every possible way, and that the creatives at the heart of this are often unaware of it, feeling guilty anytime their own creative urges arise.

The on-line open journaling process, that is blogging, has reminded me again of my "unremembered wings" and over that year I have felt the soaring pleasure of it. This poem to me is such a perfect capture in words of what happens in the pursuit of the creative path.

I didn't know what to say, my mouth
could not speak,
my eyes could not see
and something ignited in my soul,
fever or unremembered wings
and I went my own way,
deciphering the burning fire
and I wrote the first bare line,
bare, without substance, pure
pure wisdom
of one who knows nothing,
and suddenly I saw
the heavens
unfastened and open.

Pablo Neruda translated by David Whyte

If you are beginning blogging or any creative endeavour, a good place to start is not knowing. As Neruda says there is a pure foolishness and pure wisdom in one who knows nothing. The excitement is in "deciphering the burning fire."

And just in case there is any confusion, the liberation of "not knowing" mercifully continues almost a year later!


  1. What a lovely poem! I too find this blogging thing a creative sensation - it's wonderful to go out and about with a camera and to capture a moment in time! Lovely photos again today!

  2. The soaring pleasure ...I loved your description; I agree with your sentiments and Pablo's poem is sublime.

    I have posted a pic of a bird today too but I don't know what breed it is.

  3. I hear you on that one. Lots of not knowing still, but I'm learning and loving it all:)

  4. Podoba mi się Twój opis i zgadzam się z nim :-)i zdjęcie ptaków też. Pozdrawiam. *** I like your description and I agree with him :-) and photos of birds too. Yours.

  5. Ah I think you have come so far in a year...photos that are magical and your prose that makes me ponder life...you may think you do not know but I believe you do...you most certainly do!! I agree with the poem...I still am on a journey not knowing what will happen...

  6. So beautifully said...the beauty of not knowing is that "knowing" doesn't get in the way of the creative process! One of my favorite parts of blogging is the fluidity of the medium and how its face changes depending on our creative spirit of the moment. Such a pleasure stopping by today; I enjoyed thinking through this with you :)

  7. I just left another comment on your 'a bit about me' page, wishing you a Happy blogging Anniversary (that almost makes it sound like a swear word :-/). This post and your description of your wings, along with the Pablo Neruda poem, perfectly sums up the essence of the personal creative process and how we can get lost in life's labours.

    I came across a poem recently, entitled "Lost". It was written by David Wagoner and, funnily enough, brought to my attention by an interview with David Whyte. Somehow, it perfectly captures the essence of this aspect of our lives and, somehow, dovetails nicely with your 'Unremembered Wings'. The link is here: http://www.panhala.net/Archive/Lost.html Hope you enjoy.

  8. The poem is beautiful... When it comes to being creative, we need to go with the inspiration, plunge into the unknown and see where it takes us.

  9. For me, writing is discovering. I learn by writing. I figure stuff out by writing. Thank you for contributing to this space where we try to figure it out.

  10. It's my first visit. Happy Blogiversary! I found you from Women Who Run and followed the link. I'm a fan of Neruda as well. Lovely post.

  11. Wonderful post, thanks for introducing me to this. My creativity is I am often tripped up or hamstrung by doubts, this can be another arrow in my quiver to arm me in the battle to create:)

  12. Wishing you a very happy almost first blogaversary! Blogging becomes an addictive knack, but not a habit. It is always changing, we learn a new technique, and the circle we share with is fluid like a flock of birds. The flock is indisputably there, but THAT bird has just arrived!

  13. Lovely post. I was especially intrigued by Julia Cameron's description of blocked creatives - could apply to me! Happy blog anniversary!

  14. Beautiful photos, and I can so identify with your message. I think there are many blocked creatives out there. I had never read a blog before I started my own! What a learning process it has been, now over two years later! I still find myself learning on a need to know basis. My computer expert son just shakes his head and nudges me forward into the world of technology. But blogging has realized some of my creative energy and literally opened my eyes to the WORLD of gardening.

  15. I didn't know anything when I started either and just gradually learned how to do various things - other bloggers were brilliant about helping me when I got stuck with the technical side of things. I've never actually thought of blogging as being creative - it's not a word I'd apply to myself. It's just a way of creating a record of places and events that I can look back on as an illustrated journal. The one thing it has done is to make me look at things properly - I see so much more than I used to these days.

  16. What a beautiful post, and images! I love your blog! Happy blogaversary!

  17. Beautiful title, exquisite images and wonderful sentiments. Truly lovely. Neruda's poem is perfect, as you point out. Wishing you a creative weekend! – g

  18. I love the simplicity here of the birds in the trees. Very nice! Good words too.

  19. Neruda is my favourite poet - what a lovely post - thank you