‘Who knows anyway what it is, that wild, silky part of ourselves without which no poem can live.’
This is the late poet Mary Oliver talking about the creative part of us that resembles a quivering deer in headlights. It can be vibrant, tangibly pulsating from someone, or painfully elusive, moribund – in desperate need of sustenance. Until recently, mine was neglected like this. Now, I’m feeding it again.
Mary talks about the necessity of making an appointment with this muse, this ‘part of the psyche… that works in concert with consciousness.’ If you give it this due, it will stop hiding. It will start to trust you again.
The creative part of ourselves and what it is capable of producing seems complex yet I know it’s the same thing that makes my toddler lift up a crayon and start scribbling swirls and crooked lines everywhere (usually on the walls). It is wild and silky, and it makes me think of that Dylan Thomas poem, too: The force that through the green fuse drives the flower.
The creative force within us all is phenomenal. It is Maya Angelou’s Phenomenal Woman, that ‘inner mystery’ inside us all. Each one of us is searching for it in every single thing we do, whether we are aware of it or not. The force that drives the flower through the stem is the creativity of life itself, the daily unfurling of the beautiful planet and all it gives us. We grow babies. We build. We plant. We design our lives.
To bring it down a notch – we choose socks. We wear nail polish. We arrange our toast a certain way on the plate.
What is it? Something big. Something wild. Something silky.