The Prompter Room

For Wednesday, April 6, 2016:

 

” … If we don’t allow ourselves to write in metaphor, there are doors inside ourselves that we may never be able to open.”

Pat Schneider, HOW THE LIGHT GETS IN: WRITING AS A SPIRITUAL PRACTICE

Because no words were coming to me this morning, I turned to one of my beloved sources for inspiration.  I wrote about this book in a much earlier post – well before The Prompter Room started – so maybe it’s time to write about it again.  Perhaps someone new needs to know about it.

 My best friend gave me Pat Schneider’s How the Light Gets In (Oxford University Press 2013) for my birthday a couple of years ago, and it’s one of the best gifts anyone has ever given me.  (Thank you, Chris!)  I keep this gem beside me in my little writing corner and have reached for it countless times.  I keep it so close because it’s become as good and dear a friend as the one who thought of me from the generosity of her heart and soul.

Founder of the Amherst Writers and Artists workshop process, Schneider reflects on the relationship between writing and spirituality and the practice of prayer – ‘there are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground,’ she reminds us through Rumi – in this memoir-length meditation.

If there is an over-arching theme here, it is ‘mystery,’ so there are few answers as she kneels and goes deep into the well.  Some of Schneider’s published and previously-unpublished poetry graces each chapter, however, and the words of other poets, writers, and spiritual seekers expand her own questions and reflections.  Thus we are the recipients of a collective of insight, comfort, encouragement, and wisdom.

Schneider’s final poem, ‘Blessing For a Writer,’ is a light on our path:

” … May you study your craft as you would study/a new friend or a long time, much-loved lover./And all the while, lost though you may be in the forest,/drop your own words on the path like pebbles//and write your way home.” 

That’s how we enter into the mystery.

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