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overcoming writer's block - crumpled paper on ...

Here we are 3/4 of the way through the year of postaday2011 and I’m hit with a severe case of writers’ block. The conventional wisdom is that you sit down and write anyway, even if it is about nothing. Apparently the discipline of so acting is supposed to “release the cork” and wonderfully creative prose gushes forth.

This reminds me of the teachings of the desert abbas ans ammas of 4th century Egypt. They taught the throngs how to pray when praying seemed impossible. Christianity had become fat, lazy and prosperous when made the official religion of empire. Desert spirituality was the backlash, unleashing ascetic disciplines in contemplation and fasting. Sitting in silence for days on end yielded an earthy wisdom that brought heaven to earth in the form of great compassion and generosity of spirit. Ennui and accidie were often among the first obstacles encountered by those who sought to emulate this path – I guess it was a kind of “writer’s block” for those seeking to come to grips with an inner journey that would yield a deeper and richer engagement with everyday living. From these times emerged the first Christian monasteries and the beginning of a legacy of art and learning.

So blockage of any kind offers an invitation to confront and wrestle it until something begins to flow. And now, it seems, I’m done!