There are some forms of longing that live in my body like bees in a hive. It’s as though the hive’s entrance has been blocked and word is spreading that the Queen is dead. Everywhere honey is dripping from the walls and yet my longings keep my insides frenetically buzzing, too distracted to taste any sweetness.
To get the bees out of their hive, use fire and smoke. Touch the Shadow, delve into what you’d rather not say, allow your breath to rise up within you and do not reject what it creates. From this apparent chaos, a hidden nectar flows.
Sometimes the smoke comes from the fire of our anger at having been told we can’t write, or that our mind is unprepared, or that we should choose a vocation that pays the bills. Sometimes we’re mad at our children for needing so much of our time, or a partner who doesn’t understand our passion for the written word. This anger often drives our feelings swarming out of us into the open. The flight of our fury lets us know that we don’t have a ‘depressed’ body or soul after all, but that we’ve only been stopping our longing. Every writer, at some point in life, must admit that this yearning is a part of everyday life, indeed is the lifeblood itself, and that depression comes when we try to stop the flood, when we do not act, do not create.
I long to write words that will fly, out toward you like bees that cover our arms as together we scoop out the rich sweetness of what is said in the space between our words. I accept that I will never say all that must be said. I accept that I will be stung baldy one or twice, because nothing go great value is ever gained for free.
I am just a lot in love with John Lee’s book on writing from the body at the moment. So I felt the need to share this passage. And it raises some questions for me. What do I do about my own longings and desires? Do I allow them? Do I let them move me? Or do I listen to the voice of my Mum inside telling me all the time not to long, not to want, not to suffer, not to hunger? And more importantly have I allowed earlier thwartings and experiences of seeing others longings bring them unstuck or leave them drowning in a pool of tears to lead me to certain belief about longing, wanting, needing? Did I learn to abort my own true, deep longings long ago?
It seems to me that for a lot of the past years I have been living in denial or repression of most essential parts of myself and my being. I got to believe I was too, too much a long time ago. I was too passionate, my opinions were too strong, and I had strange ideas and the implication was that if I continued in this way I would be exiled and so I learned to exile myself from myself in many ways and to deny the life I really wanted to live. I got dumbed down too, in fear. Fear that others would respond to me in similar ways. But what I am learning is that not all people will hate or be threatened by this passionate side of me. Some people might even like it or admire it. And in any case to not follow my heart and desire and my longing and my passion is really not right. For I do believe it does lead to depression.
Anyway I love this book by John Lee and will share some more of it with you. He has some amazing poems in it. I only consider myself a mediocre poet however nothing compares to the joy I feel in reading a poem that speaks and resonates to my soul deeply. And I hope always to live a life of poetry in motion, lived in and through a body that is fully aweke, embodied and engaged. That I believe is what John Lee speaks to in his own books and writing.