As per I was writing to a friend today, via email: these past few months, I was on a writerly roll. I wrote so many new poems, and they were great, and they seemed to roll off my pen and into my fingers to be transcribed onto my Mac with all the effortlessness of rain or breath. And I should have heeded the Ching's warning: that this was a powerful time for me, but it would only last for a spell. 

And so it did. And just like that, the seeds of inspiration that were shooting their lofty heads out of the enriched, fertile creative grounds have shot back inside it. And overhead, a dank cloud is hanging. 

This psychic state of blocked affairs is not hell, really. 

But much worse: it is Creative Limbo. Where my images, ideas, and thoughts have no direction or shape. They just flutter around inside my brain, the faces of little disjointed phrases with wings and no bodies.


And so, I am trying to accept this period. For any writer reading this, I am sure you are familiar with the nature of this neuroses. The problem with it lies therein it's erratic nature. This blockage could be for days, weeks, or months. Meantime, I have to stay mired in this psychological muck for however long it takes. And when I'm in it, by God, does it ever feel like an eternity. I'll read a passage or a book. Return to my favorite book of poems, The Last Nostalgia, by the late Joe Bolton, and mentally whereas just a week ago I felt voracious in my ability to write, now I read the stanzas and even the most bedazzling ones, the ones that before always zapped me out of my slump like a electroshock therapy, now, a gray, scummy film has accumulated over the shimmering brilliance of both my words and those of others. Indeed. It is hard to love a world when my deepest love, that of creating poetry, is temporarily dormant. 

Alas, how human. How innately naive of me to presume those amazing few months of constructing singing line after line, of waking with a purpose, to expel the stanzas trapped in my body would last. 

With nowhere else to go in this depressive state, I cast the Ching. I was astounded and relieved at the hexagram I received:

2) KUN-The Receptive

"This is a time to follow rather than lead. To assist rather than to initiate, to listen rather than talk....redevote yourself to the cultivation of modesty, receptivity, and gentleness, and let go of concerns about the conduct of others or the progress of your worldly ambitions (I'll be damned if it isn't referring to writing and publishing!).

This hexagram serves as a strong encouragement to concentrate on your capacities to nourish, to support, to accept, to work without desiring recognition, to follow the Sage. You can benefit greatly from a time spent in solitude."

Well, I'll be damned. Can't refute a fortune like that, can you? I told myself I would not sit in this room and blog self-indulgently about writer's block. But good God, it's either that or go crazy. Plus, I get a real charge out of feeling like there's an energy surrounding us that's bigger, that a book can contain when I feel like I've temporarily lost faith in even my favorite books of poetry, even Joe Bolton. That this energy can resuscitate, revive, feed us, clothe us. That it can make the gray flower of our brains blossom. That, to quote my dear and brilliant friend Gale Madyun, "The universe is in conspiracy with our best interest."

And indeed it is. I've got to remember that. And if you've forgotten, please, remember that now, whatever you're doing, wherever you are. The universe is in conspiracy with your best interest. If I felt better, just now, saying this, aloud and alone, then so will you.