April 24, 2012

Creative Restlessness

I prize unstructured time. Unfettered, I go to and fro in my house and along my road and into the city, looking for what I can't name.  I am between projects, a place most delicious and terrifying because it awakens a yearning without cease.

In my house, I have been cooking risotto and making hand-made almond coconut macaroons. In my garden, I make way for the new by pulling out last year's dry branches, each handful crumbles and scatters a fine dust in the air that will be washed away by rain.  Underneath, I notice the new growth, soft and thick leaves of mint.  On the road this morning, I met the fox hunting.  I am hunting as well, although I don't know for what.  In the city, I wander, glancing in the side-yards and alleys and lanes.

I found this today, a poem called "Restlessness" by D.H. Lawrence*:
"I will escape from the hollow room, the box of light,
And be out in the bewildering darkness, which is always fecund, which might
Mate my hungry soul with a germ of its womb.
But oh, it is not enough, it is all no good.
There is something I want to feel in my running blood,
Something I want to touch; I must hold my face to the rain,
I must hold my face to the wind, and let it explain
Me its life as it hurries in secret."

Everywhere I go, I am looking.  It is the same restlessness that came upon me when my father died and I, suddenly preoccupied with real estate, searched and searched.  I thought I understood death. When I look back, I realize I looked for something that had to do with him.   Did I think I would find him -- he who had disappeared from the face of the earth?  No, but I did find some trace of something he had spoken.

It retrospect, I was searching for freedom, for a new language, for a place where I have not stood before but needed in order to see.  I generally look outward, but when it comes, it seems to come from within.

*read the full text of DH Lawrence's poem at