passion

all i can think to say

this is the capture
and the crystallization
of a thought concept idea emotion
and all the talk around it
     illustration with words

the one thing
to brighten darken collect and sing
crisp the breath
the mind
emboldened to lay aside all reservation
     just before the now

deliver ye unto me
the fresh cut the distinctive taste
singular pleasure
texture on the tongue
raw volcanic sensation
remaining locked in a moment

     just before the now

no quarter given
relinquish our original
yield up to me the whole
and witness the transformation
from love to always
from made to right

     promise me the wine of undiluted delight

               and i am yours.

Courtney Weger Cantrell
July 2, 2015

In Which I Think My Navel Is Helpful

Hile, inklings!

If you’ve been paying attention (and I know you have, because that’s just the kind of sedulous inklings you are), you know that I generally post something on this blog every Tuesday and Thursday —

— and you’ll have noticed that I missed Thursday last week.

You’ll also have noticed that today is Wednesday. At least, it’s already/still Wednesday where I live.

Wednesday usually means no courtcan.com blogpost, except that today it does mean a courtcan.com blogpost.

“I’m explaining to you because you look nervous.”

(Odds bodkins, but I love that line.)

“That’s not the point!”
“So, what is the point?”
“The point is…the point is…I’ve forgotten the point.” (Love those ones, too.)

The point is, I’m blogging off-schedule, and I’m enjoying it, and I’m doing it today because I wanted to share links with you.

These links are to posts I’ve written for friend and colleague Aaron’s Pogue’s Unstressed Syllables. I want to share these particular ones here, because as I re-read them, I feel encouraged and enlivened.

Ha! That sounds awfully navel-gazer-ish. ; ) But I’m not talking about energizement based on my own writing. I’m talking about remembering how people and ponderings brightened a corner of my writing world. If there’s a chance such blogpost remembrances can brighten someone else’s corner, I don’t want to pass up an opportunity to share those remembrances here.

So. Here they are in random order:

1. What I Learned About Writing This Week…from Twitter, in which I showcase some favorite tweets that rally us all to be more passionate humans and bolder writers.

2. What I Learned About Writing This Week…from My Writers Tribe, in which, for the first time, I chronicle the pitfalls and possibilities of being around people who don’t think my writerly brain qualifies as mental ward material.

3. What I Learned About Writing This Week…from Getting Edited — oh, the horror? Just how bad is it for someone to spirit your baby (READ: novel) away and vivisect it?

4. What I Learned About Writing This Week…from Taking a Shower
Even writers have to get clean sometimes. (Yes, we must needs leave the house occasionally and be presentable so as not to frighten the children.) But what about the purification of the writer’s soul? Our spirits need uncluttering, too. How’s about a fresh start to everything?

5. What I Learned About Writing This Week…from Observation, Redux
Watch them when they don’t know you’re looking. It’s fascinating, and it will open your heart to the poignant beauty in everyone around you.

So click through, read, enjoy, ponder, commiserate, decry, invigorate, challenge, rejoice. Leave comments over there, or come back here and share your questions, comments, concerns, and cookies! I’d love to hear from you. : )

Have a cramazing day!

This Is Named “Rose,” Mr. Shakespeare

As many of you already know,
the husband and I recently moved into a cozy  
 

 
 

  

  

 
At the front of this  
  

  

  

 are several

 s.
 

  

  

  

 
And in one of these 
 

 s, to my utter delight and surprise,  

  

 
I have discovered a  

  

 

 It’s really nice to see such a beautiful little life flourishing in spite of the drought.

I am thankful. : )
 

  

  

 
P.S. Please forgive the iPhone photo washed-out-edness of the rose photo, as well as the unsightly purple in the house photo. We don’t really live in an encroaching purple fog; that was just my iPhone cover slipping inconveniently about. *sigh*

Who Am I?

I am your constant companion.
I am your greatest helper or your heaviest burden.
I will push you onward or drag you down to failure.

I am at your command.

Half of the tasks that you do, you might as well turn over to me, and I will do them quickly and correctly.
I am easily managed;

you must merely be firm with me.

Show me exactly how you want something done;
after a few lessons, I will do it automatically.
I am the servant of all great people
— and, alas, of all failures, as well.

Those who are great, I have made great.
Those who are failures, I have made failures.

I am not a machine, but I work with the precision of a machine plus the intelligence of a person.
You may run me for profit, or you may run me for ruin
— it makes no difference to me.

Take me, train me, be firm with me,
and I will lay the world at your feet.

Be easy with me, and I will destroy you.

Who am I?

I am called Habit.

Author Unknown

Be Honest — Was I Snoring?

 

Sweet inklings, I’ve found another bloggèd gem: Jennifer Brown’s post about owning our time and taking back the power we’ve given away. Jennifer talks about how we so often settle for “backseat driving” through life, instead of getting behind the wheel ourselves.

Instead of following our dreams, we content ourselves (however resentfully) with sitting back and watching others follow theirs.

We might tell the “dreamer,” “Hey! You’re not doing it right. You should be doing it this way.”

But actually do something about our own dreams?

Nah. Driving that car would be way too risky.

Jennifer’s post sparked the following comment from me:

Jennifer, I LOVE this metaphor! “Backseat dreaming” — I’d never thought of it that way, but it makes so much sense as a description of the mindset that keeps us from going after what we sincerely wish for!

I’m not sure I’ve been a backseat dreamer…but I have been a notorious passenger seat driver. Watching how the driver shifts gears, noting how early/late they brake, critiquing the use of turn signals.

Have I been a passenger seat dreamer?

I think so.

Not as much in recent years — but I know I’ve been guilty of watching others drive toward their dreams and, instead of driving toward my own, criticizing how others are doing it. I’m in the passenger seat: close enough to the action to seem like I’m a part of it, but not doing anything that would expose me to criticism.

No more! I’m getting vulnerable now, taking responsibility for my passions and following them.

It’s terrifying!

And liberating!

I wouldn’t have it any other way.

 

I Hope I Didn’t Snore

Finally, I am awake. I am following my dreams, pursuing my passions, and doing other hunter-stalker-like things in regard to what I’ve felt called to do my entire life.

Will I screw up? Sure. I’m likely to drive off the road a few times, because I am easily distractable, and I turn the steering wheel in whatever direction my eyes happen to go. (Yes, I’m one of those.)

But at least I have my hands on the wheel. I’m doing what I was created to do.

And I love this ride.
_____________________

So, dear reader.

Are you a backseat dreamer?

Are you more concerned with how others are pursuing their dreams than with pursuing your own?

Are you a passenger seat dreamer — close enough to seem like you’re in on the wild ride, but not actually making any choices that relate to your own passions?

What do you have to do to get in the driver’s seat?

Writer, Screw in the Light Bulb Already!

In last week’s post But What’s the Because?, I pondered writerly reasons for blogging or for sharing other types of writing with the world.

Apparently, ideas have turned all theme-y in my brain — because here I am, blogging about them again. This time, I’m drawing inspiration from Patrick Ross’s terrific post about Pulitzer Prize winner Michael Chabon.

Chabon says that ideas are like bright light bulbs filling room after room. The lights entice him to distraction. His challenge is to figure out which one is worth his time and energy.

My experience with these “light bulbs” is different. Here are some of the thoughts I shared when I commented on Patrick’s post:

For me, getting ideas is like wandering from room to room in a ginormous mansion. Sometimes, there’s a bright light that draws me to a particular room. I go in and follow that one light to wherever it leads me. When I’m finished in that room, I leave it and go on to the next bright light.

Some lights are dimmer than others — so I know not to enter those rooms until later (i.e. I put those ideas aside for the time being).

Sometimes, one of the rooms lacks a light. Illumination might spill from another doorway, just barely touching the threshold of the darkened room. But there’s no light burning in that room, so I know not to enter it…

…unless I’m feeling particularly adventuresome and want to challenge whatever might be lurking in the darkness. ; )

Challenge the darkness? Do I dare?

You better believe I do.

I’ve got all the tools I need in that dark room. The skills I’ve learned and practiced. The passion in being created to create. The love for my craft. The fellow creatives God has blessed my life with.

If there’s potential for the light of idea to dispel the darkness, then it’s worth it to me to stay in that dark room and coax the light into it.

I just have to remember who I am and who I was created to be.

Sometimes, all I have to do is screw in the light bulb.
____________________________________

How do you relate to Chabon’s light bulb metaphor?

What’s your greatest challenge in following the creative light?

What is the creative darkness you fear most?