I fill the well by being alone. Glorious, spacious solitude.
The well is the store of creativity, the depths of which I like to plumb on a fairly regular schedule.
Sometimes I over-plumb. I scoop all the way to the bottom of the vessel and reach stone. Unyielding. “Nope,” it says. I’m sure you’ve been there.
I fill the well with the lovely.
It’s a concept I keep coming back to. It’s hope, it’s optimism, it’s generosity, it’s humility, it’s attention to detail, it’s genuine curiosity, it’s getting lost in the experience.
It’s the very opposite of ‘hardcore’. It’s not ‘lean in’. Competition and comparison are anathema to its all-encompassing experience of we’re-all-in-this-together.
Sometimes I lose sight of the lovely, and I forget to actively look and seek it out. The well runs dry.
I fill the well with delight and surprise and awe and wonder.
I notice ingenuity and revel in it. I seek out unusual insights and new ways of seeing the everyday. I look for the writings and other works of those who, like me, experience life-in-place on a greater timescale, not just the here-and-now, or the next week or previous month. What about 500 years from now? 10,000?
The utter relief of realising the inconsequential spec of existence that is my life gives me a wonderful sense of freedom that I wish I could hang on to everyday. Maybe you’ve felt that too?
This is how I fill the well.
The night before last it snowed up here on the hill. I LOVE snow.
I saw it out of the corner of my eye through the window. I didn’t believe it so I avoided looking almost subconsciously (it was early – dark out and I was still half asleep) so I wouldn’t have to see the reality that I had imagined – that it was just a little frost; I didn’t want that disappointment, I wanted to keep suspending disbelief. I hung on to that childhood feeling of snow whilst I made my first hot drink of the day:
snow-day, stay-at-home, cosy freedom from the schedule…
It was only later on when John said, “hey, it snowed!” (cos he knows I love it) that I looked outside properly. Silly me.
But again: well filled up. It was a good day of composition, that day.