what sunshine can do, or how to ring a bell

i love my work. teaching, that is.

i love writing, too. the feeling of writing and writing well.

in class we have been talking of fulfillment, after reading Ibsen's A Doll's House. Nora with her secrets and her macaroons, also secret.

but most of us don't have to choose between fulfillment and family...we strive for both, in both.

and how our mistake is to believe like Faust that fulfillment will be the event of a moment that will then transcend time and carry us up and over the dirty dishes of daily life.

commercial success comes to mind. the call from the agent

rather, fulfillment in writing, for the artist, is like a bell that with a sound so sweet and deep and true like its made in our bones can be heard through the din of the creating. Its sound lasts a few moments and is gone.

but we ring it through the doing

in the making of the work

not the selling of it

There is a jungle on my kitchen table of maybe fifty baby plant starts...tomatoes and lettuce and cucumbers, none more than four inches high. They love the sun which has suddenly flashed out here after weeks of rain, making a grand entrance into spring instead of the usual gradual one. The starts have been growing without the sun, feeding off the light of it through the clouds, and the heat of the room, occasional spritzes of water.

I take them as my examples today.

Often we don't feel the fierce glow of our desire to create art. Often we don't feel the bright desire to set ourselves to the task that can ring the bell.

But we must take what light we can and keep growing in it.

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