Daydreams and Spells
On friendship

Feeding the lake

Dawn mist on Meldon Hill

"When I write something I usually think it is very important and that I am a very fine writer. I think this happens to everyone. But there is one corner of my mind in which I know very well what I am, which is a small, a very small writer. I swear I know it. But that doesn't matter much to me. Only, I don't want to think about names: I can see that if I am asked 'a small writer like who?' it would sadden me to think of the names of other small writers. I prefer to think that no one has ever been like me, however small, however much a mosquito or a flea of a writer I may be. The important thing is to be convinced that this really is your vocation, your profession, something you will do all your life."  - Natalia Ginzburg (The Little Virtues)

“If the work comes to the artist and says, 'Here I am, serve me,' then the job of the artist, great or small, is to serve. The amount of the artist's talent is not what it is about. Jean Rhys said to an interviewer in the Paris Review, 'Listen to me. All of writing is a huge lake. There are great rivers that feed the lake, like Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky. And there are mere trickles, like Jean Rhys. All that matters is feeding the lake. I don't matter. The lake matters. You must keep feeding the lake.' "  - Madeleine L'Engle (Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art)

Dawn mist over Meldon HillPhotographs: The view from the studio at dawn.


My anxiety is that I might just be a puddle that simply evaporates and never gets anywhere near the lake!

But then you could become a cloud that rains into the lake! All part of the water cycle.

He-he, thanks Stuart. Every cloud...



I love the image of countless rivers, and streams, and creeks, and rain clouds :) , feeding the lake of writing.
Your studio view with the dawn mist rising over the Devon-green makes my heart thrum. Lovely!

Wow, I love that L'Engle quote... really good words for students in so many ways, and for me!

Words of encouragement for a humble blogger...check ego at the keyboard. I believe that we can never know our impact on others' lives, so whatever small bits of beauty, love or wisdom we can put out into the world also "feed the lake," yes?

Dipping A Toe

"All of writing is a huge lake."--Jean Rhys

This morning I dipped my toe in the lake,
watching the ripples spread.
Some days I wade, hesitant,
a priestess unsure of her prayers.
On the days I plunge in,
the shock of the cold
wakes in me a longing for heat,
passion, fire until the water itself
teaches me that it is better
to swim than to burn.
Once in a while I get from one bank
to the other, and touching land
remember that I am only in the water
because the lake suffers me to be there.
I give it my obesiance and swim back
grateful in the end to get
to my proper side, a poem in my head,
and--if I am lucky, a story as well.

©2013 Jane Yolen all rights reserved

along the way, somewhere, i lost you.

glad you are still writing and sharing here.

i have lost my original "the wild magnolia" blog. i have begun another, which shows my name, sandra hagan as my ID. unlike before when i visited blogs my blog name came up as my ID. the new blog has the same name.

Your writing and photo choices are compelling, plus you share further information, motivation, and inspiritation.

This is so personal. I am under the radar, slightly known in some circles. It is more than I expected. When I was very young growing up in small western towns and in the country with my own forest, without any idea how one became a writer and poet; determined to write as well as I could, my hope was to have a book in a library far away where a stranger might read it and like it. And it's happened.

I just went to a memorial for a locally well known poet and so many of us were there. His son-in-law
created a short film about him, with East - Indian music and a goddess, snapshots of the poet and all
his family to the Beatles 'Love, Love, Love,'and techy pictures turning into paper airplanes flying up into
a magical sky. I often think of poems sent out are like paper airplanes and I told the young man so, and
he said, "Yes, that was what I was doing for David."

Actually, not my book but books with my stories and such, which is like responses from
messages in bottles as well as metaphoric paper airplanes.

i read the l'engle quote when it was a new book, and loved it, probably because i lived on a BIG river between two great lakes (niagara river) and could visualize it. feeding the lake.

How did I miss this one? It's wonderful, and true.

Welcome back, Sandra!

A lovely story.

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