Poet, Playwright, Workshop Facilitator
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Welcome to daily nature photo and creative writing blog, #NewThisDay

Welcome to my daily nature photo blog

Writing from My Photo Stream ~ Kelly DuMar


#NewThisDay Writing From My Photo Stream

The violets are passing their peak; next week they'll be gone. The lady slippers are budding along the side of the trail in the leaves under the trees. I go to the woods early before it's hot. I'm looking forward to an uninterrupted writing day. 

In the early afternoon I retreat to the art barn, a building next to our house that's quiet and secluded. I open my essay hoping to find ways to "solve it." I have been reading an article by Annie Dillard, "Write Till You Drop," in which she writes:

Every book has an intrinsic impossibility, which its writer discovers as soon as his first excitement dwindles. The problem is structural; it is insoluble; it is why no one can ever write this book. Complex stories, essays and poems have this problem, too - the prohibitive structural defect the writer wishes he had never noticed.

I have come into the studio with the intention of being hopeful, thoughtful, focused, and to re-craft it word by word, paragraph by paragraph, starting back at the beginning. So, I dig in. I re-write, proceeding, methodically. And then I get a text. My daughter wonders if I want to walk with her and the dogs. No thank you, I say, and she goes. I keep working, and by the third paragraph or fourth paragraph, I suddenly have a breakthrough - in the sense that I see an element of the structure I have not seen before. Dillard captures this feeling, calls it- "grace."

At its best, the sensation of writing is that of any unmerited grace. It is handed to you, but only if you look for it. You search, you break your fists, your back, your brain, and then - and only then -it is handed to you. From the corner of your eye you see motion. Something is moving through the air and headed your way. It is a parcel bound in ribbons and bows; it has two white wings. It flies directly at you; you can read your name on it.

Then I get another text, this time with a picture. She has reached the lady slippers and found one, not just with an unopened blossom, she has found one blooming - the first. Do you want to  come see them she asks?

Yes, now I do. 

All photos and text copyright Kelly DuMar 2018 unless otherwise attributed

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