In the Dark, Out of the Deep

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Wind Song by Creating-Insanity under a CC 3.0 licence
The other day I woke early and couldn't go back to sleep.  There is something about the hours between 5 and 7am.  Not that I see them much, but my partner is one of those creatures I am jealous of, the ones who awaken in the dark to begin their days.  Occasionally, when I wake at this time it doesn't feel as if my body has run out of oil and my gears are crunching together and if I stay upright too long I will surely spontaneously combust.

When I wake at this hour and my body is behaving itself occasionally I find myself in the delicious zone that writers and creatives and sportspeople talk about, the zone of flow.  Almost an otherworldly feeling, like you've still got one foot half in the dreamspace, the perfect place where the space between your subconscious and conscious feels thinner, and images flow up as creative prompts.

Which is exactly what happened to me the other day.  I was lying in bed, feeling cosy and warm and happy that I could go back to sleep for several more hours, but then while I was lying there waiting for sleep to roll in like the tide I kept getting sentences in my head that I liked very much, and then a picture of a foggy nighttime landscape with gum trees and fog.  And so what the hell, I sat up and started writing a short story that rolled out from the image I saw.

And I kept writing and kept writing until I had for all intents and purposes finished writing an 1800 word story.  It felt finished, in the way that fiction and poetry often seems to come out of me, as if it's pretty much fully-formed and I just need to sit with it for a day or two, and then edit and rework and shape it, adding bits here and deleting bits there.  When this happens it feels like blessing, and I feel very fortunate to be able to have this sort of experience that comes out of nowhere seemingly unbidden.  Makes my innards where all this happens feel as mysterious and sexy to me as wintertime when the fog rolls in.

Creativity is tiring, especially with limited energy.  I think if I was healthier this sort of thing would happen more often.  But as it goes, I welcome it when it happens.

Don't know if the story is any good or not, but that's another story entirely :)


  1. This makes me happy! I would love to read your story.

    I like to read/hear people speak of the aptly termed, "delicious zone".

    A place I love also. Yet, it can be so elusive - not an easy place to find.
    There is no map to take us back there whenever we feel like it.

    It is a liminal place between the mundane world and the "otherworld", where inspiration springs forth from hidden wells.

    Sometimes (not often enough for me), we wade through the deep fog in our minds and fall into these wells and swim in the richly tinted waters of creativity.
    There, there we are washed with insight, illumination and motivation.
    Delicious indeed.

    Our muses dwell within this otherworld.
    Often, they taunt us with their absence. We can feel bereft. Lost.
    But when they appear and encourage us to forge from our dreams, it can be the most euphoric feeling - better than drugs and dare I say, sex :)

    1. The more of us in the delicious zone the better, right? :)

      It's funny, when you fall into it, it feels like it's so easy to find ... until you try finding it again! Hehe. I guess that's what makes it so attractive as well in some ways, and makes us so appreciate of it when we're there.

      I agree, the times are not often enough for me either.


Newer Older