"The human spirit lives on creativity and dies in conformity and routine.” so says
Not so, I say.
Maybe if you are a Sufi master free to spend all your time meditating; clever phrases that betoken deep insights flow from your lips in a non stop stream, and your disciples hang on your every word. But if life throws you a nasty one, right between the legs when you were least expecting it and the bugger just won’t go away, tripping you up over and over again?
Give me routine, I cry.
(Actually, Pace all you adherents of Sufi teachings out there, - I am not making fun of you, but does sitting, meditating and giving birth to wise words on a loop not in itself smack of some kind of routine?)
No, Joyce Carol Oates’ words are much more to my liking.
“The domestic lives we live - which may be accidental, or not entirely of our making - help to make possible our writing lives; our imaginations are freed, or stimulated, by the very prospect of companionship, quiet, a predictable and consoling routine.”
I couldn’t agree more.
Since Beloved fell ill my creative juices have entirely dried up, shrivelled and shrunk to the size and consistency of tiny mouse droppings, too small to leave much of a visible trace. You’d think that I’d pounce on the hours he sleeps during the day, when I am not on duty, but the spiritual wherewithal is lacking, all I find is a heap of dust. Aristotle says:" we are what we repeatedly do”. At present I repeatedly do nothing worth the mention, except yearn for an uninterrupted night’s sleep.
Give me the comfort of surrendering to life on autopilot for all mundane, everyday tasks; make the day predictable in all unimportant aspects. May thoughts, processes, decisions and actions run in straight lines, let me do things the way I have always done them. Then, and only then, will my spirit regain the freedom to roam creative spheres.