Have you heard that adage before? It is certainly true for me. Ever since I was in college I knew that in order to be fully cognizant of my experience…in order to divine some sense to this life of mine…I have had to write. It is through the process of pulling my ideas together that I come to know what I believe, or even what I am thinking about and working on subconsciously.

There is always ‘back burner’ stuff that is bubbling along, not requiring direct attention, but always pulling my attention to its existence. Then, usually without much warning, it begins to boil up. And I must tend to it before it is a huge mess.

I am always reading SOMETHING. This is the seasoning and veggies and other elements that I add to that simmering pot as my days go on.

I feel at lost ends without a book. It feels like I’ve left one of my children somewhere if I don’t have a book that I am reading a few pages at a time, when life (meaning children) allows.

And then there are conversations and PBS shows and things I observe…they all go in the ‘pot.’

And A Writer Writes.

Yeah, I’m talking about reading and observing in this post, so why the titular influence of writing? Because that’s where the alchemy happens.

Both with a big stock pot full of vegetable soup, and with the human spirit…many ingredients go in, but time, gentle heat, and their natural interplay with one another completely changes them into some distinct new reality.

And I write.

Many times I am truly surprised by what I write…because I may not have known that I felt or believed something until I tried to articulate it. That is miraculous to me. Getting to understand myself better through the written word…my written word…is a gift.

So it was with yesterday’s post about Liberating Teenagers. I had many thoughts, feelings, spiritual nuances simmering together as I started reading TTLH. I did not realize that beginning the book would represent a ‘turning up the heat’ and facilitate a full-boil. But it did.

I have a belief, borne out by many experiences, that we are drawn to whatever we need to stop the slow simmer and begin the active integration of new states of being. Which means that this was the exact time that it was right for me to begin reading about teenagers taking responsibility for educating themselves.

So, what are you cooking today? Is it on the back burner, or being brought to a full boil? Does this analogy even work for you? If not, throw it out and think of your life, your processes in analogous terms. And then write — or draw — or paint — or drum — or dance — or walk amongst the trees — or perform street theater — or WHATEVER….just nurture the creative process for in it you will find a direct, open and throbbing communication conduit to your own spirit.