Originality Lives at the Crossroads
Post #1486 • January 2, 2012, 8:00 AM • 7 Comments
From Nine Gates: Entering the Mind of Poetry by Jane Hirshfield:
Originality lives at the crossroads, at the point where world and self open to each other in transparence in the night rain. There, the plenitude of being comes and goes. Originality summons originality: a work of art that contains the mind of freedom will call forth freedom in others. But originality also asks presence—the willingness to inhabit ourselves amid the uncertain transports and sufferings that are our fate. To feel, and to question feeling; to know, and to agree to wander utterly lost in the dark, where every journey of the soul starts over.
If we demand change too insistently—in art, or in the self—something grows stubborn and digs in its heels. But within presence and a lightness of being, we can open into the new. It may be that originality is simply what you step out of the way of; it is what must come if the old ways are dropped, discarded like clothes. But originality is also a question, a request we make of ourselves and the world. We ask it in the quality of our attention and concentration, and we ask it without expectation of an answer. Such a request, self-raised, self-contained, ripens itself.