Random thoughts

On beauty and writing

These thoughts by Elisabeth Pike on beauty and writing resonated with me. They’re from an article entitled ‘Space to create’, which appeared in Third Way, April 2014.

I have heard it said that writing is as much about staring at the empty page as it is about writing. I love that. It takes the pressure off; it gives permission to dream. As Nabokov said in Lectures on Literature, the words will arrive when they are ready: ‘the pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamouring to become visible.’

Pike then quotes some lines from Virginia Woolf’s In a Room of One’s Own on idling and comments:

To idle! Did you hear that? There is always beauty to be found, whether we are at home looking after toddlers, or paying the rent with a day job.

And again:

The beauty is always there … you just have to take the time, open your eyes and perceive it.

And she quotes from Raymond Carver’s essay ‘On Writing’, published in Fires:

A writer sometimes needs to be able to stand and gape at this or that thing – a sunset or an old shoe – in absolute and simple amazement.

This, as Pike concludes, is what it’s about:

To live, to see, to idle, to communicate wonder!

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