|Where do you get your ideas?
ften when we concentrate on a task like writing,
we forget to breathe fully. Without enough
to feed our brain, we tire easily. If we ride each
breath into the next thought, our energy will be sustained.
ave pen and paper ready for when you start
to write. Relax completely, maintaining a good posture
to let the energy enter your brain. Feel a gentle
breeze all around you. Feel that breeze as if it were
the colour blue. Imagine yourself surrounded in blue.
Breathe in blue and breathe out blue. You are completely
private now, about to enter the world of your own
Imagination, the source of your creativity.
Imagine yourself in a blue
balloon. With every breath you breathe out, blow out
blue as if you were blowing up a balloon. With each
breath, fill the balloon around you. You find yourself
inside the balloon ascending through space, floating
free. You are completely relaxed and yet more alert
than usual. Notice how sharp your senses are. You
feel the breeze on your face and the sun on your face.
You can hear the wind rippling the balloon. Inside
this balloon, you can travel through time and space.
You might visit a lost city,
the zoo, the Amazon, the jungle, Venus or the moon.
You might land in another time, another dimension
entirely, a world of anti-matter perhaps. This time
we are going to land at the place of ... You fill
in the blank, either by consciously choosing where
you want to visit or by allowing your Imagination
to come up with a place to surprise you. As I say
these words, the place ... suddenly emerges from under
a cloud far below. What does it look like from this
perspective? Imagine it from above. What do you experience
that is new?
You find ... looming larger
and larger as you come closer. How would you write
down your experience? How do you see differently?
Then let your perspective shift. What drama enacts
itself? Notice how easily and instantaneously you
can shift perspectives. Try several different perspectives,
close-up, sideways, partial views. See if you can
experience them all at once. Write down your new story.
Let yourself experience as many different parts of
your story as you wish to. Experience your story from
many different points of view.
Now step back a few feet. Suddenly
you realize you can experience it from all your different
perspectives at once, in a new harmony. From so many
different stories, a new story appears that contains
them all. What do you feel as you experience the new
story? Let it tell itself in a form that is original,
express every nuance exactly.
Let your consciousness merge
into ... Become it. What does it feel like? Speak
from its point of view. What age are you? You have
your present vocabulary and language ability. You
are receiving a message you have not been aware of
before. Maybe ... wants to tell you a part of its
history--something wonderful that happened there or
something unusual or dreadful. Allow whatever comes
up to roll by your Imagination as if on film. Your
work is to let it happen without interference, without
trying to direct the action.
Once aloft, off on an adventure
and on your own, the blue balloon transports you anywhere
you want and imagine in time and space. That includes
all of geography and all of history.
Once arrived at and immersed
in your destination, you let the story of that place
tell itself. Write and write that story down without
pausing. Here it is crucial to focus on making the
effort just to write it out. Do not stop to fuss over
spelling, grammar, syntax or any other editorial considerations.
Leave these for the editor in the next stage.
The dragon is mythologically
the beast that guards the doorway to the imagination.
The dragon defends the treasure of that realm. Once
the students were familiar with this mythical creature,
I invited them to enter into the realm of poetry with
the dragon as guide:
So we meet the dragon at the
doorway to the Imagination. What kind of creature
is it? What does it look like? What colour? What sound
is it making? Notice that you can understand whatever
the dragon tells you. Pay close attention; this creature
represents the voice of your own creativity. Do you
hear its words in your head? Or do you get a felt
sense of what it is trying to say?
Let this mythical being be
your guide to the world of poetry. It guards the word-hoard,
the treasure of the kingdom of the imagination, and
it is willing to lead you to that treasure. How do
you get there? Will it allow you to fly on its back?
Imagine yourself at the treasure
the dragon has been guarding. You notice the treasure
is words. Not just ordinary words. These words sound
exactly like what they mean. They are the basic tools
of your poem. You might hear these special words as
a rumbling, a buzz in your ear. You might get a sense
of what the words mean. Or you might see the words
themselves. Allow the dragon to present a book to
you. Open the book and read the name of the author:
yourself! Read the poem that is written in your book
and write it down.
The secret to this kind of
writing is in allowing yourself to be surprised by
the adventure that unfolds in your mind. You may always
return for inspiration to this realm of the imagination.
Return to the Island of Eyes
"Journey to Dodoland" Copyright and TM
1977. Della Burford, Dodoland in Cyberspace 1995-2019 Della Burford and Dale Bertrand.