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My View Point

Photo by Oliver Spalt

I went to the Cabin on the Hill for a few days to re-engage with a correspondence-writing project I had given birth to at that very place some nine months ago – when I had actually wanted to write poetry. But at that time poetry didn’t want to be written and instead I entered a curious period of non-fiction writing with a shock of surprises; the biggest so far being that all of a sudden a Manifesto broke free from my computer.

This time at the Cabin I haven’t yet touched my correspondence-project at all because without invitation my blog re-appeared on the scene: a post had to be written. Other’s blog posts wanted to be read. And then it emerged that I had to re-organise and re-focus my blog.

That’s what I like about writing: it never obliges. It does what it needs to do. It emerges. Breaks free. Tramples right over all that was meant to happen instead.

It’s a challenge for someone like me with a very structured mind who is used to focus on one single task until its completion and then moves on to the next: and now I find myself at my desk in the Cabin having at least five different documents open at the same time including the correspondence-project, three blog posts for two different blogs and several half-finished poems.

Writing teaches me – the gift of surprise, of letting go of an agenda, of connecting with something more truthful than what I might want it to be. Over the years my blog has thus changed quite a bit; at some point it was all about photography and little about writing; the images were the prompt – a prompt for seeing differently, for re-viewing, for being maybe a bit unsettled and surprised, enough to shift the view on things just a little. Now my blog is much more about writing and the photos are like a little emphasis; sometimes I don’t have them ready yet and need to go finding them first. It’s about the many little stories that are part of the whole picture; it’s about finding inspiration and finding beauty where I least expected it. It’s still about being surprised by what else is there – so essentially it’s still the same blog.

As I’m reading my way through the books in the Cabin (because all of a sudden they were far more interesting than the ones I had brought along and had already started reading before leaving London) I particularly enjoyed Hermione Lee’s ‘Body Parts. Essays on Life-Writing‘ which has given me inspiration for the new focus of my blog. In her introduction she refers to Thomas Carlyle according to who Life-Writing should be done from ‘an open loving heart‘ appreciating ‘the sanctity of human lives‘. To me this is a great encouragement for this blog and one I’ll take on my writing journey with me as I’m curiously looking for the less visible and all the more love-able.

Petra

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