Art of the Song

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Art of the Song

Writing: Dipping into the Darkness

By Eileen Kalinowski | Posted June 1, 2007 | Updated November 13, 2019

My mind often plays tricks with me.

It doesn't let me know exactly what's going on underneath the surface where the songs and stories are, it lets me forget that using the material of my life, the experiences, the people who've had an effect on me good and bad, is not a neutral event. And I have feelings about all of these things.

So writing for me is often walking down a path and getting pulled into the forest, or down a rabbit hole or finding myself in one of the places that I rather successfully avoid thinking about most of the time because they're unpleasant or difficult or painful.

But those anniversaries come around and they do that every year like clockwork and I'm reminded of my mother or fathers death or my wedding anniversary or some other occasion that comes with a host of attached memories particular to me, sparked merely by the change of seasons the smell of new apple blossoms, a rain soaked desert.

Being a writer means that I let myself go there because to deny one book in my encyclopedia of material is to lose my library card that gives my access to all of it. But that doesn't mean that I like it all the time and I do seem to notice that I may find it hard to return to my writing as regularly as I can when I'm in a different part of the woods. I call it "dipping into the darkness."

The most important thing for me to remember when I'm traveling there is that my life wants to take me there that I've already come through the tough parts, that there's just more healing, more understanding more forgiveness more light to bring to these times in my life. It may be the most important thing that I do as a writer and who knows where it shows up in my work.

But for me I know to say "I will not go there" means there is no writing that day or that month or that year. And these days it's just too big a price to pay. It's a lesson in appreciating all of my material, all of my life, all of whatever has brought me to this day and this place. And who am I to judge some of it as without value?

©2007 Eileen Kalinowski. All rights reserved.

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Eileen KalinowskiEileen Kalinowski sings, produces music, freelance writes, and is a member of the Taos Coalition to End Homelessness. ...