Art of the Song

Inspired? Please share!

Art of the Song

Writing: I Stand at the Door and Knock…

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

I'm not much of a Bible student, having grown up in a catholic home where knowing the Bible wasn't as important as knowing where to find the parts of the Mass in the missal because that book showed you when to stand up and sit down and kneel — and if you could find your place, you wouldn't be caught standing when everyone else in the congregation had the sense to kneel. Mine was a very practical interest in religious matters.

Well, there are a few verses that have caught my attention over the years. One of my favorites is Revelations 3:20. "Listen! I am standing at the door, knocking; if you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to you." I think it's great that it's from a book called Revelations.

So much of my writing life has to do with getting quiet enough to hear what's going on inside me — to get underneath the noise and haste and wheel spinning of my every day life, and take the elevator down to a deeper floor of my consciousness, where the real me lives.

And this quotation tells me I'm not the only one who wants to be in that deep place, that I'm not alone, that I will have company, and conversation, and, thank heavens, a new idea or two.

When I'm writing a song, or a story, or a part of a story, this is what it feels like. I get a knock at the door, telling me it's time to write, or there's a song on its way, and I need to answer the door. I grab a pen or a pencil, and some paper, and get to my piano, or my computer, and start writing something down…it doesn't have to be brilliant, but I have to start somewhere. I can't be too picky or my company will get frustrated with me and leave for a while.

There's something mysterious about writing that puts an end to loneliness, but can only happen in solitude. Some people refer to the visitor as the muse, others as a more religious entity. I sometimes refer to this being as Wonk, which is the word KNOW spelled backwards.

It keeps it in the realm of a buddy, someone who's in the know, who really knows what it is I'm trying to say, with my life, with my words, with my music. Someone quite approachable, someone who's standing at the door, knocking. How much more encouragement do I need?

©2007 Eileen Kalinowski. All rights reserved.

Next: Life as Writing Material

More with Eileen Kalinowski

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