In Letters To A Young Poet, Rainer Maria Rilke writes, “everything is gestation, then bringing forth”. My daily munge, what others might refer to as daily writing practice or a journal, is my place and process for gestation. It’s a place where I scribble and doodle and scrawl.
Sometimes it’s five hours’ worth of writing; sometimes it’s five minutes.
Anything is fair game for the daily munge, any quotidian artifact that even fleetingly piques my interest. There’s no referee, no editor, no judgment. Not at first.
Like a sculptor’s studio where I can explore an idea that may or may not evolve into a finished work, the daily munge let’s me experiment and carve away and mash the rejects only to pick them up again later to try again. Sometimes a poem or a story or an essay is born; more often I create, curate and then abandon my words.
Very little ever comes out of the daily munge in the short term, and yet most of my completed storytelling and writing had its inception there. Gestation is critical. As is patience and perseverance. I’ve learned these lessons many times, and yet I’m forced to relearn them each time I initiate and complete a new creative project.
Although renovating Rosslyn involved more woodwork and plaster and masonry and paint than the average poem or story, it too was gestation. It too demanded patience and perseverance, more sometimes than my bride and I could muster. Or so it seemed, until at last we were able to bring forth a home, a revitalized historic artifact, a font of memories and stories and lives.
A time capsule, the daily munge preserved the highs and lows of three, almost four years spent renovating Rosslyn. A mosaic of artifacts and memories. A sometimes euphoric, sometimes angry and frequently confused or frustrated tangle of interconnected narratives. This is the material I’ve been exploring and sculpting into Rosslyn Redux. This is the clunky, unedited avalanche of dreams and disappointments and triumphs and compromises that sometimes sweeps me up and plunges me—gasping for air, somersaulting blindly—downward.
Today has been one of those days. I’m trying to remind myself, “everything is gestation, then bringing forth”. I am so damned ready for the bringing forth! Patience. Perseverance. Thank you.