Sunday, February 3, 2013

In the Dark

Often writing feels like groping your way up an unfamiliar set of stairs in the pitch black. With no railing. No sense of how many stairs there are. No way to know whether or not you'll make it to the top.

It takes a lot of faith to make this climb. What does one have faith in, exactly? Is it the possibility of saying what one feels? Is it a drive to pursue a vision one has already had--a flash that may have come in a second, wholly formed? To capture these private events in writing, they must be subjected to the labor of dividing them painstakingly into words, sentences, paragraphs. This is dark, fumbling territory, at least for a while.

I am comforted in these stages of interior darkness by matching them with working surrounded by the dark sky of early, early morning. By getting up before dawn and writing when the color of night is adamantly black, and the only way to believe it will ever change is to remember that it got lighter yesterday, and the day before.


  1. Thank you for this post, Alice. It was wonderful. Now I'm going to go climb those dark stairs.

  2. What a poet you are, Alice, and how you hearten me. Thank you for this.