Elizabeth Gilbert Offers Me Hope

Lurking Genius

It is all very well to have begun this blog, however, the elements of creativity and having something to say seem to be an important aspect of a blog. Lord knows where these ramblings are leading. I am certain that the wild woman is lurking somewhere nearby. I am just not sure how she will manifest herself. Or how I will relate.

But then a TED talk given by Elizabeth Gilbert granted me a little hope. Because I know of what she speaks. I know what it is like to be taken over by an idea. How my pen will carry itself away leaving me lurching, grasping, trying to keep up with it. The idea has taken over. I am merely its vessel. If I interrupt my pen with my own thoughts, the idea vanishes upon the instant. 

Elizabeth Gilbert’s talk suggests that this is natural. In her talk, she presents a fabulous image of the American poet Ruth Stone attempting to capture her poems on the page:

When she was growing up in rural Virginia she would be out working in the fields and she said she would feel and hear a poem coming at her from over the landscape and she said it was like a thunderous train of air and it would come barrelling down at her over the landscape. And she said that when she felt it coming – because it would shake the earth under her feet – she knew that she had only one thing to do at that point and that was to, in her words, ‘run like hell’ and she would run like hell to the house, being chased by this poem. And the whole deal was that she had to get to a piece of paper and pencil fast enough so when it thundered through her she could collect it and grab it on the page.

Imagine the earth shaking beneath your feet knowing the storm of an idea is about to overtake you. There is not a moment to lose. 

Imagine allowing yourself to be so overcome. Imagine opening up and allowing yourself to be that vessel for the genius lurking, hovering just beyond you until it deems now as the right moment. Imagine the idea coming alive through your body. It has happened to me. I am sure of it. 

Perhaps right now, a genius is sitting on top of your fridge or lying in wait under your couch, waiting for the right moment to channel itself through you.

I think I’d better go and lie down.

Here is the link to Elizabeth Gilbert’s TED talk. Enjoy!



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