Cracking the shell

One of the great delights of poetry is that when you’re really functioning, you’re tapping the unconscious in a way that is distinct from the ordinary, the customary, use of the mind in daily life.  You’re somehow cracking the shell separating you from the unknown.

There’s no formula for accessing the unconscious.  Themore you enter into the unconscious life, the more you believe in its existence and know it walks with you, the more available it becomes and the doors open faster and longer.  It learns you are a friendly host.  It manifests itself instead of hiding from your tyrannical presence, intruding on your daily routines, accomodations, domestications.

– Stanley Kunitz, The Wild Braid


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5 Comments

  1. Posted October 7, 2011 at 5:16 am | Permalink

    Oh I am inspired by this. (His words remind me a bit of the story Elizabeth Gilbert shares in her 2007(?) TED talk about Ruth Stone and working when the creativity hits.) xo

  2. Posted October 7, 2011 at 6:17 am | Permalink

    Tapping the unconscious and tapping into the great divine of truth. This resonates.

  3. Posted October 7, 2011 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    “You’re somehow cracking the shell separating you from the unknown.” Oh! I want to be a “friendly host”. I am good at having people at my counter while I putter away in the kitchen, refilling their glass. I want to do this same thing in a million other ways. Love this. Love this. You are a gold digger.

  4. Sarah
    Posted October 7, 2011 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

    This is my one of my favorite books, one that I serendipitously stumbled upon while perusing the used bookstore in Cape Cod a few summers ago. Such beauty and truth in these words. Your blog resonates with me very much, as does Dani Shapiro’s. Wish that she would write on her blog again. Thanks for sharing, Lindsey.

  5. Posted October 11, 2011 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    Ooh I think this is so true. And I think it’s true for deep conversation and all types of writing where you are truly plumbing your own heart. You can sometimes find the crack between what appears to be so and the apparatus behind it. I love this. And I imagine it’s true that if you go there often the more available it becomes.