The Springs of Writing

Mike Barker


'A Lawn Being Sprinkled' by David Hockney

Sometimes, out tramping around on a mountainside, with the crack of a twig underfoot and all the other fine sensual awakening that seems to be part of celebrating the out-of-doors, you may come across a spring. A tiny ripple of water, perhaps not even that so much as a soaking, but a place where the earth lets go of the water again, and it begins.

I love to stop and think about where that little spring is going. The drops of water, seeping out, touching me, and then slowly passing on to...

Sometimes, of course, you'll find larger, clear springs, pushing up forcefully, and sweeping away obstructions.

But no matter where the springs start, after a while the tiny drips and great gushers join, form streams, laughing, chuckling along, feeding the bushes and trees, alive with insects and fish.

And rain falls, adding muddy roils and softer plink-plink-plink touches, criss-crossing, draining tastes of new growth and ancient mold into the mix, wandering here and there. . .

Sometimes snow melts, or ice CRACKS and shakes, spins, softens, and adds its weight to the rushing waters. . .

Here a pond collects the tastes of many streams, the runoff of the hills, the silt of fields growing, and provides a place for spirits to cool and calm, listening to the burp of frogs diving into the depths, the soft rustle of grass growing, the quiet of a summer evening. . .

Down centuries of time, across chasms of cultural division, from momentary leaves of today's crops, the waters roll. Fine streams, heavy flood waters, grinding, bursting, laving and washing the best and the worst. . .

When the shower touches you, you can put your head down and trudge through the mud, angry at the weather. . .

Or. . .

You can lift your face to the wonder, search for the promise of the rainbow, and laugh into the rain, into the thunder, into the lightning as the waters mix again, meeting, parting, on their way to the ocean of life through the rivers and streams, the dams and meanders, the wandering and late-night tears. . .

all in the waters of writing.

Whether you want to just wash your hands, or maybe dip your head in and refresh yourself, or even dive in and be baptized into the depths of that life, feel free. And let your own springs gurgle forth, adding that fine clear flavor of yourself to the mix.

The waters will return, in time.

The gentle rains, the fierce riptides of the ocean, the hidden aquifers that wet the footing of all lands...the ebb and flow of waters, the ebb and flow of writing. . .

and the moon holding sway over all.

A muse of rain, perhaps. . .

 

Copyright 1997 Mike Barker


Mike Barker enjoys making a living with computers, and has been leading programming efforts for twenty years. However, as "tink" in the virtual writers' workshop of WRITERS@mitvma.mit.edu, he also enjoys writing. A self-diagnosed shy extrovert, he tries hard to promote communications. He also admits that it isn't easy, but you just have to keep trying. The fun comes in the mixing and the baking, not just in the sweet desserts of success.
mbarker@MIT.EDU
http:////web.mit.edu/mbarker/www/writers.html