The Gate May Open

the gate may open

“Human beings can’t live without the illusion of meaning, the apprehension of confluence, the endless debate concerning the fault in the stars or in ourselves. The writer is just the messenger, the moving target. Inside culture, the writer is the talking self. Through history, the writing that lasts is the whisper of conscience. The guild of writers is essentially a medieval guild existing in a continual Dark Age, shaman, monks, witches, nuns, working in isolation, playing with fire.

When the first illuminated manuscripts were created, few people could read. Now that people are bombarded with image and information and the World Wide Web is an open vein, few people can read. Reading with sustained attention, reading for understanding, reading to cut through random meaninglessness – such reading becomes a subversive act. The writer’s first affinity is not to a loyalty, a tradition, a morality, a religion, but to life itself, and to its representation in language. Ego enters in, but writing is far too hard and solitary to be sustained by ego. The writer is compelled to write. The writer writes for love. The writer lives in spiritual debt to language, the gold key in the palm of meaning. Awake, asleep, in every moment of being, the writer stands at the gate.
The gate may open.
The gate may not.
Regardless, the writer can see straight through it.”

Jayne Phillips


One thought on “The Gate May Open

  1. I am still pondering the feeling of a need of agreement, what causes it, walking alongside it, and waiting. I thank you for using the label of gift in relation to my writing. Then, I thought about the meaning of gifts and attachments. When writing comes, it does. My friend Kathy just wrote some things about the words coming forth from the fingers (pauses while I attempt to interpret in the way she intended…) without thought, without planning. They are, themselves. The require nothing. Not at the beginning, and not at the end. The writer requiring, that may be another story.

    It can take an endless time to find all of the options and all of the choices. Binary thinking, I suppose does seem simpler, but it just doesn’t work for me. It has yet to cease showing me the false alternatives my mind can locate to shove a square peg into a round hole.


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