How Creativity Works: A Parable

On the dusty plain where your mind exists, you dig through the earth with crumbling fingernails searching for soil where thoughts will grow. You till the earth with a pen and are ready for the rains.

Last year’s crops were terrible, anemic excuses for crops. Tasted terrible, provided no sustenance. But the rain, the rain had been powerful. You just didn’t do enough work. This year every day, even as crops die and life becomes the toil of waiting, you work preparing the fields. The rain is coming. The winter is harsh and cold and barren, seeping the juices from your soil. All that’s left is endurance, the day-in, day-out churning of words from dirt, however malnourished.

Then it begins as a breeze, a tickling behind the ears, the neck, the ankles. Carry your hoe, shovel and sword; stand against the wind until you can see the wall of rain pounding toward you under onyx clouds, a stampede. Ride the flood.

Allow the water to crash through your veins and cleanse the dust until you are new and raw and enlightened. Strike fire with your sword as the storm overwhelms you. The speak has finally come, great streaks of lightning like Neptune’s trident in the dark. Your mind is ready, a circuit begging to be completed. So when genius and creativity arrive in the form of tumultuous storms, your tools are sharp, your mind prepared to bear crops.

Allow the storm to consume you as you consume the storm.

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About Derek Berry

Derek Berry is a novelist and spoken word poet. Derek is the author of Heathens and Liars of Lickskillet County (PRA Publishing, 2016). He co-founded and organizes The Unspoken Word, a literary non-profit based out of Charleston, SC, which provides an intendent home for the poetic arts through regular readings, workshops, and community fundraisers. He is on the Executive Board of the Charleston Poetry Festival, the inaugural production of which will be Fall 2017. His work has appeared in The Southern Tablet, Cattywampus, Charleston Currents, Illuminations, RiverSedge, and other journals.He has performed in venues across the United States and Germany. He has worked as a photographer’s assistant, busboy, and bookseller. He currently works at a curation facility for Cold War History.

Posted on April 25, 2012, in Blogging, books, dreams, Manifesto, Poetry, Stress, writer, Writing, writing advice and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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