Solitude in the studio
What one writes

Why one writes

The Gate to O'er Hill

"Why one writes is a question I can answer easily, having so often asked it of myself. I believe one writes because one has to create a world in which one can live. I could not live in any of the worlds offered to me — the world of my parents, the world of war, the world of politics. I had to create a world of my own, like a climate, a country, an atmosphere in which I could breathe, reign, and recreate myself when destroyed by living. That, I believe, is the reason for every work of art."
- Anais Nin

The buttercup field

"Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself."  - George Bernard Shaw

...And so I create a world in which I can live through stories and pictures of spirited landscapes steeped in Mystery, music, and quiet acts of women's magic. I create myself every day here in the hills amid old stone walls and buttercup fields, out of scraps of paper and fragments of verse and morning coffee and dreams underfoot and books and bees and brambles and briar roses and a black dog at my side.

Tilly amid the buttercups

"A writer is dreamed and transfigured into being by spells, wishes, goldfish, sillouettes of trees, boxes of fairy tales dropped in the mud, uncles' and cousins' books, tablets and capsules and powders...and then one day you find yourself leaning here, writing on that round glass table salvaged from the Park View Pharmacy--writing this, an impossibility, a summary of who you came to be where you are now, and where, God knows, is that?" - Cynthia Ozick

Why, it's here. Where I am. Where you are. Right now.


and such a lovely place to be it is too!

Tie A Berry

Tie a berry to a string,
drop it into the pond.
Be very still under a tree,
and count to three
or eleven or thirteen.
Soon a dappled, shimmery fish,
curious, hungry, knowing, unknowing,
will swim to the ripple, the nipple,
the fly, the tie, the ripened sweet,
open its mouth--and bite.
Then you have it, a story
made of sunlight, moonlight, starlight,
made from shadows and shade,
made from a single berry on a string.

©2012 Jane Yolen All rights reserved

We create the world we want live in and so very lucky we are to do that. Beautiful photos of your home, thankyou for your words and insight Terri. :)
Jess xx

As a farmer (on a small holding), not an artist, I create my world with other's books and pictures, but that's powerful conjuring magic too. I create myself everyday with Windling and Yolen and fairy tales and myth and fiddle music and woodsmoke and waking the children and walking the dogs and shearing the sheep and digging the earth and chasing the hens and loving the sun and the rain and my own precious family. And that's all magic too.

(And the rest of you here? What are your lives made of, I wonder?)

Thank you, Terri, for this post today. And every day.

Wonderful and so very timely. Thanks both to you and to Jane!

I write in my little town in northern Indiana because of a need to let words flow in ways that conversation is unable to do. My curtains billow, the marbles tumble, the only sound is that of my fingers on the keyboard bringing who I am into view.

I love this post. I completely agree with Anais Nin, I came to that conclusion years ago when another painter said - " I can't live with my art of the walls as you do".... I thought it odd, cause I knew that I was creating images mostly for myself to travel in. Your description of your creative life here has me wanting to re-visit "The Wood Wife" for some reason. I so resonate with what you write here.

I too could not exist in my parents world and started to read then write behind couches, in trees, in the grassy ditches behind our house...i learned to crave fairy tales, beautiful words on pages, people who spoke my truth...the artists. Over these past weeks as i clean out and pack up this place of my youth i have such sadness of what could have been here. I am grateful everyday for the people of fairy!!!!

I fiddle by the sea in shack made of tin and I create my life with books, brine, shells, surf, the gulls flying overhead, books and books and books and books, poetry shouted out to the wind, single suppers, single bed, single candle burning long into the night, music sessions twice weekly at the Fisherman's Inn, warm stout, laughter, the long tramp home, start up again, daybreak, music, students, paw prints in the sand from the neighborhood dogs, the car's engine turning, the phone wires humming, connecting me in this remote place to the voices and key strokes of those far away, and tenacity, uncertainty, questions, gold whiskey in a water glass, rainy days, sunny days, dark nights of the soul, an unknown future, impatience, worry, fear, resolve, happiness in bright bursts like a trilling of notes, anxiousness in long sighs from the end of the bow, that's the music I make, the life I live.

- Chris in the Maritimes (answering Cynthia's question)

"Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself" My God, why didn't anybody ever tell me that growing up!! It would have eased a lot of pain. I will remember to tell it to my children. I don't know where you find the time to get all the wonderfull stuff you bring us, but I am so grateful.

Terri--I've lurked on this blog for awhile and I just wanted to say I very much appreciate you and what you put up here, the pictures (Tilly!), the quotes, your spirit. Thank you!

Yes, recalling a verse from the world's most beautiful and heartbreaking poem:

I went out to the hazel wood
because a fire was in my head
cut and peeled a hazel wand
and hooked a berry to a thread
and when white moths were on the wing
and moth-like stars were flickering out
I dropped the berry in a stream,
and caught a little silver trout....

--Song of Wandering Aengus, W.B. Yeats

Wow. This reminds me I'm not alone. Thanks, Terri, and all of you.

Yes, thank you all.

You've probably heard it a million times, Mrs. Windling, but you are an inspiration. And I see I'm not the only one to love the Anais Nin quotation. I don't know how you do what you do, but please . . . keep doing it!

As a fellow lurker for a long time, I felt a little awkward on my first post in Terri's
enchanted world. But she is so welcoming to all of us dreamers and believers in what
keeps us alive; magic, beauty, steadfastness in our quests.

Post and comments are all inspiring today - thank you one and all, and especially thank you Terri for putting in the love and effort and imagination to make and share this blog.

It's quite amazing, the ripples sent out with each of your posts, Terri.
Thank you for that.

Thank you, everyone, for the kind and affirmative comments, which were lovely to wake up to this morning...and for the de-lurkers for de-lurking. Welcome!

Thank you, this is medicine of the finest order. I am having one of those mornings when I need to remember this "stuff" and not become bogged down by the mundane.

Thank you so much, Terri. Close to being invited to fairyland.

"Still sings the salmon louder in the wild deer's lung..."

Words, magical words, that can create a world in a sentence.

You've said it so well... I was recently at a conference where we could write for five minutes on "If I could write" or "If I could not write". It was interesting to hear what people wrote. Many would dance or sing out the words if they could not put them to paper. All believed they would find a way to create.

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