Over the life of the magazine, we’ve enjoyed the prose and poetry of George Cassidy Payne. We haven’t heard from him in a month or so as he took a hiatus from writing. As George says, his hiatus ironically occurred before a scheduled trip to a summer writing program in Colorado.
At least for now, George is back with “Indian Peaks.” He also offers a reflection on writing.
Ironically, I decided to take a major step back from writing just as I set off to spend a week at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado at the school’s annual Summer Writing Program. Maybe it was the allure of the program’s description: “The co-rising and interconnectedness of the multiverse, safety net of community, labyrinth of communication and performance, and the curses and blessings of social media. The wilderness of the archive, decolonized mind, hive mind, wild mind, grids and mappings. Print shop, recording studio, meditation, and collaboration.” Or maybe it was just the seduction of the Rocky Mountains. Either way, I headed west with a vague idea about what I wanted to get out of my time at Naropa and an even vaguer notion about quitting writing all together. A part of me will always feel that writing is a necessity in my life, sort of like going to the bathroom, paying the electric bill, and saying I love you to my wife in the morning. Another part of me knows that whether I write or not makes absolutely no difference. The world will go on just as it did without me saying anything about it. People will go on doing what they want to whether I have an opinion or not. With or without my dissent, the world will never be better than it is right now. I think it is healthy to be honest about how meaningless it is to write- to step away now and then to remind myself that what I think, say, and do is not important. It makes choosing to write again an act of humility and creativity rather than a demonstration of pretentiousness and aggrandizement. As poet Gary Snyder once said: The sum of a field’s forces [become] what we call very loosely the ‘spirit of the place.’ To know the spirit of a place is to realize that you are a part of a part and that the whole is made of parts, each of which in a whole. You start with the part you are whole in.”