I wrote most of this exposé underwater. That's the truth. Literally and figuratively. I like to swim. I swim by time not by distance and neither do I count laps. Half an hour every morning at dawn. Half an hour every evening. I throw my body in the pool and let it swim crawl and butterfly. It's good exercise. It's also a great opportunity to watch the mind going and going and to distinguish the voice. And to distinguish that I am neither: I am the space in which both show up. It's also great quiet time to look at what I'm going to create next.
What I keep seeing is how in this second year of these Conversations For Transformation, these essays demand something new from me than what was called forth a year ago. Earlier expressions in this body of work are characterized by being written after the fact. Some facet of transformation inspired me to write it down. So I did. And then I published the completed work.
That in retrospect was a safe bet. Until I said what I said, no one knew I was going to say it. There's nothing wrong with that. It worked and it's still valid. I can be counted on to produce something valuable every time. It's interesting to note that I, like all people who participate in these Conversations For Transformation, find out what I am going to say after I hear what I've said. If I'm speaking, I would say I open my mouth and the words fall out. When I hear them, that's the first I know what I'm going to say. If I'm typing, I would say I put my fingers on the keyboard and the words appear on the screen. When I read them, that's the first I know what I am going to write.
What happened next was quite without planning, completely unstrategic. I noticed the calling had shifted and the ante had upped. I noticed the abstract of the as yet unwritten next essay appeared to me, and so I posted just the abstract to this website, calling it a work in work in progress. Now it was known what I said I was going to say even though I had no formula to come up with the substance of it, even though I literally had no idea what I was going to say next. But I had said what I was going to say. So I had to say it. And as I continued to flesh out each piece I posted the ongoing latest current version immediately for international sharing on the internet even though it was not yet complete. It was all out in the open. Warts and all. Nothing was hidden. The artist began to work in a glass walled studio with all doors and windows wide open under a roof with gaping holes in it.
Suddenly, so gradually at first even I was not aware of it, I had shifted from narrative writing to generative writing. I started saying what I would say next even though I had no idea how I was going to do it or what material I would draw on. I am referring to the framework of real life incidents and situations from which each essay gets its grounding as well as to the abstract mining, if you will, through which each piece is fleshed out until it emerges as a cohesive seamless whole. That had shifted. Slowly that method became the basis for whatever I wrote. Literally. First declare what you are going to write and commit to write it. Declare your commitment publicly so it's known. Who you are as what you say now lives in the listening of others. Then write it. No matter what. No turning back. Deliver. My writing has inexorably shifted from coming from already knowing to being up against it. There is now, for the first time, something at stake. In a very real way, things are no longer safe.
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