A metaphor for the writing life

April 6, 2014

I saw this time lapse video by Jean-Michel, Timelapse: une araignée tisse sa toile, via BrainPickings several weeks ago and have been meaning to post about it ever since.

 

It seemed, when I watched it, such a perfect metaphor for my process when I enter the drafting stage.

 

I move forward bit by bit each day, spinning out my line of words. Sometimes I back track, working a different way or checking a knot for strength, retying it if necessary. The strands seem too delicate, flimsy in my hands, and yet somehow it holds.


It often feels like I am moving from the outside inwards, like I am circling something at the centre, something - I've realized after doing this several times now - that I can't get to until I'm at the end.

 

And then I am at the centre of it. It is done - except, no, I run back to check one section or retrieve something already caught in my web - and then, yes, yes, it is what it is. It is finished.

 

And it is not everything I expected it to be. It is looser in some places than others (I despair at how it sags) and the spacing between the threads is not perfect.

 

And yet it is something. There is something where there was once nothing. And if the light catches it just right or rain falls and drops cling to the strands, it can be, for all its flaws, a thing of wonder.

 

A wondrous thing.

 

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