Nihil Initio

I have been blocked (writer’s block) for a long time now, since after Nanowrimo in November. Of course, I had plenty going on in my life at the time, so its only to be expected. Now though, I am no longer desperate and depressed–in fact, I feel quite happy–and I want to do something meaningful with my time, and that means being creative. It means writing or drawing, and I really want to write.

Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to start. The well of words within me feels dried up.

Nihil initio. How ironic. I created that as my internet ID of choice a long time ago, by looking through the dictionary and stringing together two Latin words I found and liked the sound of, together. Nihil initio: from nihil nothing, and initio to start, to begin. Nothing starts, or to start nothing.

I have been working to defeat this bout of literary nihilism for the past couple weeks, and in one book I have recently read–“Writer’s Block and How to Use it”–there is this quote, from medieval alchemical lore:

Ars requiret totum hominem. “Art requires the presence of the total being.” Which means, according to this book, that to write requires all of who you are, the unconscious as well as the conscious self. That to dispel a block means to let go of your conscious, insistent need and unleash instead, your playful, relaxed, unconscious desire.

So that is what I am trying to do now, let go of my need to write what I “must” write and just write what my inner self most wants to write, right now. Which apparently, is this.

Before I came on this blog to write this, I spent a few minutes leafing though the pages of an old forgotten journal and found the two following haikus. I cannot remember what I wrote these for, or what inspiration compelled me to write them, but I read them now and am struck by how true they are for me still, after the many months they sat lost in the pages of my journal. And somehow, I feel there is a connection between the message of these simple haikus and my current state of nihil initio :

People like the strange,
The unknown, the deep shadows–
Bright lights are blinding.

Sometimes there is a
Greater joy in wondering
Than in the knowing.


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