Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.

Following the thread

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William Stafford

[Bill Stafford’s] feeling was that you take the first thing that’s happened to you during the day—whether it is someone jogging past the house or something you think of—and that’s the thread you start with, then you try to follow that thread. He had this wonderful quatrain from Blake:

I give you the end of a golden string,
     Only wind it into a ball,
It will lead you in at Heaven’s gate
     Built in Jerusalem’s wall.

Stafford believed that a thread well-followed, gently, will lead you to the center of the universe. In that place where there is no difference between night and day and no difference between men and women, no difference between good and evil—in that place. He called it following the thread. I love that process very much. You can simply begin with a story.

Robert Bly, to Bill Moyers in The Language of Life

Written by nevalalee

December 10, 2015 at 7:30 am

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