This world. This place. This life.

Don’t say, don’t say there is no water


One of the poems read early on at the Wrangell Mountain Center writing workshop was Denise Levertov’s “The Fountain.”

I heard the poem’s images deeply. I felt dry. I felt like I had nothing to say.

Me?  A writer?  I just blog.

Don’t say, don’t say there is no water.
That fountain is there among its scalloped
green and gray stones,

it is still there and always there
with its quiet song and strange power
to spring in us,

up and out through the rock.

Levertov’s words were an invitation to trust, and I accepted her invitation.  I chose to trust the process, to trust that there is a story inside me, a story worth telling.

Every morning we met before breakfast for writers’ circle.  Some of us scribbled in our notebooks, and others used some of their precious laptop battery life.   We trekked to the toe of the glacier, and hiked right onto the Kennicott glacier.  We paid attention to the surrounding world, and the indwelling world.  We wrote, and wrote, and wrote.

And by midweek I knew that yes, there is water in the well.


2 thoughts on “Don’t say, don’t say there is no water

  1. What a phenomenal place to have a workshop, and good on you for responding to the invitation. I’ve also struggled with claiming the “right” to identify myself as a writer, minimizing my own storytelling as lesser than others’. I suspect that you, like me, would be quick to deconstruct that if it was coming from a friend, but I have a tough time offering the myself the same compassion. Cheers to finding the water!

    • Hi, Tele! Yes, it’s really hard to hear the strength of our own voice, isn’t it? Your voice comes through loud & clear for me. 🙂

      I imagine that the end of July is a really bad time for you to get away to a workshop, right? Otherwise, I’d highly recommend it for you. It was truly wonderful.

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