The Creative Power of Solitude

Rivera walking on the mesa.

The desert mesa stretches east and west and all around.

Taos-town lies five miles off.

Only our next-door neighbors know our names.

Here, in solitude, the stories sing themselves.

Two months of quiet and the creative juices bubble over.  Since moving to the Taos Plateau from Santa Cruz, CA, two new plays, the text of a new book, a few essays, poems, and artistic projects have sprung forth from total focus and sheer love of this work.

Everyday, I rise and dance.  Then I drink tea, meditate, and begin work, even before breakfast.  The rice congee cooking on the stove, the incense furling, and my mind listening for the stories, new material has flowed like the spring that Long Shoe dowsed in “The Imagine-a-nation”.

After hours of writing, with a break for food, I’ll stumble out into the afternoon sunshine to pace the mesa foot trails that stretch for miles through the sage brush.  In the evenings, by the fire, drawing and sketching soothes my mind and brings it with the pencil point to a precision of quiet that prepares my mind for sleeping.

The wind on the chimney and the coyotes yipping are the sounds of our surroundings.  The quiet brings me to the source, the listening, and the dedication to write stories on behalf of all beings.  I read the Mahayana Buddhist Sutras, the Shaivite poems of Lalleshwari, the Taoist verses of Sun Pu-erh.  I let the dross of all I’ve known and learned settle to the bottom of the pond, so I can see, with clarity, how tell stories that end all suffering.

With Love, Rivera Sun


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