a thousand hands

Starting to write or draw each time is like a bird learning to fly, or a newborn animal learning to stand. I start off stilted, awkward, not knowing what to say. For a moment nothing seems to work right – I’m faking it, but my legs are sliding out from under me. I keep going though, because I know I need to push through, and suddenly, before I know it, I am running, I am flying, I am in the story. The drawing appears magically like a coin rubbing beneath my hands. I am living elsewhere, walking down those dark stairs, speaking with another’s voice.
All I need to learn to do (what seems impossible in one lifetime) is just to get out of the way – switch off my judging. The story is struggling to get through. It is I who hinders it with my ideas about what should and shouldn’t be. They say inspiration lights up certain parts of your brain. But does this explain where it comes from, or simply the way our minds react when we recognise it? Whose voice is this that speaks through me? Am I alone while I work, driven by chemicals and sparking synapses, or am I guided by a thousand hands?

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