I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve. --- Rear Admiral Yamamoto, Navy of Japan December 1942
Sleeping Giant Inish Tuaisceart - Blasket Island
I stumbled on photos of Ireland's Sleeping Giant Island and immediately the images haunted me. Being a lover a natural phenomena, I get lovely childlike chills every time I look at this photograph. My imagination runs wild with it. The believably unbelievable. Fantasy.
In the back of my mind, though, the words sleeping giant teased. Where had I heard them before? Then I remembered another haunting---but real---moment in history in which those words were spoken. In reference to the war with the United States, Admiral Yamamota of Japan's Navy said these words. Too late, at least he recognized his country had stirred the mighty sleeping giant into a terrible, unstoppable resolve.
Those words and the photographs of the incredible, mysterious isle jumbled together in my mind in the most troubling yet enlightening storm of my writing venture.
I don't mean to trivialize historical events; but I couldn't help but parallel that thought...a sleeping giant...to my own present condition.
This is not about writers' block. Writers' block is temporary. For a true writer, it almost always goes away. Different means of annihilating it for different authors, but it's usually always curable.
No, this is about something deeper, something that's been binding my mind---where creativity is concerned, anyway---and has almost completely smothered that once-lovely process inside me.
What to attribute it to, I don't know. Maybe the deaths of loved ones this year. Maybe it's something physical. I don't know. But whatever it is, my desire to write has---in the last few weeks---been nil. It's as though some switch between my heart and my brain has been shut off. Not only shut off but almost rusted over.
The torture of it? The damn characters are still there, running around in my mind. I'm here to tell you, there really is such a thing as a plot bunny, because these babies are multiplying rapidly. Their faces, their dialogue, their stories. Yet, right now, they're only a maddening, nightmarish conglomeration of disjointed junk.
But they ARE there, and I'm happy for that. That means my writing pulse is not completely flatlined.
Okay, to the link between the sleeping giant and me?
It's really kind of beautiful.
I realized, when I read those infamous---or famous?---words of Yamamota's that this force inside me, these characters simmering just below the surface, are just that. A beautiful sleeping giant.
Beacuse sleeping giants are sleeping. They may not rise to the surface until provoked or just simply tired of resting, but they are not dead, they are only dormant. And when they are stirred, when they finally do become active? Like the power of one of nature's most beautiful spectacles, the volcano, they are unleashed and what comes from them is pure and fierce. And natural.
So, instead of trying to force creativity on myself while this force inside me slumbers, I'm going to try to be patient. Sure, I'll write something, anything, just to keep the cranks primed.
I'll stop being envious because other authors are churning out stories, the new releases. I'll have to learn patience and accept that my timing is my own. And that I can't force this timing. If I drag my sleeping giant out of hibernation before its season, all I'm going to get is a sleepy version of my own talent. And that's not good enough for me.
It's exciting to know----more importantly---to FEEL that there are beautiful stories inside me waiting to be told. By me and me alone. And I suspect they are going to be worth the wait. And I suspect when my own personal giant is fully awake...it will be with a terribly beautiful resolve.