Writing and Spirituality – a reflection by Jane Angué

Writing and Spirituality

Ceasing to write was a conscious necessary decision: there was no time for thinking about a life that just had to be got on with. Reflection would only lead to unhappiness.

Life changes and one learns to make time and space for what may seem superfluous but is vital to our equilibrium. One cannot permanently suppress one’s need for spirituality and some form of expression.

As someone who works with and between two languages, words, writing and communication are part of professional and daily life; but coming back to writing myself, accepting that need, although it does not make life any easier, has added another plane, that lifts life above contingencies.

Words nourish us and we feed off them, yet in a symbiotic way we nourish them, we give them substance. Our search for the word, le mot juste, drives us deep into our past, our experience, our exchanges with others, our perception, our environment and all the inherent interactions. Everything that has forged our sensibility and our choices when we write, transforms that experience as we endeavour to convey its essence. 

Of course, the words will betray us. They inevitably escape what we are trying to distil, as if we could in some way fix a volatile perfume; they will never be received as we had defined them. They defy us in the minds of others. At the same time those words are the fabric of our environment. They enable us to touch and be touched by the intangible; to give corporeity to the immanence of our world.

Sometimes the absence of expression is desirable. Being in tune, absorbing what is, with no intermediary, is perhaps the ideal state of mind. But the incredible frustrations and joys that come of trying to communicate, the need to share and exchange, to build bridges to reach the inaccessible consciousness of others, to know that we are not alone, to meet others through their writing, to experience the stories, the visions, the wonder of what we have not known ourselves, are as vital as bread and rain.

Jane Angué teaches English Language and Literature in France. She contributes in French and English to print and online journals such asLe Capital des MotsAmethyst, Ink, Sweat and TearsAcumen, Erbacce, Poésie/première, Traversées, Mille-feuille. A pamphlet, des fleurs pour Bach, was published in 2019 (Editions Encres Vives).

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