William Stafford, one of my favorite poets, said that writers must be “willingly fallible to deserve a place in the realm where miracles happen.” He also asked that we “talk recklessly.” Of course he was referring to qualities necessary to the writing state of mind, but would they not also be worthy of a blog conversation about writing? I want this blog to promote that kind of vulnerable self-exposure. Let’s be open with our ideas and our responses to the ideas of others. Fallibility is nakedness. It’s about giving and receiving.
Regarding miracles happening, we know better than to expect that in the sense of fame and fortune. Stafford could not have been suggesting that. In his son’s preface to the collection entitled Ask Me, Kim Stafford said that his father awakened every morning before dawn to write with the intention “to look around and understand” that the world is “mysterious, dark, enticing.” I believe his father was speaking of miracle as a state of mind eminently reachable for those who open themselves broadly and deeply to their own and others’ fallibility. It’s about being open to all experience with mind and heart, with respect and humility. About sharing with each other the enticing, mysterious nature of all that happens in our lives and minds, including and perhaps especially the dark ones.
Let’s do that. Let’s talk about what it means to be human.