Wendell Berry on Inspiration & Realization

“There are, it seems, two muses: the Muse of Inspiration, who gives us inarticulate visions and desires, and the Muse of Realization, who returns again and again to say “It is yet more difficult than you thought.” This is the muse of form. It may be then that form serves us best when it works as an obstruction, to baffle us and deflect our intended course. It may be that when we no longer know what to do, we have come to our real work and when we no longer know which way to go, we have begun our real journey. The mind that is not baffled is not employed. The impeded stream is the one that sings.” 

Wendell Berry

The writer comes again and again to the importance of not knowing, of bafflement, of thwarted intention – bringing us to the threshold of what is inchoate, formless, and cannot readily be reduced to words or ideas. The magic and the mystery of the dark….. in which a deeper creativity and aliveness are birthed….

‘It may be that when we no longer know what to do, we have come to our real work.’

Palace Gate Counselling Service, Exeter

Counselling Exeter since 1994

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