Definition of Phrontistery: noun, a place to think or study
My niece, Hayley, jumped into bed in the middle of the day and covered her head. We were on vacation near Sarasota, trying to balance homework with a good time. Through a muffled voice, she kept saying, “Leave Me Alone.”
A junior-high paper on the pros and cons of gun control was due in three days. Her parents stood on each side of her, and opposing ends of the issue of weapons and permits. They were gently unified in their goal that she just start writing and all would be solved. But a contest of wills ensued, and Hayley popped her head out from the blankets. She said, “I’m thinking!”
I butt in with, “In her mind she’s working on it.”
What looks like stalling to others can be vital to the process of getting in the chair with a firm concept from which to build. My strategies include whispering to my orchids, talking to myself, or arranging new vignettes from my vintage French pottery collection. The gym is good for finding the rhythm of a dialogue, but running errands kills the day. So does a lot of talking with others during peak writing hours. Hiding under the covers wouldn’t be my choice, but when Hayley came out, she was ready to write.
Creative concepts naturally happen in all kinds of situations. But to grasp from the ethers the perfect phrase, a well thought out essay, a finished book, or to write as a spiritual practice, a phrontistery is required. I need proper ergonomics in an aesthetic environment, and silence. Otherwise, Good Ideas Gone By is the only story there is.
Photo of orchid by Marissa Bridge
P.S: For the rest of August, Marissa and I are suspending this column. We need to sink into our individual phrontisteries and work on bigger projects. Bearing much gratitude for you, our followers, we’ll resume soon.
The creative process for each person is a different experience. Getting the mind to the right place to let it flow is a big part of being an artist for all mediums. Our individual phrontisteries are our own private castle, that little get away to our own most private thoughts. I love the beautiful collaborations that both of you ladies have provided to me with such great joy, but I also understand the need to diverge to other projects that are calling your name. I always eagerly await the next collaboration of pure genius.
We will be back, Dixie, am working on a book for the rest of th summer, and Marissa is in a remote place making art. Technology is very slow there so we’ll give it this time for other works, and then come back together.
I know that your venture on the current book and the art for Marissa will be incredible. I know that when you reconnect to do your magical series it will be even better as a result of the new projects that for now are where your heart and souls are.
Thank you for your support, Dixie. We love you.