RIP Ursula Le Guin

Author Laini Taylor shared this lovely poem by Ursula Le Guin on Twitter. It reminds me of what it's like to be a storyteller and can certainly relate to her words. RIP Ursula.

Long ago when I was Ursula 
writing, but not “the writer,”
and not very plural yet, 
and worked with the owls not the sparrows, 
being young, scribbling at midnight: 
I came to a place
where the road turned  and divided, 
it seemed like,   
going different ways,  
I was lost.  
I didn’t know which way.  
It looked like one roadsign said To Town  
and the other didn’t say anything.  
So I took the way that didn’t say.  
I followed  
“I don’t care,” I said,  
“I don’t care if nobody ever reads it!  
I’m going this way.”  
And I found myself  
in the dark forest, in silence.  
You maybe have to find yourself,  
in the dark forest.  
Anyhow, I did then. And still now,  
always. At the bad time.  
When you find the hidden catch  
in the secret drawer  
behind the false panel  
inside the concealed compartment  
in the desk in the attic  
of the house in the dark forest,  
and press the spring firmly,  
a door flies open to reveal  
a bundle of old letters,  
and in one of them  
is a map 
of the forest  
that you drew yourself 
before you ever went there. 
         The Writer At Her Work: 
I see her walking 
on a path through a pathless forest, 
or a maze, a labyrinth.
As she walks she spins, 
and the fine thread falls behind her 
following her way, 
where she is going, where she has gone. 
Teling the story. 
The line, the thread of voice, 
the sentences saying the way. 
         The Writer On Her Work: 
I see her, too, I see her 
lying on it. 
Lying, in the morning early, 
rather uncomfortable. 
Trying to convince herself 
that it’s a bed of roses, 
a bed of laurels, 
or an innerspring mattress, 
or anyhow a futon. 
But she keeps twitching. 
There’s a lump, she says. 
There’s something 
like a rock—like a lentil— 
I can’t sleep. 
There’s something 
the size of a split pea 
that I haven’t written. 
That I haven’t written right. 
 I can’t sleep.   
She gets up  
and writes it.  
Her work  
is never done. 
—Ursula K. Le Guin, from “The Writer on, and at, Her Work” 
Some of my favorite quotes:
“Love doesn't just sit there, like a stone, it has to be made, like bread; remade all the time, made new.” 
― Ursula K. Le Guin
“The creative adult is the child who has survived.” 
― Ursula K. Le Guin
“People who deny the existence of dragons are often eaten by dragons. From within.” 
― Ursula K. Le Guin
“We read books to find out who we are. What other people, real or imaginary, do and think and feel... is an essential guide to our understanding of what we ourselves are and may become.” 
― Ursula K. Le Guin
I can also relate to the bottom quote with writing too. I write and then learn more about myself and what I want to become.
Thank you for all the words you have written, Ursula.



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