Fishing For Fallen Light: A Tanka inspired by David Lynch and Pablo Neruda

I thought of David Lynch and his book, Catching the Big Fish, when I read a particular poem by Pablo Neruda in The Sea and the Bells. Both deal with the search for illumination; finding and clarifying a creative idea.

In this video David answers a question about his creative process, describing where ideas come from and how they coalesce into a finished product: David Lynch: ‘Ideas Are Like Fish.’ He says ideas are like fish and the deeper you go the more powerful, abstract and beautiful they are. Your desire for an idea is like a bait on a hook. When you catch one, others get attracted to it. Lynch sometimes gets a part of an idea and others come along. He writes them down. He advises that you have to stay true to the initial idea as it begins to form, even in ways you may not have anticipated, until it all comes together and you get it right. He describes how a script for a film can come about in this way.

The last line-stanza in Neruda’s poem uses the same idea, described here as sitting on the rim of a well of darkness fishing for fallen light.

Talk about transcending and patiently waiting to catch the big fish, an idea that will illuminate the mind and inform a work of art!

Here is that poem by Pablo Neruda in The Sea and the Bells (pp. 82/83):

Si cada día
dentro de cada noche,
hay un pozo
donde la claridad está encerrada.

Hay que sentarse a la orilla
del pozo de la sombra
y pescar luz caída
con paciencia.

If each day falls
inside each night,
there exists a well
where clarity is imprisoned.

We need to sit on the rim
of the well of darkness
and fish for fallen light
with patience.

Here is my tanka inspired by David Lynch and Pablo Neruda:

Fishing For Fallen Light

Catching the big fish
will illuminate the mind
and inform the work

Look within to find the light
ideas are swimming there

More information on David Lynch and his book:

This audio book review provides a clear synopsis of David’s book and the ideas expressed in it. See Inspiring excerpts – David Lynch: Catching the Big Fish – Meditation, Consciousness, and Creativity, which lists quotes by topic posted on StillnessSpeaks.com. You can listen to Catching the Big Fish (FULL AUDIOBOOK) on YouTube. Excerpts by topic can be found on YouTube, for example, the notion of suffering to create.

David Lynch says meditation has allowed him to remove stress and access deeper more beautiful ideas he falls in love with and translates into film, painting, sculpture or music. In this talk filmmaker David Lynch describes his experience of the creative process in the light of his practice of Transcendental Meditation at the Majestic Theater in Boston. He says, “It’s a great thing for the filmmaker.”

See Inspiring excerpts – David Lynch: Catching the Big Fish – Meditation, Consciousness, and Creativity.

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3 Responses to “Fishing For Fallen Light: A Tanka inspired by David Lynch and Pablo Neruda”

  1. Inspiring excerpts – David Lynch: Catching the Big Fish – Meditation, Consciousness, and Creativity | The Uncarved Blog Says:

    […] Ken Chawkin's articles & poems: Transcendental Meditation, consciousness & enlightenment « Fishing For Fallen Light: A Tanka inspired by David Lynch and Pablo Neruda […]

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  2. Ruth Guillard Says:

    This has been a wonderful blog topic; thank you, Ken and David!
    Here’s a poem on diving into the source of creativity:

    IDEA

    Amorphous thing, pulsating
    On the bottom of the sea
    I know what creature it is
    I know that if I want to
    I can dive down, scoop it up
    Examine its parts for worth
    And throw it back to grow large
    Till it rises on its own
    Leaping up into my net

    © Ruth F Guillard, 2013

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  3. Ken Chawkin Says:

    I like this poem of falling into a well of light:
    Concerning the Atoms of the Soul by John Glenday

    Someone explained once how the pieces of what we are
    fall downwards at the same rate
    as the Universe.
    The atoms of us, falling towards the centre

    of whatever everything is. And we don’t see it.
    We only sense their slight drag in the lifting hand.
    That’s what weight is, that communal process of falling.
    Furthermore, these atoms carry hooks, like burrs,

    hooks catching like hooks, like clinging to like,
    that’s what keeps us from becoming something else,
    and why in early love, we sometimes
    feel the tug of the heart snagging on another’s heart.

    Only the atoms of the soul are perfect spheres
    with no means of holding on to the world
    or perhaps no need for holding on,
    and so they fall through our lives catching

    against nothing, like perfect rain,
    and in the end, he wrote, mix in that common well of light
    at the centre of whatever the suspected
    centre is, or might have been.

    Like

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