• Art of Inspiration

    • The French author left copious volumes of journals where she portrayed a life devoted to finding marvels within everyday life.

    Anaïs Nin and the mystery of ordinary life / 

    Anaïs Nin was one of the most prolific journal writers of the twentieth century: in over 35 thousand pages written from the age of 11 and until her death at the age of 73, she embodied a source of eager, eloquent and outstandingly personal reflections surrounding literature, love, desire and how to have a creative life in the middle of a world sunken in disaster.

    In her last years, Nin continued to unravel a childlike awe for the facts of life, as well as a fascination (or faith perhaps?) for the unknown, the source of all beauty:

    It is possible I never learned the names of birds in order to discover the bird of peace, the bird of paradise, the bird of the soul, the bird of desire. It is possible I avoided learning the names of composers and their music the better to close my eyes and listen to the mystery of all music as an ocean. It may be I have not learned dates in history in order to reach the essence of timelessness. It may be I never learned geography the better to map my own routes and discover my own lands. The unknown was my compass. The unknown was my encyclopaedia. The unnamed was my science and progress.

    Within this mysticism of attention and the present moment, Nin preferred to always approach the mystery of being with her own tools, her own means and even with her own beliefs. She was a refined spirit that did not allow her own perception to be silenced by mundane definitions, to which she would remain faithful until the end.

    Ordinary life does not interest me. I seek only the high moments. I am in accord with the surrealists, searching for the marvellous. I want to be a writer who reminds others that these moments exist; I want to prove that there is infinite space, infinite meaning, and infinite dimension. But I am not always in what I call a state of grace. I have days of illuminations and fevers. I have days when the music in my head stops. Then I mend socks, prune trees, can fruits, polish furniture. But while I am doing this I feel I am not living.

    Also in Sphere: Anaïs Nin, Delving into the Unknown

    Tagged: Anaïs Nin, writers, inspiration