From Jean Houston’s A Passion for the Possible: ” In a tribe in West Africa, for example, community issues are looked at in ways we would find astonishing. The question–(the community problem) is presented in a village meeting. Then the people dance the problem, sing about it, draw it in the sand, close their eyes and imagine solutions, sleep and dream about it, dance some more, and then suddenly– a solution. And a very good one.
“When you seek a solution to a problem that concerns you (like writer’s block), don’t just sit there and frown. Dance, drum, imagine, invoke, invite, draw and sing the issue.”
As nutty as this sounds, when I didn’t know what to do next in my life, I taped the question all over my apartment (“Questions and How to Answer Them” from You are Not the Target by Laura Huxley) and then took off all my clothes and danced the question (Dance Naked… You are Not the Target by Laura Huxley).
It worked. Instead of suggesting a new occupation, the answer to the question was “live passionately, with deep feeling.” The answer came from a completely different place and one that I would have never reached if I had kept “thinking” about it.
I am going to do these techniques with figuring out how to deepen the novel. I picked up Freedom and the Tragic Life by Vyacheslav Ivanov. It is an analysis of Dostoievsky’s novels. I realized in reading this that I have a more tragic understanding of life, when my novel is pop superficial, saturated with the current trends in American life.
I don’t know how to do this off the top of my head, but if I dance and relax and see what imagery develops and sing about it, I think I will come up with the answer.