Priming the pump is generally defined as:
a government action taken to stimulate an economy during a recessionary period.
I borrow the metaphor for the creative process, to get the juices flowing, as it were, after a lengthy period of —
Stagnation? Stagflation? Incubation?
At any rate, some sort of, “-tion”.
Another way to look at the metaphor is the hand water pump.
As a child, my first experience of the water pump was on the deck of the family cabin in Wilsonia, CA.
Located in the Sierra Nevada mountains at 6,617 elevation, our cabin was a refuge from Fresno’s blistering summer heat.
Built by my Maternal Grandfather’s family, the cabin served as my wild sanctuary.
I remember photos of these men in model T Fords crawling up those hillsides, like bugs, loaded with building materials!
The cabin was bare bones primitive.
A common room, with stone fireplace and built in dining table and benches (which held storage of games, cards, and books about mythology) was the heart of the place.
My favorite piece of furniture was the the suede fringe chair by the big console radio. The mammoth photo of a snarling mountain lion hung over the couch nearby. I preferred my distance from the cat.
A tiny kitchen, the size of a small closet, was the place for meal preparation and clean up.
3 Bedrooms, with strange wall art that the family had accumulated in the Southwest–very Georgia O’Keefe. Patchwork quilts made up the old brass beds. Each room had a chamber pot, in the event one did not wish to make the long trip outside and down the steep stairs to the outhouse.
The only running water to be found was out of that miraculous marvelous hand pump on the deck.
After minutes of pump priming, freshets of icy pure mountain water would emerge, never failing to delight me.
When the plumbing upgrade happened, bringing a shower and running water inside, I was deflated. Perhaps, the reconfiguration away from the source was drying to my little soul?
…C.G. Jung utilized the image of the riverbed as a way to describe archetypes.
The riverbed may dry up at times, but the water surely finds its way back to the grooves laid down over eons.
Perhaps, the beginning of this blog is like that initial trickle of water from the aquifers of the Soul.
I invite and welcome your comments as we prime the pump together.
Vox Anima, SDM
6 thoughts on “Priming the Pump”
Susan, great description of the Wilsonia cabin life and the pump. Is the cabin still in your family?
I desire to read this sort of stuff.Thanks for the put up.
Thank you, lunette…more to come. SDM
The well illustrated description of the cabin and the pump bring back memories to me of my own childhood, punctuated with icy fresh mountain streams. I think the pump is primed.
Keep writing…I love where this is going. Your blog reminds me a little of Dorothy’s, which I thoroughly enjoy.
Perhaps, Colleen, the fruit does not fall far from the tree? SDM