Personal Essay

Inner Spaces

Reading To Illuminate Inner Spaces

Kevin J Fellows
2 min readDec 23, 2022

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Woman reading near a window.
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Words sounded, exhaled;
imprinted in my mind,
written on my page.
But their meaning infirm,
their definitions incomplete.
Words recalled, and re-spoken
imprinted again to
take a new form.
Gaining the retina of
new understanding.
The process continues —
I in conversation with myself

In this season of light — artificial light; bulbs and candles — we are drawn inside. The weather is too sharp. Public spaces are too full of colds, flu, and worse. I’m also drawn to my own interior, for more, if not deeper, contemplation.

Sure, maybe there are resolutions and plans to make, or a year to review. But maybe it’s a time to just sit with ourselves. Take a breath and close our eyes. What lives inside? No matter what we find, we live with it and it lives with us. Some might call this meditation or being present. For me, it’s just allowing my thoughts to flow and to inspect or interrogate them, not to push them away.

A good book, and by that I mean one that makes me think — one that leads me to contemplation — is often the doorway. Or perhaps, more accurately, the key to unlocking connections.

I’m reading Ursula K. Le Guin’s Finding my Elegy: New and Selected Poems and Jane Hirshfield’s Ten Windows: How Great Poems Transform the World. I recently finished Sofia Samatar’s memoir, The White Mosque. The only through-line between these is how each of them makes me think about my life and my work.

Like creativity itself, it’s not the results that matter as much as the process. Doing the activity opens possibilities, makes unexpected connections. These books might lead me to a particular epiphany, or they may not. But it’s the exploration and the thinking that matters most.

They say the point of a journey
is in the traveling not
the destination, but there is more
The point of our travels is to fill us
with having journeyed

It might be dark outside, dimly lit and cozy inside, but my mind will be ablaze, sparking and discovering. My to-be-read list will keep the lights on for many weeks.

© 2022 Kevin J. Fellows

I’m a poet and writer. My debut novel is At the End of the World and my first poetry collection is An Important Sky. I’m also co-host of The Time is Right: Living a Creative Life podcast. You can learn more at kevinjfellows.com

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Kevin J Fellows

Novelist & Poet. Author of At the End of the World and the poetry collection, An Important Sky. Fiction and poetry editor. Podcaster. More at: kevinjfellows.com