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Posted on Saturday, Aug 6th 2005

“When I think of the titanic efforts I made to canalize the hot lava which was bubbling inside me, the efforts I repeated thousands of times to bring the funnel into place and capture a word, a phrase, I think inevitably of the men of the old stone age. A hundred thousand, two hundred thousand years, three hundred thousand years to arrive at the idea of a paleolith. A phantom struggle, because they weren’t dreaming of such a thing as the paleolith. It came without effort, born of a second, a miracle you might say, except that everything which happens is miraculous. Things happen or they don’t happen, that’s all. Nothing is accomplished by sweat and struggle. Nearly everything which we call life is just insomnia, an agony because we’ve lost the habit of falling asleep. We don’t know how to let go.”

—Henry Miller on Writing

Last weekend, we were in a little hamlet called Lucia on the south coast, 25 miles south of Big Sur. Nestled in the Santa Lucia Mountains, where the cliffs drop straight into the Pacific Ocean, Lucia has but a few signs of habitation: a lodge with 10 rooms, an over-priced restaurant, a small store. Close by, further up on the mountains, a monastery of the Italian Camaldilo monks is perched in magnificent silence. A bit North, the Henry Miller Memorial library, from where I acquired the book from which I borrowed the above quote.

Miller’s struggles with writing – are they that different from the struggles of the technology entrepreneur for the next big break through idea?

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