Stolen Words

I believe in God, but not as one thing, not as an old man in the sky. I believe that what people call God is something in all of us. I believe that what Jesus and Mohammed and Buddha and all the rest said was right. It’s just that the translations have gone wrong.  –John Lennon Words are being stolen right out from under us. What happens then is we find we are going right when we thought we were going left. We find ourselves believing without reservation that North is up and South is down. We find ourselves being … Continue reading

Living and Writing in the First Person: ASSUME This!

“It is the nature of the mind to become addicted to certain ways of seeing things.”  -Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Transforming Problems into Happiness When we write in the first person there are boundaries of what we can claim to know about the other people in our story. In fiction and nonfiction alike, the same boundaries apply. In first person we can’t assume what others are thinking, or their motives for their actions. At the same time, what we the writer or first person character assume about the others in our stories and scenes are critical to our message and the reader’s experience. … Continue reading

Everything Is Waiting For You

MY QUINTESSENTIAL LESSON FOR MY WRITING STUDENTS IS THIS: STAY IN THE CONVERSATION. FROM THIS ADAGE I OFFER ESSENTIAL WRITING PROMPTS AND EXPLORATIONS TO HELP WRITERS STAY IN THE CONVERSATION WITH THEIR SUBJECT AND THEME. Presently a subject I am writng about is spiritual teachers and the theme is around what makes a good teacher. I carried this question as I went on my morning walk. On several walks this summer I noticed how a Blue Bunting sat on the top branch of a dead tree. I recalled how a friend of mine mentioned how it seemed that birds liked to occupy dead trees. From here i got … Continue reading

Give Your Self A Day: It’s Free

On this coming FRIDAY AUGUST 5th  and then on FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 2nd I am offering my (free) WRITERS’ RETREAT at our home and retreat center: Thundering Clouds Center for Creative Living, LLC. Begins at 10:00 am and goes till 4:00. Bring own lunch. Write, walk the labyrinth spiral in the restored prairie, stalk the woods, visit with the horses. Take a spot on the deck. Enjoy the awakening inside and out. We have 40 acres to explore. Or, sit comfortably in the Writer’s gazebo. At 3:00 we have a sharing circle. The prairie spiral is in full August bloom.  This is an opportunity too … Continue reading

How Not To Be Discouraged

. . . it is important that awake people be awake, or a breaking line may discourage them back to sleep; the signals we give–yes or no, or maybe– should be clear; the darkness around us is deep.   –William Stafford, A Ritual To Read To Each Other For many of us these can be discouraging times. Then again, I doubt any of us get through our lives free of discouragement. Like me, you may be discouraged by the outpour of support for Trump. Or you may be in a job or relationship that undermines you. Or you have experienced a great … Continue reading

The Wanderer

My daughter and I just returned from Ireland. Yes, Ireland is beautiful, friendly and the roads are small and curvy. As travelers we were strangers in a strange land. As such, we approached each encounter and person with curiosity and respect. Traveling slowed us down. Not just driving on the “wrong” side of the road, from the “wrong” side of a car (with a stick shift on my left); being a stranger in a new place slowed me down. Everyone and everything was unfamiliar. A good traveler relies on attentiveness (Lydia navigated our entire trip; it took two to drive through country and city). When … Continue reading

Please pass the Salt, by guest blogger (and poet) Rebecca Cecchini

My heart is full of gratitude these days for my many teachers. Particularly those passers-on of the gifts – tools of learning, of insight, or compassion, and sometimes literally of survival, those teachers on whom Wisdom relies from age to age. It’s no wonder wisdom is personified in our many traditions throughout history. It is, by nature and in fact, a living, breathing, entity. “Through us, with us, in us”… we all are gatherers and keepers of that “salt” which permeates not only our points of joy, but which also falls through the cracks in our lives, to make use … Continue reading

Getting Lost in Your Writing

When I tell people this summer’s mother daughter trip is to Ireland they inevitably ask, “What made you choose Ireland?” For those who don’t ask the inevitable question they inevitably say, “I’ve been there and it’s one of the most beautiful places on earth.” My response to the question is the skinny truth, being that there isn’t a lot of depth and mystery here. I wanted to visit a place that would take me overseas and one that was user-friendly. I also let my daughter choose; and the images of Ireland called to her too. So, I ignored my fear … Continue reading

Stop All The Clocks

I live in a beautiful community. I witnessed this again with hundreds gathering for a vigil over the recent death of a young man, a classmate of my daughters. We just gathered, lite candles, walked the football field in silence where Beau, the young man had played high school football. Beau’s death is unbelievable, unexpected, tragic and a crime, all at once. We will likely feel shock, fear, confusion, deeper and longer than from other deaths. This loss is unbearable. Grief from murder is not the same as grief to other losses. We are in shock. We are grieving. Yes, we … Continue reading

After The Final No

After the final no there comes a yes And on that yes the future world depends.                          – Wallace Stevens I led my first book, Hidden Victims Hidden Healers with this verse from Wallace Stevens.  I chose it to remind myself, and the reader, that there is a yes there, somewhere. You know as well as me, life is full of various versions of “NO:” rejections, pit falls, mistakes, losses, disappointments, misses, and more rejections. With the above book it took three years to find a publisher and I could have wallpapered my … Continue reading