In Other Words . . .

“Facts can never be understood except in communion with the imagination.”– Parker J Palmer   “Writing, real writing, should leave a small sweet bruise somewhere on the writer . . . and on the reader.” ― Clarissa Pinkola Estés   “Does the blind man own his escort? No, neither do we the story: rather it is the story that owns us and directs us.”–Chinua Achebe   “We transcend this world by being able to story it differently.” –David R. Loy, The World is made of Stories “Fairy tales, as G. K. Chersterton once said, are more than true. Not because … Continue reading

Still Writing

I began writing into journals at the age of sixteen. I still write in journals, pocket notebooks, note cards, sticky notes, and, sooner or later, into my computer. Writing is a way of life for me. It is how I hold conversations with the Great Unknown. I give myself permission to write about whatever calls to me. I write out whatever spiritual paradox, creative idea, or, relationship challenge presents itself to me. As I write I story my life. Instead of letting the world, or my past, or even circumstances I am in dictate my story, I write. I reframe. I re-story. I add new characters, … Continue reading

Better Late Than Never (Or Not?)

For me living the active life gets down to conversation and community. I emphasize doing spiritual and creative work in circle, whenever possible. I hold all my classes in circles because we are all teachers, we all bring something unique and meaningful to the whole. As a leader, I learn too from those who show up and share their wisdom. Writing, relationships, and spiritual practice depend upon our showing up in an on-going conversation around our ideas, intentions and questions. One of my circles is “virtual.” We meet on-line for a virtual writing circle around 5 am to write together. Community is felt … Continue reading

So Much Here

“The entire heavenly realm is within us, but to find it we have to relate to what’s outside.”  ­ –Joseph Campbell No signs of our cranes this year, although a male crane appears each sunrise calling out his primordial song. My husband claimed this could mean a female is there on her nest. I doubted it because there wasn’t any sign of them doing their usual mating dance or nest building. I’ve been holding a conversation with the pond and its inhabitants for nearly two decades. Most of my attention has been on the comings and goings of a certain pair of … Continue reading

Bewitched By Backstory

At 5:15 each weekday morning I am up with my virtual writing support group. About eight of us have committed to “write together.” By the time I have sent my daughter off to school I have fulfilled one creative intention. This accomplishment lifts me up throughout the day. Still, this getting to the page isn’t any sort of magic pill. I still have to get the words out. I still have to have my words find a way to become a scene of a good story. And there in is a glitch — Somewhere in my fiction writing I find myself … Continue reading

Einstein Had A Day Job

Once Einstein graduated from college, unable to land a teaching position, he got a day job. By then he had developed a deep curiosity about the mysteries of life and no matter what he was up to, kept a conversation going with the questions he held about these mysteries.  He explored mathematics, inquired about how things worked, all which resulted in ideas and then of course, discoveries. “I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.” —Albert Einstein — To Carl Seelig – March 11,1952.  We start with a curiosity about some dream or question we have, we hold a … Continue reading

Writer’s Bliss

“If you follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. Wherever you are – if you are following your bliss, you are enjoying that refreshment, that life within you, all the time. –Joseph Campbell It takes discipline to follow our bliss. Bliss is a result of having taken some heart-directed action. Bliss is not something some are born with and others are not. Following your bliss gives lasting results of fulfillment, connection and … Continue reading

The Possibility of Doubt and Uncertainty

The Ship’s Captain and the Ogress The ogress warns the captain never even to look, let alone venture, to the south of her island. This admonition arouses his doubt and uncertainty about what he is being told. He becomes curious, so, one day he evades her watchful eyes and steals away to explore. There in the south, he finds the king of horses, Balahaka, who will carry you away across the ocean to safety on the other shore if you hold on to even one hair of his mane. And so the captain escaped from the island on which he had been held prisoner.      … Continue reading

Happily Ever After

After the making of breakfasts, and the hours, days, years of working, after the losses and dealing with aging or sickness, after putting the baby to sleep, getting the daughter off to school, after the love-making and the arguing, after the garden has been planted, weeded and harvested, after the son has been married and the animals vaccinated, after the house has been repainted and tree planted, after the second diploma, after teaching others, healing others, after the filling of another journal, after the loss of something precious that can’t be found, after the long trip abroad or the staying … Continue reading

Is That So?

It’s a powerful thing and a great accomplishment,–– to write and live your own story. Sometimes I write a story out so I can better live it. Sometimes I try a story on for size and see how it fits. I write to explore, understand and transform ideas. Rewriting the written word, and reframing my life, are tools that keep me focused and content. An exercise I suggest for writers is to take a favored myth or teaching story (such as the one below) and rewrite it, reinvent it as your own. Use it to transform or reframe something you … Continue reading