How to Band A Duck

In the above image my daughter releases a banded duck. She has been trapping and banding ducks with her father since she could walk. Banding is a way to capture part of a duck’s story. We discover their migratory path, where they live, but mostly banding tells us a story about their survival and mortality. To band a duck, we first have to rise at predawn to wait in the brush while one person sits in a blind to shoot the net over the ducks. Then, you take a hold of each duck, band it with the help of others, and finally, you release the bird back … Continue reading

Writing To Remember

This old tale was handed down to Clarissa Pinkola Estés. She shares this in her little book: The Gift of Story. For me, this tale is about writing to remember and the power of passing on our legacies through story so others can remember too . . . The beloved Bal Shem Tov was dying and sent for his disciples. “I have acted as intermediary for you, and now when I am gone you must do this for yourselves. You know the place in the forest where I call to God? Stand there in that place and do the same. You know … Continue reading

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

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