Our Bridges to the World: The Art of Being & Writing

“You can perish in the famine of your own making.”  John O Donohue, Anam Cara Great scenes are like our souls––both depend heavily on the emotions and senses to reveal their true story. What is going on in a scene within our life or on the page needs an awareness and expression of our emotions. To write and live authentically means to be listening to the soul and “the body makes the senses thresholds of the soul.” (John O Donohue, Anam Cara) “A renewal, indeed a complete transfiguration of your life, can come through attention to you senses. Your senses are … Continue reading

Our Secret Lives

“After all, conventional wisdom recommends the divided life as the safe and sane way to go: ‘Don’t wear your heart on your sleeve.’ ‘Don’t make a federal case out of it.’ ‘Don’t show them the whites of your eyes.’ These are all clichéd ways we tell each other to keep personal truth apart from public life, lest we make ourselves vulnerable in the rough-and-tumble realm.” –Parker J Palmer, Let Your Life Speak Writing is a true vocation for me. A benefit of being a writer is that I find clues to my own true nature’s voice in my writing. My … 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

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

Be The Cause of Your Life

“It’s your life – but only if you make it so. The standards by which you live must be your own standards, your own values, your own convictions in regard to what is right and wrong, what is true and false, what is important and what is trivial. When you adopt the standards and the values of someone else . . . you surrender your own integrity. You become, to the extent of your surrender, less of a human being.” – Eleanor Roosevelt I work with a lot of writers, mostly creative nonfiction writers who want to share personal experiences … Continue reading

Finding What We Already Possess

Truth is within ourselves, it takes no rise from outward things; whate’er you may believe there is an inmost center in us all where truth abides in fullness; and around, wall upon wall, the gross flesh hems it in, this perfect, clear perception which is Truth. A baffling and perverting carnal mesh Binds it and makes all error; and to know rather consists in opening out a way whence the imprisoned splendor may escape than in effecting entry for a light supposed to be without. Robert Browning, from “Paracelsus” I have written in journals since the age of 16, which is … Continue reading

Ask The Expert This

  There are no experts on a subject. I trust the teacher (doctor or friend) who is still learning about their subjects. I trust the one who continues to explore subjects. When someone stops exploring, they stop learning and this “quitting” interferes with their capacity to truly contribute. When they stop their exploring their view becomes increasingly narrow where they ignore a wider berth of possibilities. I don’t seek “experts,” unless they are willing to engage in authentic conversation. In this authentic conversation we both explore together, so that we may discover what is truly possible. If we “already know” then we are unlikely to discover anything new.  For … Continue reading

Make Your Own Bible

Writing, above all, is seeing clearly. Peter Mathiessen, Letters from the Wild Since the age of sixteen I have relied on spiritual journaling and the I Ching to navigate the ups and downs of my life. Spiritual journaling uses journaling and personal inquiry to investigate our life circumstances, deepen our spiritual practices, increase our awareness, and open up to our creativity. Self inquiry through journaling is a method used for thousands of years and is recommended as part of the treatment for depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and self-abuse (cutting). Many remarkable books, such as A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold, come from a journal. Journaling accesses the inner teacher … 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

How My Blind Dog Sees

 The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes. –Marcel Proust Recently I had a conversation with a mentor of mine; we discussed the possibility of working together on a project. I took this to be a great compliment and, after the conversation, I was flooded with a sense of gratitude that was so strong, it brought tears to my eyes. Had his generosity elicited this response? Or was it because I knew that collaboration with him could open myriad of inner and outer doors for me? I wasn’t sure. The next day … Continue reading