Monthly Archives: August 2011

something has sparked under my fingers

stencil graffiti of a lighthouse shining a triangle of light out over water, with the words, 'you are my sailboat'Good morning — Outside the foghorns are going like a bassoon symphony, like a bass chorus.

This is one of those difficult mornings, where the gremlin voices are scampering all over inside my head, under my skin, through the tender places — where I hear, You’re almost 40. What have you done? What can you hope to accomplish? Wouldn’t it be better just to keep sleeping?

In my dream, there was a classroom filled with people, huge but not theater style; some students were in chairs, others were sitting on the floor. There were bookshelves around the edges of the room, stuffed with books, unorganized, homely. We had a Peggy Phelan reader, and were reading a chapter about ontology. I came in late, didn’t have a reader, wasn’t prepared. Maybe we were at my old high school, but no one in the room was familiar to me, and it wasn’t a high school class — this was more advanced.

It’s interesting to me that most of my performance-anxiety dreams in the last couple of years have to do with Body Heat performance, not school: I arrive at a venue and I don’t have my chapbook and I’m not dressed and we have to go on in two minutes or something like that. Is this a shift, these school-focused dreams?

In another part of the dream there was a donkey standing over, literally on top of, a mule.

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Tonight’s the Erotic Reading Circle — can you come join us?

Also, the Fall workshops begin in just over a month, and early-bird registration ends on 9/1!

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So, I’m entering my second week of waking closer to 4am, to give myself close to 2 hours of solid writing time before the day officially begins, before the light comes up. I find that I’m jealously guarding this time. I have to go to bed by 9 to get up this early, trade evening movies or tv for morning creativity. The whole day has shifted forward, earlier, by two or three hours.

I adore this time, but have to battle the voices and the sleeping self most mornings — why bother, it says, not even asking, just smearing its disbelief, its hostility, over my tired eyes. Then there will be a little battle, the other part, the quieter part,  doesn’t exactly reply to the first voice, but speaks directly to the part of the self that has control over the muscles, that can pull us all out of the covers: you need this time. it’s the one part of the day that you feel whole.

And that little voice is right. I noticed yesterday (when I was contemplating again why it is that I feel constantly stressed even though my schedule, compared to most folks in the world, is remarkablly light) that I tend to multitask, or expect to be multitasking, nearly every second of the day — except when I’m here. Except when it’s too early for any other work to be done, except for when I’m in front of the morning pages and I’ve pushed through the first part of the writing and something in the story has sparked under my fingers and the words keep coming. Then I feel all the way in one place, right here, solid, centered, well.

(That ever-present multitasking is crazy-making, I think. This is that mindfulness practice, isn’t it? Being here with whatever you’re doing. The second I try to do two things at once I’m more deeply fragmented, and when I try to rush through whatever it is I’m in the middle of to get to the next thing, I’ve abandoned the first project because I’ve removed the fullness of my attention. What does it mean to let myself be all the way in this moment, to act like I’m writing all the time? Maybe that’s a good way to think about it.)

I’m sorry I haven’t been as present here — the other thing I noticed is that I’ve been trying to do so much, do morning pages and a blog post and work on one creative project or another during the 15 or 30 minutes I’d been giving myself for writing every morning. Of course, something had to give. And right now that giving, that gift, is project-focused. I’ll still be updating here, and I expect to get back to a regular posting schedule; it might not be every day.

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Here’s a prompt I used yesterday, when I needed one for my own work. I found it through WritingFix’s prompt generator — a great resource!

The prompt: “What does that tell you about your father?  List five products your father used (or uses).  Write a longer piece about, at least, one of them.”

Give yourself 10 minutes with this, or 15 if you have more time. Set your timers and get the pen down on the page, follow your writing wherever it seems to want you to go!

Thank you for all that you notice, for your fine attention to detail, for the way you allow your whole self to be present, for the way you practice. Thank you for your words.

we’d finally look at what we know

black and white graffiti of eyes watching the viewerHello Tuesday!

These posts have gotten a bit more sporadic! I’m sorry for that — I’m making some changes in my morning schedule which affects blog-writing time.

I shared this yesterday in the Writing Ourselves Whole newsletter: “Now that the workshops are on break, I’m doing a lot of work on a handful of longer writing projects (not least of which is preparing for the Tomales Bay Workshops), because I’m ready to be a Published Author with a Book. Will you keep some good thoughts for me as I work to shift my own and the puppy’s schedules so that I can rise between 4 and 4:3oam to write for a couple hours before the official work-day begins?”

I managed it this morning — and, whew, am I sleepy already.

Anyway, as I get more comfortable with the schedule, I expect to begin find a consistent blog-posting routine again.

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This month’s Writing the Flood is this Saturday, 8/20! (How have we already reached the third Saturday of the month?) Remember: Writing the Flood is a writing group for anyone looking to prime the writing pump: using the Amherst Writers and Artists method, we will write together in response to exercises designed to get those pens moving, and get onto the page the stories, poems, essays, images and voices that have been stuck inside for too long. Grab your notebook and come join us for an afternoon of great writes and excellent writing community!

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I’m going back through old notebooks (from the last several years), pulling out and typing up work that fits with one project or another, or that might fit here. Today, I’m sharing with you a write and prompt from July 2007:

this was the prompt — create 2 lists: one titled “what I know” and one titled “what I don’t know.” Choose at least one item from each list, and use those as your starting place.

Here was my write:

It’s difficult, the things that are known and the things that are unknown and when I say difficult, I mean shitty and infuriating and when I say ‘ are known’ and ‘ are unknown’ in that most passive voice, what i mean is the things I can say for certain and the things that I could possibly have never said for certain because when they were occurring I was without a place in language, my mouth floated out into an obliterating twisting and carnivorous extermination whenever I tried to find the words, and now, I am without a root in time or place or truth.

And then, even here, I wonder if any of this makes sense.

Sometimes all I want is to speak to other survivors, because sometimes, all that needs to be said is, You know? and you make a face and your affect says everything and you don’t have to explain and they say Yeah, and then you both nod and you’re sort of silent      not because now you’re trying to swallow,k once again, a desire to tell, to have someone else understand, but because she meant it when she said Yeah. She gets it, whatever the shitty thing is, and there’s no need to wrangle up into the terror of words that can never really speak the truth anyway –

What I want to know is a matter of fact timeline, but what goes beyond the point of contamination to the honest-to-god wreckage that is my memory is the fact that isolation during an experience means that somethings are just not possible to anchor in time. So, of course, they just float around in my body, my brain,a whole smeared fabric of my adolescence, a thin, dense stain on what was otherwise apparently perfectly privileged-ly normal and cohesing. What I know is what happened — hands on the only-budding places of my body, the truth of years spent readying me for his ultimate goal — and what I don’t know, now (besides Why, because, who cares?) — is exactly when. Was I fourteen or sixteen? Still in jr high or already in high school? Was it winter outside? Summer? were the birds throbbing alive in all the trees or were the outsides silencing in solidarity with my own?

What I don’t know is how to make poetry of this. What I don’t know is how to stop wanting to know — wanting these particular answers. What I don’t know is why it matters if I figure out now, twenty years later, that, oh, yes, I must have been fifteen when that part happened, when the thin body of me got pressed tight to his lips, when I felt all the air escape from what I thought was the security, the impenetrable mask, of my thick skin. I put a period there but I think I was asking a question — wasn’t I?

What I’d really like to know is how to, just once, twist that image of his body and my body on that cheap, squeaky, brass-framed bed into something that even my ears could find to be beautiful — no, maybe not beautiful, maybe not honoring, but no more pedantic and not any more pity-worthy. Id’ like for these images to begin finally doing service to some other kind of truth. I’d like to elect them out of their only residence in my brain and push them hard onto the paper, tape them cheaply down with crappy tape that quickly pulls up and dirties at the corners, push those bilious, billowy pictures flat for once, let them be seen in two, shallow, sullen dimensions, show them — yes, sure, finally – to my mother and father, let them see what was happening, share pictures with my sister like trading cards. We would sit cross-legged in the clover park with the summer bees all around and chew our big wads of gum while the wind blew the hair all around our faces and we’d finally look at all we could not share with words in the vast, thick safety of a summer afternoon.

Thanks for all the things you know, for the things you don’t know (yet or never will), for the peace you are making in the space in-between. Thank you for your continued reach, for your words.

this medicine

sticker graffiti of a pill bottleThe prompt was an orange pill bottle — take 10 minutes with the idea of that today, if you like, or with the image over to the left — what does it bring up for you?

Here was my write:

This is my aftermath, this writing. These are my pills — daily tea of nettle or dandelion, skullcap, tulsi, anise and cardamom; oatmeal with yogurt and fruit and nuts; daily pages; dog walks; daily squares of dark chocolate; tears; phone messages to a best friend across the country; a view of the water, blue-to-steel-grey ocean waves; time with a book; saying hello and goodmorning to deer or fox or scrubjays —

These are the medicine, my own self-prescriptions: 1/2 -1hr of tv (more than that is over-medicating); dog chasing & puppy rubs; hot showers. This is a lot of medicine. This is finally being able to care for self, more often than not, after twenty years.  This is a prejudice against psychiatric drugs turned inside out.

This is medicine — house music played loud on the car stereo and dancing in the driver’s seat; laughing too hard at puppy antics; practicing focusing on my breath even though I can only manage that presence for about three and a half seconds at a time. This is where healing or something more unlanguageble can bring you, has brought me.

Yes, there’s been therapy that’s medicine, yes, there’ve been shots, too much to drink — but here’s medicine that stays: the notebook, the pen, the words. This is what stays, the possibility of new life erupting out from blank white in to blue or green or purple ink, the possibility — any possibility.

Medicine is supposed to ease hurts, soothe spasms, turn the knots inside out, is supposed to quiet the voices, let focus or a little joy or just peace return, is supposed to settle the stomach or senses or skin, is supposed to make something better. This is why writing is medicine — is this too simplistic? Writing does all these things, accomplishes each possibility, is almost homeopathic: brings one into the hurts, the pain, the misunderstanding, the trauma, the loss, the owie and turns them around for me to see. There is an inoculation, a lancing and letting off of infection, a suturing back together (or maybe for the first time), there is deep medicine in this — there is a releasing the pressure, bringing the fear up and then back down, and then there is this offering left in the aftermath, a transcription of procedure, a tracing the lines the outline of a fragile, fractured, healing psyche body, there is this artifact of the work, the way writing shows all the stages, what was, what fire we went through, how we shadowboxed and strove deep through to the other side.

(Thank you for the ways you let yourself find medicine in everything that works — thank you for your creative and powerful self-care. Thank you for your words!)

singing and sleep away

graffiti fromm Istanbul: two yellow hands holding the strings of balloon eyesgood morning good morning good morning.

It’s hard to be chipper in the grey, isn’t it? At least, that’s true for me this morning.

I’m having a longing for true (i.e., Midwestern) summer. Someone brought deliciously deviled eggs to our Write Whole: Survivors Write potluck last night (we have a potluck on the last night of each workshop, a wonderful chance to share food and a bit more of ourselves as well) and I almost got teary with missing cookouts, family reunions, home food. Maybe this weekend I’ll make some ambrosia salad, of course it won’t be even remotely the same, eating it without all my cousins, my sister, my grandma there.

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Today we’re working on the pup being able to be in her kennel and alone; she seemed like she’d gotten accustomed to this, and pretty easily, too. Then the Mr went away for awhile and I had to leave her a couple of times, and she started having some separation anxiety. It’s not remedial work, though, is it? It’s different work this time around. She doesn’t want to play or eat in the kennel, though I haven’t yet found her a toy that would only live in the crate. That’s the next thing to try.

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Today is a rest day, a transcription day (meaning a day for typing up workshop writes), a walking-with-the-pup day. It’s a day to be present, again, with this homesickness that’s settled into my chest. Maybe I’ll take 20 minutes and look at the cost of tickets to NE, or CO, or both.

And so today, too, I’m thinking (again) about what homesickness means when one doesn’t have a solid or clear sense of where (or what) home is.

The first time I remember feeling homesick was when I went to sleep away camp for the last time (well, at least until band camp when I was starting high school, and where I met my first love — you know about those loves that start at band camp). This was after my mom moved in with the man who would be my stepfather. This was early on in their relationship — I can’t for the life of me remember now why I would have been allowed to go. It was surely a YMCA camp, located somewhere between Lincoln and Omaha. I’d been to sleep-away camp before, back when we’d lived in Lincoln — we would go to day camp for a week or something, and then the last day of camp included an overnight trip (It was at those earlier YMCA camps where I learned to sing “Proud to be an American” whenever I pledged allegiance to the flag. I still have that song memorized. Talk about indoctrination). This time, now that we were in Omaha and now that my parents were divorced, it felt different. This must have been early in their relationship, maybe even before they were married. I wanted so much to get away from the house and then, once I got to the camp with its cabins and bunk beds and strangers, I wanted to be back home with mom and my sister and even with him. I remember feeling confused by this — why did I want to go back there? I felt like it said something good about me, that I was homesick — I wasn’t the bad kid he told me I was. See, I missed them and it hurt! I remember telling them about it (or did I write a letter? How long was I gone for?) after I got home, how I had that feeling — did they name it homesick for me? I think he was glad, proud, that I missed them (him), and that I was safe from his persecution for a little bit after I got home. I don’t remember anything else about that camping trip, just that I was scared to be alone.

So it’s not like I can’t understand where Sophie’s coming from with her separation anxiety.

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Here’s something I noticed last night, though, speaking of senses of home — I felt very much ‘at home’ during the writing workshop. There wasn’t anywhere else I wanted to be, nothing else I wanted to be doing. That was tremendously reassuring and settled something in me that had been afraid.

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As our first prompt last night, I read Martin Jude Farawell’s poem “If I sing” — then we wrote for 20 minutes. Can you give yourself 20 minutes with this prompt today? Notice if there are particular phrases from the poem that stay with you, that spark your writer’s imagination (John Fox also suggests, as a prompt from this poem, filling in the phrase: “If I ___, then I___” as a beginning place.)

I’ve used this poem as a prompt several times in the last year since John Fox first offered it at last summer’s Healing Art of Writing conference, and each time my own response has been different; it’s something to keep in mind, when I’m afraid of offering folks a prompt that they might have had in a previous workshop with me — every time we meet a prompt, we meet it fresh and new; we get to go someplace different from the first time we used the prompt.

Here’s my write from last night:

I sing in the car — it’s about the only place I feel free enough, when I’m behind the wheel, when I’m alone. I put on the country music station or push in one of  my sister’s mix tapes, and I sing, and if I am very lucky — I think it’s about whether or not I’m lucky — I will cry. That hard lump rises, the ache spreads it’s webby fingers from throat full into my chest, my arms, my eyes fill and I catch my breath. Everything gets warbly and thick and then I am not just me now, it’s me and my sister in the back seat of the VW bus or in the old red Mercury Monarch or even later in the black Jetta. we are singing along to the radio, our voices tinny and high, climbing over each other, twinning together. We were showing off; I wanted to know every song better than her, than anyone. We sang Pat Benatar, the Pointer Sisters, Hall and Oates, we sang along to the old folk records at Grandma’s house, we sang with the Beatles and Jody Collins on dad’s old reel-to-reel. We wouldn’t stop, our voices were everywhere, there was nothing we couldn’t capture, emulate, no curve or strain of voice, no fold of tremolo, no tottering pop crescendo, no predictable chord change that we didn’t want to hold in our own mouths. We sang dad’s made-up songs, every Christmas carol, even along with Steve Martin being a wild-and-crazy guy. We mimicked and imitated and even started making up our own songs.

Isn’t it true that once upon a time, you couldn’t shut us up? Who taught us to tuck our sings away? She went on, my baby sister, sang choir in school, then studied opera. She was the designated singer, the one whose voice had a way to go, a frame, a structure, a harness. Neither of us were freefalling through words or melody anymore — one day we were singing along with the cassette tape recording of the Broadway musical they brought home with them from New York City, and the next day the car rides were full only of horror and implausibility; the radio was turned off. There was too much noise already just with him in the car, just with all we weren’t saying. How could it e that, with all we had sung, with all the notes and possibility we learned to turn our throats, our tongues, our voices around, we hadn’t learned to say thing — even just say the one thing — that should have been able to save us?

Thanks to you, today, for your songs. All of them: the ones sung and the ones unsung. Thank you for your writing, too, for your words.

take up each old need

graffiti of heart and flower and moreHere is the workshop write that I said (last week) that I’d share —

remember, the prompt was: “What would you do differently if you knew you only had the rest of your life to live?” (from “Mortality,” Marcia Davis-Cannon).

Did you write in response to this prompt?

How was that writing for you? You’re always welcome to share your writes here, in the comments section —

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This was my write in response:

You would dance. You would stop crying, hang the long sorrow up on the bathroom hook to dry, tremors still shaking its rough surface, you would walk away and lea e it lonely and damp, surrendered to its impotence.

You would walk out into sunlight, let fingernail scratches of heat bear deep into old wounds, into hardened muscles, greening something aged, something hiding and wizened, something grown grey with too much fear that lives deep inside the broad-branched muscles of your shoulderblades — it’s been lost for too many years, this old angry place, and just wants to breathe again, needs this photosynthesis; we are plants, after all.

If you only had the rest of this life to live, you would feed all the oldest hungers, the ones long locked away, the places in you that have held their mouths open for generations, all those dusty, pink-tongued, bitter-skinned children, the ones who didn’t show their faces, who you hid away, the ones who knew about lying and swallowing bile and crawling through the dirt and spiderwebs beneath the porch just to find some privacy and magic. If just the rest of this life is left, then why not pry up each of those dug in bodies–the one who wants to taste the smell of salt spray on an empty beach in Baja; the one who wants to taste the work involved to learn how to be really quiet inside; the one who wants to taste the love that might come if you throw off your armor and stand naked and fully violable, utterly protected and free, there in the middle of Mission St. on a Tuesday morning–why wouldn’t you take up each old need, gentle its dirty mouth open with your two long fingers and give in? Feed it. Feed yourself.

Why wouldn’t you turn up the music, turn down the volume on what doesn’t feed you, even if it’s what the parents and boyfriend and girlfriend and boss say is the absolute most important thing? If there is just this life in which to live it, why wouldn’t you put the dream, the hard rumor of passion, at center stage, right up front in the floodlights — the true dream that the six-year-old in you has been holding up high in her two hands for thirty-two years. Take that one.  Her arms are tired now, her muscles aching, her earnest, hopeful eyes tearing, purposeful — yes, this is maudlin, but you know what’s in her hands, what she wanted for this life, and you haven’t let her have it yet. Not all of it. Not that. So take it in your bigger hands and then wrap your palm over five of her fingers and let her drop her arms.

Don’t say anything. Don’t make any promises. She knows about words. Just take action, while she sleeps. Surprise her, this time, by doing what you said you would, to make her best dream ever, your best dream, come true.

(Thanks thanks — more soon!)

honor it

graffiti flower girl

(meant to be posted several hours ago! 🙂

My body is still waking up — I wanted to be up this morning at 4 or 4:30, but 5:30 was early enough to begin this week with. My early-morning-self got a talking to from the self that has to be awake and functional for the last Write Whole workshop tonight, and they came to a compromise.

The pup and I are working on a new schedule, one where I get up first and write before she and I go out for our walk — when she first came to live with us, I could get up at 4-something, then 5, and the sun was just peeking up over the hill, just lightening the sky; we could walk and I still had time to blog. Now the sun’s not up til after 6, and this one here typing has to be at the bus stop by 7:15, so we have to switch some things around.

She graduated from puppy school yesterday — at least her first class. We finished up Family Dog I at the Marin Humane Society! Then she came home and barked her head off at the neighbor’s friend’s dog (much to my frustration and embarrassment). So, we have some more work to do, of course. Graduating from kindergarten means it’s time to move up to first grade, time to keep learning and practicing.

Still, I’m so proud of her, and of us.

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What else is there for a Monday morning? Today my body is slipping into and out of tenseness, a slight sense of sick. Is it over-extension? How do you celebrate while also having to move on to the next thing? I’ve forgotten how to mark important events, how to honor accomplishments. I just run on to the next thing. We have to mark what works, though — positive reinforcement, remember? It’s easy only to focus on how much there is still to do, and not want to ‘waste time’ on marking how far we’ve come, how much amazingness has been achieved.

This kind of honoring is major self-care work, isn’t it?

The puppy is starting to fuss.

How do you mark, celebrate, honor, that something good and important has happened? How do your characters? Do you celebrate when you achieve something important, or do you just keep striving on for the next thing, waiting until the job is all done before you rest and celebrate?

If someone were to honor you for a recent accomplishment, what would that look like? (I would like a glass of wine and a song, for instance, for having done my laundry last night — sometimes, that is a major achievement.)

Write your own celebration — give yourself, that honoring, 10 minutes today. Begin with, “This is what we’re celebrating” or “This is how the celebration begins”, and follow your writing wherever it seems to want you to go.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.


Icelandic graffiti -- yellow flowerGood morning — it’s a Friday. How’d that happen so fast?

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Apparently, this week has been about recovery, replenishing, at least around these parts. When we put out a big effort, when we spend weeks preparing for one big push, and then that push comes and we give everything we have, it’s not surprising, is it, to find ourselves drained on the other side. There’ve been a lot of bad movies this week, puppy play-time, going to bed relatively early. There’s been some mourning, even. (Wait — that’s it? It’s over?)

This week, radical self-care has looked like deep gentleness with self, being ok with letting the unanswered emails wait one more day, crying when I’ve needed to cry, noticing what’s beautiful around me, waiting for words and effort to come back into my muscles.

We often don’t give ourselves — at least, this is very true for me — replenishing time. After we’ve worked very hard, pushed to organize an event or gather together a protest or write the first draft of an article or edit our novel all the way through or done anything that requires us to give all the parts of ourselves, to deplete our reserves, to show up all the way, we have to take time, then, to fill up again. I very often just run, push, into the next thing, whatever it is, until the reserves have gone dry and I feel husked, without more to give. This model I’ve been inhabiting doesn’t lend itself, of course, to sustainability (notwithstanding that it’s how I’ve met my work for the last many years) — burnout is an ever-present possibility looming around my inside shadows.

And so I’m resting this week, getting quiet, writing in the notebook, filling up again.  When I am brave enough, maybe I’ll even go to acupuncture or go for a massage.

How do you replenish after a big effort? How do your characters? Could you let this be a write for today? Take 10 minutes and write just to that word — let it be a free-association freewrite: Replenish. What comes up for you when you read that word? Follow your writing wherever it seems to want you to go.

Thank you for the downtime you take, the way you model self-care for others, how you let your deep reserves fill up so that you can continue to show up for the work you care about and the people you love. Thank you for your creative and generous and radical self-care. Thank you for your words.

pay attention to what worked

Good morning! What does Wednesday look like where you are? Here it’s a walked puppy, sprawled on the floor, gnawing on a rope bone. Also: dandelion-tulsi-cardamom-and-anise tea and grey-but-blueing skies.

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It went ok, the test, the GRE. I think it went ok. Overall, I think actually went well. I think all the preparation was worth it. Those 3.5-4 hours flew by. There were answers I know I could have gotten that I didn’t manage to figure out, problems that I knew how to do that I choked on. I hate that feeling, and am frustrated, too, that I’m perseverance about what went wrong.

This is why it’s helpful to have immediate positive feedback after writing: we are already ruminating and spinning over what didn’t get done right, what could have gone better, why we weren’t perfect. When we get to hear and see, right away, what went well, then we have voices to counteract the inner editors, the inner naysayers. We have a little more ammunition. What’s a non-war metaphor for this? We have more weight, we have a counterbalance, we can see ourselves a little more clearly in the positive.

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Took yesterday off, did no email or facebooking or other electronic anything outside of radio and movies. It was a kid-day: popcorn and chocolate for breakfast (and then an adult evening — lentils for dinner.)

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Getting ready for work now — I’ll add later to this post, will share a write from Monday’s Write Whole workshop. The prompt was this: “What would you do differently if you knew you only had the rest of your life to live?” (from “Mortality,” Marcia Davis-Cannon).

Take this one for your prompt today, if you like. Take 10 minutes, push onto the page, and play.

Thank you, for everything.

fear & curiosity

graffiti of a butterfly hovering a branch that contains two nests of heartsGood morning!

(too nervous for much else)

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My pup was brave this morning on our walk. She hates storm grates, goes out of her way to avoid them. She’ll run in to me, stop walking, pull at the leash to keep away from whatever’s down there.

This morning, there was a lemon sitting on the storm grate that we pass at the beginning of our neighborhood walk. She stopped, intrigued, then planted her feet and pressed her body forward, both hesitant and driven. She wanted to see what that thing was, but it was hanging out in the scary place! She spent several moments, inched closer, danced around a little bit, managed to get closer to the storm grate than she has yet in our walks together so that she could satisfy her curiosity.

Her bravery helped her push past the fear. It’s not a metaphor, that story, but it could be.

I’m off to take the GRE today, a test I’ve been terrified to take. I took it once, back in the early 90s, after I’d been forced to withdraw from school, but it’d been too late to get a refund on the test so I just went ahead with it. I can’t tell you anything about that test; it’s gone from memory now. When I looked at MA programs, I selected only those that didn’t require the GRE — who needed it.

Turns out I do. I am curious about some things, and want to study/write about/talk about/learn about them more deeply. In order to do that in a way that works for me, I need to pass through this fire. This morning I am taking Sophie’s energy, her spirit, that moving in with purpose and awareness, in spite of fear, with me.

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A quick prompt — maybe you saw this one coming: write about a situation you or your character moved through, driven by curiosity, in spite of (but along with) fear.

Thanks for how resilient you are, the way you hold your fear by the hand and show it what you both can accomplish when you just keep going. Thank you for your words.