Tag Archives: Julia Cameron

Fear and salvation

Unknown-1I am heading to a week’s training in the Amherst Writers and Artists writing workshop method. Aka the Pat Schneider workshop method.  We’ll be working with Schneider’s book Writing Alone and with Others. I cannot recommend this highly enough! Buy it today if you can! The “Five Essential Affirmations” she articulates in this text resonate deeply with me:

1. Everyone has a strong, unique voice.

2. Everyone is born with creative genius.

3. Writing as an art form belongs to all people, regardless of economic class or educational level.

4. The teaching of craft can be done without damage to a writers original voice or artistic self-esteem.

5. A writer is someone who writes.

Ah. That last one. A writer is someone who writes.

I am afraid I have not been writing. I have been fussing with stuff in my house, liberating books and tchotchkes to create a clear writing space.

I have not been writing.  I have been telling myself everything else is more important than my writing: the college visits for the older son, the dog walks, the volunteer work for my faith community, the exercise to whittle the extra five pounds from my belly.

I have not been writing for a couple of months, since I gave a very rough (as in, splintery!) draft of a story to a writers group without a clear request for the type of feedback that would be most supportive for my writing.

Unsurprisingly, the feedback was uneven; there were positive and negative responses. Somewhat surprisingly, the less-than-positive responses really got under my skin. I ranted and raged and cried and whimpered my way through Julia Cameron‘s recommended three longhand “Morning Pages” for a couple of weeks. Then for another couple of weeks I donned the TaskMasterLesley hat in my Morning Pages: you know full well how to handle this! Buck up! But I can’t, I whined, scrawling my heart’s distress across the pages. I just can’t write anymore. I’m dried up. I’m barren. I’m a wasteland.

You can imagine the gaping abyss of terror that my squirrel brain has come up with. In fact, if you’ve read any of my previous posts, you are probably overly familiar with my squirrel brain.

But this morning, seven weeks since that critique, my Morning Pages delivered me to a new place. My squirrel brain … bored me. When it started its high-pitched chatter, today I simply noted: h’mm, there’s that squirrel, desperate for nuts. And I strode forward past the tree it perched in. I did not engage in a loud chattery chirrupy shouting match while flicking my tail in wild anxiety and circling the tree trunk like a maniac.

Creative Commons

 

 

 

I wound up in a clearing wherein I laid out a plan for how to find the sandpaper to begin to smooth my story’s splinters. And furthermore, the Morning Pages said, look at how much you’ve written! You’ve written your Morning Pages every day. It’s whiney writing, non-brilliant writing, repetitive writing, prosaic writing.

But it’s writing.

Saved again.

 

 

 

 

 

Fifty things …

… I’m proud of. Listing these out is an exercise Julia Cameron recommends in her book The Right to Write. My writing group tackled it last week. As my fellow writer and blogger Andrea Badgley was reading Cameron’s instructions aloud, I thought: no problem! This will be easy! And fun! Things I’m proud of will certainly make me feel good about myself. Whee!

I numbered from one to fifty in my notebook.

x4001And freaked out. The following is a Whitman sampler of my thoughts in the nanoseconds before I forced myself to start writing: I have done nothing. Getting married and having children was a mistake, I’ll leave nothing behind when I die. Wait, I’ll leave my children. So perhaps they were a good idea. Unless bad luck strikes and one or, god forbid, both of them die before me. Could happen. 16 y.o. is on track to get his license. Sweet holy mother of everything. That would be terrible. What have I done, what have I done, what have I done? I’ve  not written a book. I can barely keep up with my blog! I am getting old, it’s getting too late. ALL IS LOST: I can see the burning lifeboat analogy of my life surrounding me and [spoiler alert] that hand at the end is a dying man’s fantasy.

At which point I managed to come up with a few tangible bits and pressed on; remembering Cameron’s admonition that these can be small or large things, I included my five-layer orange mandarin cake and the soft spot I hold for animals.

This exercise took us about 15 minutes. Then it was time to share. I’d not planned on sharing, and said so very quickly. But when my fellow scribblers shared their fifty things, I was both humbled and inspired.

What various paths we’ve taken, and how many of our footsteps have left behind a wee violet or sprig of evergreen. I shared my list last, and my voice was shakier than I’d have liked and I did not make eye contact with anyone while I read, but I managed to say all my fifty things out loud. Even the ones that I was embarrassed about (I am, narcissistically, proud of my sense of style in the wardrobe area. I experience what my “pure” self tells me is, essentially, sinful pleasure out of choosing my outfits).

Why was that exercise so hard? The feminists might say women have been taught not to take credit. Enh. Maybe that’s part of it. I think it has more to do with the inherent challenge of being the “active witness” to our lives and the world around us, as Cameron says this exercise forces us to do. It was scary to think that marriage and kids might have been a mistake. Maybe they were, maybe they weren’t, but regardless: this is my situation. It’s a situation of privilege and luxury, relative to the rest of the planet’s population and I am grateful, every day. But acknowledging my privilege doesn’t absolve me of my responsibilities, nor does it erase my own human neuroses, or brokenness or whatever-word-works-for-you.

I think it was hard because looking closely and without judgment at what’s in front of us isn’t easy. Starting this process by passing judgment on what we are proud of — and being real about even those aspects of ourselves that might be less-than-selfless (I mean, clothes, really? C’mon!) but that gives us a recognizable flush of pride — that takes a bit of guts. Guts are a necessary part of being the type of writer I aspire to.

James-JoyceWrite down your particulars. No one else has to see them or hear them or know about them. But we must be able to at least see and acknowledge our own  particulars if we are to have a hope of connecting with each other.  Or, as James Joyce said (and not surprisingly, said better): In the particular is the universal.

My individual life may be small, and yes, it is hilarious and perhaps petty that I am proud of my ability to match colors, but I am aiming for the Universal. Far as I have seen, it’s what makes the merry-go-round ride worth it.

I know nothing

This past Tuesday morning unfolded much as my Tuesday mornings have this fall: Engineer Hubby rises first, climbs into the  shower. I sit on the edge of the bed and do my ankle exercises (I managed an avulsion fracture on my left ankle, fairly impressive for a fall that involved zero alcohol, clutter or high heels), then put my tootsies into slippers and galumph my way through my morning wash-up and limp-trot downstairs in time to walk the dogs before driving carpool. All well-known activities; I could do them in my sleep. Except for the carpool part.

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Rosie the little brown dog did her business, then we moseyed over to a patch of grass that seemed particularly green and lovely and she paused and sniffed. Sniff sniff sniff. Slight adjustment in her hindquarters, increased energy into the sniffing. Head cocked, ears pricked POUNCE with great vigor and immediately subsequent, panicked squeaking — from the small brown mouse Rosie had neatly secured in her suddenly-massive-seeming jaws.

This, a mouse plucked from the grass, was my clue that I know nothing. In fact, I am unaware of perhaps Most of Life. My State of Wonderment is dulled. How many other dozens or perhaps hundreds of heartbeats and nervous systems and eyeballs and twitching whiskers live in the field behind my house? In the woods? Probably in my slippers every morning? OK, scratch the wonderment about the slippers lest I remain in bed all day.

Re-working a short story this week after having let it marinate for the better part of a month, I discovered a water theme running through it; not only was there a literal lake, my verbs included buoy and sail and float and drown; my protagonist struggles in the “wake” of lovemaking; her mother “sets off from the shore of agreeable topics” — none of which I deliberately chose, but all of which smacked me in my editorial face when I entered the revision stage. 

Cover of

Cover via Amazon

Julia Cameron speaks eloquently about this in The Right to Write, noting that while we blunder along capturing whatever we can, a gem is slowly forming within those bits and pieces.

I certainly didn’t set about creating this theme in the way that Rosie set about catching her wee mouse (which, dear reader, I forced her to drop). But it is only through patient listening-writing, with my not-so-great human ears, that I stumble upon the interesting stories, the living stories — the stories that will squeak or scream or holler or whimper.

This requires daily walks of my writerly self. And this week, when the page has loomed too large, too bare, too white, I have cocked my head and pricked my ears and written anyway and put the pages away and trusted that although I do not know what is in there, if I don’t set something down, I will never glimpse its whiskery face.

I’m jumping …

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… into a new part of the writing ocean: I’m offering a workshop with my writerly friend and colleague, Jenny Zia of the Center for Creative Change. We’re focusing on process, sustaining a writing practice, and getting to know one’s writing self. I’m tickled about facilitating the program in the community meeting space in the Lyric Theater’s Community Arts Information Office — we’ll go to local cafes and stores for some of our writing exercises.

Contact us at joyofwriting04@gmail.com for more info; some details below.

Writing for the joy of it

Have you always wanted to write but don’t know how to start or sustain your practice?

This workshop provides a series of structured exercises that honor the writing process, support discovery of your writer’s voice, and exploration and development of your stories.

Instructors Jenny Zia and Lesley Howard ground their facilitation in their own combined six-plus decades of daily writing practice, inspired by the philosophies of Julia Cameron, Natalie Goldberg, Anne Lamott and Priscilla Long, among others.

Jenny Zia, MA, MSW, has shared writing prompts and journal practices with a variety of individuals and groups. Lesley Howard is a local freelance writer, blogger, and one of the founding members of the New River Valley Voices juried reading program. Both are members of a long-standing writing group.

When and Where?

Jump Start: Saturday, Sept. 7, 9:30 AM – 4:30 PM

Momentum-Sustaining Sessions: Tuesdays, Sept. 17, Oct. 1, and Oct. 15, 6:30 – 8 :30 PM

The End is the Beginning Closing Session: Saturday, Oct. 26, 9:30 AM – 3:30 PM

$100 for all sessions; includes muse-nourishing snacks and beverages.

All sessions will be held at the Community Arts Information Office in downtown Blacksburg, VA; we will take field trips to local cafes for some of our exercises.

Contact us at joyofwriting04@gmail.com if you need additional information or to register.

The Best Pooper Scooper Ever

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Three cats ...

We have three cats and a corresponding number of litter boxes. We do our best to keep our cats indoors, for the usual range of reasons (wildlife, poop in neighbors’ garden beds, cat safety, plus there is nothing ickier than ticks), and hence we (mostly me) scoop the litter boxes twice a day. Yuck, I know.

But years of experience with the reality of the job’s daily tedium have honed my a appreciation for a well-designed litter box, litter that truly “clumps” and control odor, and a scooper that holds up to the very real physical stress of frequent use.

LOTS of litter, litter boxes, and scoopers are shoddily made crap* that breaks and must be unceremoniously deposited in the trash can in shockingly short order. No wonder parts of the ocean are full of tiny bits of plastic. I recently found a metal scoop with a comfortable handle and a large “sifting” basket and it is a JOY to use. Seriously, a joy. And yes, this all connects to creative practice.

Creative practice, for me, requires a regular scooping of the poop in my mind: the debris that’s built up due to the grocery list, kid-related problem/injury/emotional drama, or latest political scandal (no one in my family may utter the name of a certain politician because it throws me off my game for half a day, easy). I do this through Julia Cameron’s “Morning Pages” – though I wind up writing these pages sometimes in the afternoon, or sometimes not writing them at all but muttering them while walking the dog. Walking the dog even without a muttered litany often serves as my poop-scoop.

But before the morning pages I floundered. On those days that I rated as “good writing days” I wasn’t sure what was different from the “wretched writing days.”  I didn’t know why I couldn’t write on the wretched days, I just … couldn’t. Didn’t wanna. Wasn’t in the mood. Didn’t think I had anything to say. Felt snarled up in an angsty ball of twine. Everything I wrote seemed autobiographical claptrap.

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Pay attention to the little things in life ...

Part of figuring out how to scoop-my-poop was, of course!, the Artist’s Way. But the other big part of it was finding the right paper, the right pen, the right place: my muse is shy and demands certain elements be in place before she starts singing audibly. [Interesting side note: an interviewer asked whether it was true that when van Halen toured their contract had a “rider” stipulating they be provided a bowl of M&Ms withOUT any brown ones. Short answer, yes. Long answer: if the coordinators in charge of the venue didn’t read the contract requirements in detail –the details were extensive, expensive and important, safety-wise – they also wouldn’t come across this apparently whimsical request. So if the band arrived in the dressing room and there weren’t any M&Ms at all, or a bowl that had brown ones, it served as a heads-up that there would likely be other issues with the venue. My muse doesn’t require ANYone to remove ANY chocolate at ANY time from ANY location, but the point is: pay attention to your requirements. Heeding the little needs is part of practicing attention to the big things. Like the muse’s happiness.]

And. But. George Clark tells me one of his songwriting instructors writes in cheapie notebooks because the nice ones freeze her up. While I don’t disagree that any sort of paper suffices for capturing ideas, I unashamedly ADORE the fancy-pants paper and it makes me feel special every time I use it. There’s summat to be said for things that are comfortable and functional and lovely and dare I say it, make one feel “pretty” – whatever pretty looks like for you.

Image via Wikipedia

Virginia Woolf (1882-1941)

Virginia Woolf addressed this in A Room of One’s Own almost a century ago; blogger Julie Reiser addresses the same issue in her “The Care and Feeding of a Writer” post.

Don’t shortchange the physical aspect of your writing/creative practice. However you undertake to work – via pencil, pen, and paper, oil paints, yarn, recycled newspaper, pebbles, laptop, or audio recorder – do it in the way that feels funnest, loveliest, prettiest and most productive for you. If the nice paper freezes your creative soul, get rid of it! It’s simultaneously irrelevant and foundationally important.

It took me a while to feel like I “deserved” to write my morning pages in a notebook that cost more than two bucks. But I’m at a point in my life where I can afford the $2.01 notebook, and frankly, the quality of the paper vis-a-vis how quickly I can “scoop my poop” in my longhand scrawl is important to my productivity. Plus I love things that are pretty. [A fact the Engineer Husband was unaware of when he married me. It’s evened out, as his sports-fanaticism also hid out until we’d tied the knot. I spend money on original oil paintings; he shells out the big bucks for season football tickets.]

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Pretty! Image by Sarah Parrott via Flickr

I encourage you to indulge in that pretty something that’s called to you more than once. Play with what works for you. Play a few times, with different things. You may have to admit the yellow notebook lined in silky threads was a mistake, but if you poke around patiently and with an open mind, you will eventually find a tool that makes your heart sing. You can share what didn’t work for you at a creative-stuff-that-didn’t-work-for-me swap party.

And if the pretty stuff you find is useful for the daily poop scoop, all the better. It’s a crappy job*, cleaning up sh*t. You might as well make it as pleasurable as possible.

* All puns and scatological references are intentional.

Letting your Freak Flag Flap in the Wind … or not

Image by kendiala via Flickr

Sometimes, you just gotta let your freak flag fly

My college-era friend George Clark, not only has a blog, a fulltime job as a reference librarian, two kids, and a long commute, but a creative heart and soul. He has a respectable and, imo, charming collection of song lyrics. He even bought Robert Ray’s The Weekend Novelist after I shared its effectiveness for me. Although, he said, he wants to rip the cover off it so others – security guards, colleagues – won’t know the full extent of his creative heart and soul.  Nonetheless, he concluded in one of his emails, “Guess I should just let my freak flag fly.”

This line sparked all sorts of thoughts for me, but first and foremost: do we need to let our freak flags fly? YES, part of me roars. Or yells. Or says sort of loudly. Or whispers to my reflection in the bathroom mirror. Surely it is less “freakish” to create than to go through society’s routines without reflection, thought, reaction. But. Society with a capital-S dominates more often than not through its power to squish and homogenize our individual freakiness.

Four years ago, fresh from my first month-away-from-family retreat at Vermont Studio Center, I was working, hard, on my novel. Inspired, passionate, outline in hand, I labored on it at every available moment. In this particular instance, I was in Gillie’s (fabulous vegetarian cuisine, one place my now-husband took me when he wanted to convince me Blacksburg could be home. His clever, ultimately successful strategy included Gillie’s egg-n-cheese biscuits.)

Image by chersland via Flickr

Gillie's specials ... one way to Lesley's heart

I’d enjoyed my two eggs, home fries and toast, and I was nursing a cup of tea. My fingers were fairly flying across the keys due to the residual butter from said toast. “X” had also eaten there, with colleagues, and we’d exchanged a brief, friendly hello. But.

As X’s colleagues left and they rose to pay the check X stopped at my table. “Working on the great American novel? Delete, delete, delete!” These last words accompanied by gestures meant to indicate hitting the delete button repeatedly.

Did I engage in witty repartee, tease that X’s work (bureaucratic paper-pushing for a large commercial institution) was perhaps more worthy of deletion than my own efforts, did I look affronted or offended or reveal any sort of hurt? Nope. I laughed as unpublished authors, un-galleried artists, un-sung lyricists are wont to do, and X moved on, quickly, thank gawd, and my screen blurred with my brimming tears and I went to the restroom right quick and choked on a huge throat-full of sorrow and shame, and flushed the commode.

And became very, very angry.

No one would ever say: “working on a business plan? Deletedeletedelete!” Or, “designing on the curriculum for your freshman English class? Deletedeletedelete!” Or, “campaigning for [insert political candidate of your choice]? Deletedeletedelete.” (Ok, Gingrich’s staff did say that, but that was a rare event.)

While George hasn’t said his colleagues are insulting his copy of Rey’s book and the subsequent implication that he’s exploring the foothills of novel-writing’s mountain, I think it behooves us to be careful about how and with whom we share our tender shoots of creativity. Julia Cameron covered this territory brilliantly in The Artist’s Way, and I encourage folks to use that resource to systematically work through their decisions about how and with whom to share their efforts.

Image by kingmagic via Flickr

Tender ...

But bottom line for me, at this point, is: if it feels tender, it is tender. You are not obligated to share with anyone what you undertake in your private time or what you’re typing on your laptop or dreaming up in your head during those incredibly boring Powerpoint presentations. This includes spouses.

X isn’t someone I socialize with save once or twice a year, and the only way they knew about my novel was through a mutual friend, who supports my writing unequivocally. I’ve hardly sworn anyone to secrecy about my efforts; after all, it’s often the friend-of-a-friend who has productive connections or insights. Ultimately, my friend’s support outweighs the ickiness of X’s poor word choice (and X isn’t a bad person; they’d be sorry to know how their casual words affected me. I certainly have long since forgiven them; we all say things intending to be funny that fall flat. My reaction is mine.)

Image by iluvcocacola via Flickr

Give your babies a nest, tucked away from prying eyes

Nonetheless, I’m more cautious since the deletedeletedelete comment. We need to protect our creative babies. Shelter them until we’re clear that our art is not us. For me, that process looks like this: first the words are all about me, my response to a real or imagined situation. Then something about the story flat-out doesn’t work, and I have to change the structure/theme/rhyme scheme/perspective. That change demands others and this iterative practice, for me, at least, results in a piece that is about my craft, but not about me. Ideally the story will connect with others – in their own way. I’ve been surprised by what others see in my stories, often pleasantly so, sometimes less-pleasantly so – but once the story is done, readers’ reactions are their own, and have nothing to do with me, personally. If someone wants to deletedeletedelete my story, that’s fine.

And if I want the opportunity to practice the iterative tweaking and playing my writing requires, then I have to guard my space – literally and figuratively. Novelist and short story writer Margot Livesey’s strategy to sustain the “energy” of her stories has, upon occasion, involved making up another story to tell her friends and colleagues – a fiction to cover her fiction. Eventually, she notes, you have to tell folks that the fictional fiction didn’t work out but in the meantime it provides great cover! Here’s an excellent interview with Livesey by Valerie Compton.

Image by outlier* via Flickr

o joyous belly rub!

Let your creative self roll around in the warm summer grass, wiggly and grinning like a dog. No one can stop you from frolicking and basking in your mind when you need it. Especially if they have no idea you’re having that much fun.

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A grab-bag of ideas for “cover stories” to guard the spaces you need: taxes, filing, de-cluttering, sorting family photos, working on your will. Others? Tell us in the comments section.

How this Agnostic came to believe in God

I figure I’ll offend most people some of the time, and some people most of the time. While my abrasiveness is usually unintentional, and while I tend to apologize and strive to make it right once said affront is brought to my attention, living in rural southwest Virginia as an agnostic provides plenty of occasions for me to bite my tongue. Hard.

It took a literal bonk on the head for my mindset about God to shift oh-so-slightly. Note: shifting has not endowed me with patience for those who insist the world was created only a few thousand years ago. C’mon. Carbon dating is carbon dating. Idiocy under the guise of religion is idiocy.

I am, like many writers, a split personality. Not in the DSM-IV sense of the term, but in my preferences. I am an introvert in an extrovert’s world. I care about community — personal and public — and can be articulate and helpful in both, but it exhausts me. I served on my town’s Planning Commission for a while. I was professionally concerned with recommending “yay” or “nay” to the Town Council for zoning-related requests but far more interested by how the applicants stood or slouched or leaned at the podium; their clothing; how often they murmured “uhm.” In short, I suffer from the double life Cathering Drinker Bowen describes: “Writing, I think, is not apart from living. Writing is a kind of double living.  The writer experiences everything twice. Once in reality and once in that mirror which waits always before or behind.”

Ro's Birthday Cake

cake!

Plus I have what my husband calls my “Let’s bake a cake from scratch!” gene: I believe there is always time for just one more little something I want to do, which means I prove the accuracy of my “Queen of Late” bumpersticker at least once a day.

So I spent a fair portion of my twenties in an angst-driven cycle: I’m not doing enough for my familyneighborsfriendstowncountry, but I am exhausted by my familyneighborsfriendstowncountry. I have to get away. And why can’t I ever find one damn hour in which to sit down and write, anyway?

Then I had a couple of baby boys and went a little bonkers.

My fabulous sons drove me up the walls when they were little. I’m not a woman who finds babies, even her own, sufficiently satisfying as a full-time job – but I also loathed giving them to others for caretaking. Hoisted on my own petard.

I tried part time work: disaster.

I quit work entirely. (And yes, I am fully aware of my privilege. But hey, my husband earns a living as an engineer. Those of you who know engineers understand they are not, shall we say, laid-back, joyful personalities. Some might say marriage to such guys is a full time job in and of itself. There. I’m sure I’ve insulted my husband, at least, with those words. Sorry.)

I saw therapists. Journal, one said. Antidepressants, another one said. Journaling confirmed my sadness rather than quenching it. Antidepressants fattened and exhausted me. I tossed the journals in favor of an attempt at a novel, using Robert Rey’s book The Weekend Novelist for the scaffolding necessary to work in my mire of domesticity.

That novel landed me an agent. She retired before selling it. But working on a story, a big long story with lots of characters, satisfied me in a way journals and drugs didn’t touch.

Life’s evolving daily requirements flummoxed me: I’d thought nothing would be more time-consuming than nursing, diapers, and reading “Brown Bear, Brown Bear” three thousand times, but in fact my kids are requiring more of my time as they grow. I floundered on the shoals of my expectations of what I should be able to do as a stay-at-home mom (cook meals from my own organic vegetables; adopt all stray cats and dogs; participate in community meetings for social justice projects; be a Suzuki practice parent; organize the carpool; provide nutritious! snacks for the soccer team; serve on the Planning Commission). Surprisingly, no amount of structure helped me juggle all these things.

I was cursing my lack of organizational abilities, helping to organize a shared community library when an audio cassette fell, literally, on my head. Very funny. I’m helping out and this is my thanks. No rest for the weary and all that.

I put it back.

Ten minutes later it fell off the shelf again. It landed on my head. Again.

Cover of

Cover via Amazon

It was a recording of Julia Cameron, speaking about creativity, based on her book, The Artist’s Way. I’m not an artist but what the hell. I listened to it while I schlepped the duplicate books to the thrift store. I sat in the car and finished listening. I drove to the bookstore and bought the book.

I was ready to return it when I read the introduction, where Cameron talks about God. But the lecture had intrigued me and I pressed on. Ah. She acknowledges that for many people the God concept isn’t comfortable (see note re: idiots who believe the earth is only a few thousand years old). She re-casts it in terms of good orderly direction, or flow – she’s talking about creative energy. We are creative energy and if we don’t create, not only are we less-than, the world is less-than, too.

That our collective urge to create is fundamental to our humanity, not an afterthought, has been brilliantly articulated by Karl Paulnak. This is the conclusion to his widely circulated welcome address to incoming freshmen musicians at the Boston Conservatory:

Frankly, ladies and gentlemen, I expect you not only to master music; I expect you to save the planet. If there is a future wave of wellness on this planet, of harmony, of peace, of an end to war, of mutual understanding, of equality, of fairness, I don’t expect it will come from a government, a military force or a corporation. I no longer even expect it to come from the religions of the world, which together seem to have brought us as much war as they have peace. If there is a future of peace for humankind, if there is to be an understanding of how these invisible, internal things should fit together, I expect it will come from the artists, because that’s what we do. As in the concentration camp and the evening of 9/11, the artists are the ones who might be able to help us with our internal, invisible lives.

So here’s to creating ways to share our internal, invisible lives: fat novels and slender haikus; stories by a campfire and around the supper table; oil paintings and digital photographs; fused glass earrings and hand-thrown, cobalt-glazed pottery mugs.

Image by The Library of Congress via Flickr

Sharing the Cake

It’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well, and it’s worth doing intentionally.

Let’s give ourselves enough time to practice making a cake from scratch. Let’s invite the neighbors over for a slice whether or not it’s perfect. Let’s teach our children to pay attention to what they love.

Let’s practice.