If you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step, you know it’s not your path. Your own path you make with every step you take. That’s why it’s your path.-—Joseph Campbell

Posts tagged ‘communication’

With Two Voices

How much can you do with two voices? You can sing thirds or you can sing fifths or you can do a background harmony.  Paul Simon

I just texted my friends on the street corner. They are protesting the painting over of their street art. Power to the people. Does that mean I want their art? I don’t know…I want to hear their voices! I want to hear mine with theirs!

Later today I will write with a young woman who wants to be a writer, but isn’t writing. We will write timed writings together. The topics from Natalie Goldberg: 1. I’m looking at…and 2. I’m thinking of… I want to hear her writings. I want to hear mine with hers.


Feelings into Words

How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in your life you will have been all of these.  George Washington Carver

Day 12words

YES!  When I saw this quote I knew it immediately as the feeling I’ve been desparately trying to find words for.

A Feeling for Words

There is no logical way to the discovery of these elemental laws. There is only the way of intuition, which is helped by a feeling for the order lying behind the appearance.  Albert Einstein

When one has the feeling of dislike for evil, when one feels tranquil, one finds pleasure in listening to good teachings; when one has these feelings and appreciates them, one is free of fear.  Buddha

These years of personal writings have taught me a lot about my words…how I use them to justify, manipulate, avoid, and generally muck up opportunities for honest communication. As I write this blog these ideas are never far from my thoughts. It is a constant struggle.

Last night in my writing group my friends urged me to continue working on my story. A story about how a woman learns to reconnect with herself and others through writing practice. Which, of course, is what I’m doing by being a part of this wonderful circle of women.

Why I Still Write

I’m back…with trepidation.

Tomorrow I’m the featured writer for a writers’ group where I was once an active member. I’ve announced to my present writing group that I will be reading a couple of poems (not my own) and an essay (to be mine) “Why I Still Write.” Gulp. What was I thinking? Now I get to wrestle with that durn question.

Why do you still write, Laura?

Um, does morning pages count as writing?

I would think so. Do you write anything else?

Lists, lots of lists. And ten minute writes with writing buddies and my writing group.

What else?

Well, I’ve been steadily working on a story, five pages or so a day, but although I wanted it to be a novel, not about me, I’m all over it. Plus, I don’t know much about the details of structuring a novel and that part gives me the creeps.

So, back to the original question, why do you still write?

Because it seems to be when you appear, and I like talking to you.

Aww, shucks.

And, when I do spend time talking with you, I seem more confident when I’m in public. My voice works better, like I’m not so self-conscious.


What does that mean?

What do you want it to mean?

That I said something worth thinking about.


Like that.

OK, so writing for you is confidence building?

Yeah, but is that the only reason I am still writing?

I don’t know.

That wasn’t the answer I wanted..

Sorry. Why don’t you take some of that confidence out in the “real” world and see what you find. We can talk about it later.

Umm, OK.

…we all need the reassuring and healing messages that treasured rituals provide.  Sarah Ban Breathnachwriting.doc

What’s the Passion?

Passion:  ecstasy, devotion, fervor, intensity, spirit, zeal

When and where did I feel such passion?

As a child, the Girl Scout camp

As a young mother, holding my newborn son

As an adult student, entering the graduate library at University of Texas for the first time.

As a newly retired teacher, sitting at the Rio Grande Gorge during a Natalie Goldberg workshop.

Nature, new life, wisdom

Does this sound like babble? Passion is like that for me. I’m working to communicate the connection.

I’ll let a few friends help.

Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.  Harriet Tubman

There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.  Nelson Mandela

Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.  Oprah Winfrey

Great dancers are not great because of their technique, they are great because of their passion.  Martha Graham

Passion is universal humanity. Without it religion, history, romance and art would be useless.  Honore de Balzac

U.S. Route 64 Rio Grande Gorge Bridge near Tao...

U.S. Route 64 Rio Grande Gorge Bridge near Taos, New Mexico. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Writing in Circles

If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.   Attributed to Woody Allen

Some lessons obviously need revisiting. Again and again.

Yesterday I was so sure my writing intention for the week would be to write daily in a local cafe, making observations. So sure I posted it here and announced it in writing group last night.

This morning Miriam, the female protagonist in my book, appears in my morning pages and she’s not happy! She’s tired of my gallivanting around writing about everything in the universe but her.

OK, OK. I hear ya. I’ll take you to the library and we’ll spend some quality time together.

You know, I got this idea from Pamela and Loretta last night. They let their characters write them letters. Pamela said it was life changing. I figured I could get your attention showing up in your “sacred morning pages”

So you’ve been paying attention to what I’ve been doing?

You bet. Wait till you hear what I’ve learned!

Should I be worried?

Heavens no…I’m your muse!

Family Ties

If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.   Attributed to Woody Allen

Yesterday I planned to write my “twenty minute non-inferring description” at the Barnes and Noble cafe. Surrounded by books, drinking hot chocolate–it’s a bibliophile’s dream.

But the night before, my niece calls. She’s in town for the weekend with her husband of almost a year and wants to meet my brothers and me for lunch.

I love Avery! She’s the outgoing “people person” of the family. We’ll meet at noon at the barbeque place. That’s fine with me, the almost vegetarian. After all, it’s for Avery:).

I stick my notebook and timer in the car. I’ll stop at the bookstore on the way home.

My family was the poster family for dysfunctional post WWII middle class Protestant whites growing up in the South. Alcoholic dad, mom with the “nervous breakdown,” three long-haired hippie children challenging everything around them. Leave It to Beaver we were not.

We, the siblings and a daughter from the next generation with her Jewish doctor husband, sit in a circle eating barbeque and touching on a range of topics.  The young couple’s plans to go to Italy next month, my musician brothers’ memories of early band days, a discussion of another niece— the sixteen year old ballerina, politics, the Seder Avery prepared. I take it all in.

Leaving the restaurant nearly two hours later, I’m exhausted and drive right past the bookstore.

“I could write about lunch with the family,” I think. “A twenty minute description without inference or judgment.”

What an enlightening experience!

Listening to Learn

Learning to Listen

Listening for Lessons

A Teacher and her Writing Practice

Writing Is My Drink

slake your thirst; find your voice


~ creative ideas for making a difference ~

...the house I live in...

A journal of life pursued