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 ‘reading’

Playfully Letting Words Escape

Yesterday I posted a poem “On Zen” by Daio Kokushi.

The haunting lines…

It is Dharma truly beyond form and sound;

It is Tao having nothing to do with words.

In the middle of these thoughts the city library has a book sale…Argh.

On Saturday I bought books for myself.

On Saturday I bought books for myself.

On Sunday I went back and looked through the books in the children's section.

On Sunday I went back and bought books from the children’s section.

A truly good book teaches me better than to read it. I must soon lay it down, and commence living on its hint. What I began by reading, I must finish by acting.  Henry David Thoreau

No two persons ever read the same book.  Edmund Wilson

One rainy Sunday when I was in the third grade, I picked up a book to look at the pictures and discovered that even though I did not want to, I was reading. I have been a reader ever since.  Beverly Cleary

You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children.  Madeleine L’Engle


Show and Tell

librarybooksMarch is our month for Show and Tell. The time when book club members come with favorite titles, old and new, to share with their bibliophilic friends. Having attended both last night’s group and this morning’s, I now have an extensive list for personal reading as well as possible titles for monthly book club selections.

Afterwards I am to meet a friend to visit nursing homes for her mom. She cancels. What will I do with my time now?


A great book should leave you with many experiences, and slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading.  William Styron

Books are a uniquely portable magic.  Stephen King

Yielding to Whatever Happens


Free yourself to yield to whatever happens to you.

Rise and fall with it.

Here you may be simultaneously a common human

and a sage.     Ta-ning Tao-kuan

I’ve had a cold since Saturday.  This morning I’m continuing the routine of staying in, drinking hot tea with honey, eating chicken soup, and catching up on my reading.

I Am a Writer

Write about what your everyday life offers you; describe your sorrows and desires, the thoughts that pass through your mind and your belief in some kind of beauty.   Rilke

Have you written something I have read?  What are you writing now?

The questions I get when I tell people I’m a writer.

Or then there are the suggestions…

Why don’t you write a young adult novel?  You can make a lot of money that way.  Or something spiritual.  People like spiritual books.  You could write about your teaching experiences.

For quite a while I felt I needed to answer these people.   I should be writing something for them to read.  And maybe their ideas are something to consider.

I write morning pages…and sometimes afternoon pages…or evening pages.

I post a quote on Facebook.

I respond to my quote on WordPress.

I write reflections after visiting classrooms and teaching classes.

I send email.

I attend a weekly writing group.

I go to workshops and conferences on writing.

I give workshops on writing.

I am a writer.

Oh, and I read…


Being Me

Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string. Accept the place the divine providence has found for you, the society of your contemporaries, the connection of events. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Everyone seems to be doing things, enjoying the fall weather, participating in local events.  At least that’s what Facebook says.

And me?  All I wanted to do yesterday is drink hot chocolate and read.

My thoughts this morning are “what’s wrong with me?”  My morning pages take this thought back and forth, dissecting and reconstructing, trying to understand why I did what I did and why I would now think it is wrong.

Then I find this Emerson quote in my eclectic collection (a word doc of cut and pasted quotes as I come across them)  Trust, he says, and accept.

Let it go, Laura.  Today I may get out, take a walk in this lovely weather, visit with friends.  Or not.  Either way.



How I Learn

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

What is my passion?  What gives me energy?  What excites me?

1.  Observing the diverse classrooms of my interns.

2. Sharing teaching experiences and ideas with these beginning teachers.

3.  Working with children in the after school program.

4.  Reading.

5.  Writing in my journal.

6.  Writing with friends.

7.  Reflecting on these activities.

8.  Realizing this is how I learn.

9.  Sitting still and feeling that energy.

The Morning After

You have to have confidence in your ability, and then be tough enough to follow through.–Rosalynn Carter

These were some of the last words I saw before going to bed last night.  And this morning I’m feeling confident. Ta da!!!  The Doubts family didn’t have a chance.

My writing plans are clearer.  I’m sharing them with whomever crosses my path.  You know, the plans with the new computer and school stories.

The back story is how long it’s taken me to get to this confident place.  I’ve traveled incredibly dark  nights, through stubbornly deep seated fears.

When I retired from teaching it was because of the last two years of my thirty year career.  My pen had begun furiously scribbling classroom anecdotes,  amusing dialogue, and detailed observations from Nature Lab, the hands-on science enrichment  class  I had created for young children.  It was a positively magical environment (in my humble opinion) with a roomful of animals and an organic vegetable garden outside.  But I was ready to move on, put this collection of notes together and share the story.

Two and a half years later with enough rejection slips to wallpaper my writing room my only child commits suicide.  It was the darkest of nights.  The confidence that was waning with each new publisher’s form letter announcing they had no room for my offering at this time was now completely sucked in to the nearest black hole.

And for several years all I could do was sit on my living room couch and journal.  I was building another collection of notes.  Notes for myself.  Until I was ready to put them together to again try to share my story.  This time I was publishing it myself.  I realize now how much I really needed to see it and hold it, so I could let go of it.  And I did.  Later a friend’s small press reprinted it.

Writing Toward the Light

the book

I still wanted to be a writer, but my confidence was shaky.  I journaled on,  maintaining long distance writing buddies, meeting weekly at Barnes and Noble with more writing buddies,  sharing my experience in writing workshops, attending two silent retreats with Natalie Goldberg, forming a Wednesday Writers group in my home, writing blogs into cyberspace and reading, constantly reading.

This morning (after a wonderful Wednesday Writers meeting, no longer at my house) I feel it…really feel it.  That confidence in my ability and the drive to follow through.  And I’m back to school stories.  To be told from a bit different perspective and from farther along the path.

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