Cuyahoga River

Cuyahoga River
Cuyahoga River in the Valley

Sunday, May 26, 2013

More on Writing

On writing, I tell people that if you have something inside you that is real, it is probably a universal truth and worth telling to other people. We have to trust our inner voice, and be true to that voice. You get that from writing, writing, writing, in journals, in blogs, in private family writings. That type of writing allows you to just be yourself, say what you need to say, and not worry about that nagging internal editor. Writing is spiritual in that it comes from somewhere inside and outside ones’ self, and it’s an amazing thing, but you don’t do it alone--you may think you do, but when you’re writing and the words come out perfectly, there’s no way it’s just you talking. What does Julia Cameron, the passionate believer in the God-connection in writing?  She says, “At its base, for me, love is what writing is about.  As an act of love, it deserves our protection and our deepest respect.  Writing is an act of connection, but it connects the writer first to the Self and second to the world.”


Sunday, May 19, 2013

Don't Start Too Late

To live as if we will die soon, gives us a chance to choose how we spend our time wisely. I read it’s only too late if You Don’t Start Now by Barbara Sher in preparation for my February retreat. Many of us reach middle life and realize all of a sudden that we’re not immortal. When we figure it out, we start to live like we don’t have enough time to get it all done, and we’re motivated to live our lives to suit who we really are. We grow up, as Bob Dylan sang, “But I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now.” In middle age, Sher says. “you stop being driven by instinct and wake up to a different level of consciousness—complex, subtle, and intense, loaded with revelation and insight.” I want to know why people don’t tell us about how we outgrow wanting to be a star and take up gardening and all kinds of other wonderful endeavors because we fall in love with life and start to live authentically. What we all crave, as much as we crave being close to God, is to be free to live our lives. “The freedom that counts is the freedom to live your life with your heart and mind and emotions wide open.” That will make you young again.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Trying Not to be Perfect

 “Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people.” That’s a quote from Anne Lamott, who was drinking heavily by the time she was sixteen and found she couldn’t write when she was thirty. Fortunately, she stopped drinking. But she’s right; we spend too much energy trying to be perfect. We want a perfect life, a string of perfect days, and I think we can have that, if we change our attitude. My perfect day is always without hardship and filled with people and things I love. I write, walk, practice yoga, lunch with a friend, write some more, have dinner with my family and friends, and fall asleep with a good book. It occurred to me in an Artist’s Way study group that we can create these perfect days around the lives we have, and if we string them together, one day at a time, we birth a creative life. I decided to have 30 perfect days and write about them. What if we find our perfect day as we savor, reflect, and throw our souls into having a day that’s memorable and satisfying and worthwhile? Know what I found out? There’s no such thing as a perfect day, but we can have an excellent day, a day in which our problems are just passing nuisances and we’re moving on to something better. Still wondering if my book 30 Perfect Days is worth publishing.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Wisdom from Vonnegut

Vonnegut: Your own winning literary style must begin with interesting ideas in your head. Find a subject you care about and which you in your heart feel others should care about. It is this genuine caring, and not your games with language, which will be the most compelling and seductive element in your style.