“Hard times require furious dancing.” --Alice Walker
One thing I love about travel is the sensation that I’m seeing the world with new eyes. This is especially true of international travel. When I’m seeing things I’ve never seen before, the freshness of these images awakens me. When I return home, I see my own life, too, with new eyes.
I often think that the reason we have two ears and one mouth is because we’re designed to listen more than we speak. Sometimes I talk too much, and now and then I interrupt others. Mostly my interruptions stem from unbridled enthusiasm—I am eager to share, but perhaps a little too eager.
Recently, while skimming old journals (see photo below), I came upon this line I wrote in 1986: “One day I’d like to write a book about writing.” At the time, I was a graduate student and screenwriting teaching assistant at USC’s film school.
Last Saturday morning I read poems in bed. I rarely do this. Usually, after checking my phone, I’m up and out, racing into my day of doing. Reading is a gift I give myself in the evening. I sit back, relax, and enjoy myself—my reward for a productive day.
I know I’m not alone when I say that I don’t think I’ve ever been as ready as I am right now to put the past behind me and begin a new year.
It’s never pleasant to worry before falling asleep, and yet it happens. As our bodies wind down, our minds can speed up.
During a recent meditation, the West Side Story song “Somewhere” sprung to mind, along with these lyrics: There’s a place for us. Somewhere a place for us. Hold my hand and we’re halfway there . . .
Yesterday I had an appointment with an acupuncturist. I’ve been afflicted with chronic UTIs since April, and my physical challenges appear to be stress-related. In the past, while healing from other minor injuries, I’ve found acupuncture both healing and relaxing. The only downside was that I had to travel to the other side of town for treatment. So I was happily surprised to discover a practitioner, Susan, just down the street from my home. We spoke briefly on the phone, then scheduled an appointment.
Last week I had the honor of speaking to Marlene Cullen’s Writers Forum as we celebrated her new anthology, The Write Spot: Writing as a Path to Healing. I spoke to the intersection of writing and healing, which is my passion, and realized, while reflecting on my talk, that much of what heals in life also heals in writing.
Last week, in one of my online writing circles, a student said that she doesn’t feel like a writer because she doesn’t have a big vocabulary. I knew where she was coming from. As a young writer I thought that because I wasn’t a good speller that meant I couldn’t be a writer. It’s logical to assume that having a solid grasp on the mechanics of writing is necessary for an aspiring writer, but those things can be learned—and corrected by editors.