We never know if our writing will ever be read by anyone. We don’t know if it works as a poem, or if anyone else will like it. But we write what life has given us to say the best we can.
There are many reasons for moving. I’ve moved more than most. I wrote in my book, Bodies Unbound, that I moved so many times I couldn’t stop looking for “For Rent” signs. Last month I moved again. I left the comfort and security of the lively family I was living with in the Santa Barbara suburbs, and moved down town.
Writing about place is almost as difficult as writing about emotions. If you read travelogues, you will see that the genre abounds with clichés and sloppy descriptions. Quaint, charming, romantic and picturesque are words that say nothing. Don’t use them. Ever.
Finding your purpose is not a decision. You watch how you are led, what thrills you, what you would do without getting paid, how the world responds to you, and what you are willing to sacrifice for the experience.
We all have memories of friends: friends that love us, friends that shower us with blessings, friends that betray, criticize, abandon, lead us astray. I gave an assignment to my class last week about friends. The pieces turned out to be stunning reflections into their families. Considering important friendships led my students to explore their original relationships.
The heart can surprise you at any age. When I first met my grandson I was overwhelmed by my feelings of longing, delight, wonder, and adoration. I knew in a flash I had been captured by love again.
Beware of the arrogance of the intellect. It is tempting to spout our ideologies. We are all full of concepts that we use to be right, saved, good, and righteous. We use rationalizations to justify our poor choices or to glory in our good ones.
It is a cliché, but so true, that often our pets are our best friends. Many of our life lessons come from loving another species. They broaden our outlook and expand our skills with communication. They love us in a way that is different from humans. They are authentic and true to their nature.
When I sit down to write, I often start by describing something in the room. It could be the way the light is coming through the windows; or it could be the blue vase filled with yellow roses, the petals just beginning to drop beneath the bouquet on to the table.
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