Friday, September 24, 2010

In this moment I hear ohmmmm....

I was surprised to find myself writing along with the group during the freewriting time during "And Now You Write." This isn't my usual - normally as facilitator I just hold the space...but the power of the collaboration moved my pencil. I could not stop these words from being born if I tried!

So, that being said, here is what I heard and wrote today during the And Now You Write session:

I vote for the oh, the pitter patter of gloating jokes leave foam at the open mouth of the ugliest gnome. A sassy pants drone, he is. My heart's metronome calls, instead, for ohm. It invokes my soul home, and the round mouth bicycle tire spokes of bristle cone seeds taking root in my spoken truth woven in ohm.

In this moment, I hear ohm. Ohm. Ohm....

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Thursday, September 23, 2010

New Blessings I See: Free Writing From "And Now You Write"

Today's focus: gratitude gratitude gratitude. I write on my porch and see so many blessings, but in the "I see many" it is a pureed soup, so instead, I will scoop blessings out, one by one, and revel in their specificities.

I see Samuel, my blessing, who is humming an unrecognizeable tune and I daren't ask him what it is. His thoughts make him smile which make me smile. Constance the Cat, my blessing, sits cuddled next to him. Constance is a cast off cat we have adopted and she and her rogue husband, Bob, reign over our yard, King and Queen. Samuel says, "Hi, Bob!" The scarred black tom cat is getting less and less frightened of us. This makes me smile. It is like blessing perfume, perfect in this morning.

I see a pumpkin, my blessing, the first of the season, sitting on the corner of my desk atop a Thomas Merton book, Echoing Silence. The pumpkin was named John by Emma, Samuel and me. Ostensibly he is named after Henry David Thoreau's brother John, fellow teacher and pencil-maker, but I know the truth. :-) I've started a play for Project Love about heaven and my brother John. This paragraph is like a trifecta or hat trick of blessings.

I see my weathered porch desk - another blessing - which needs replacement. By winter, three months from now, I should replace it. It has served me well. Many words have been written here. It has repaid its $10 ticket price many times over.

Samuel exclaims, "It's that same jeep again!" I look up, "Really?" He notices everything (another blessing) "What?" he says to Constance-the-Cat. "You want me to comfort you?" He reaches down, to cuddle with her.

I cry just a little. (A blessing). He has come so far. (a blessing!)

I take a sip of my coffee. A blessing that appears regularly on my gratitude lists. My morning compadre, simple pleasure, eye opener, subject of many love poems.

I see the blessing of my notes for today's And Now You Write. I read the words, "Writing is effortless when we are alive to the world." When we are alive to the world. I am blessed by words, my own and others, of notes and affirmations and blog posts and new voices. Returning voices. Multigenerations. A primary component of creativity camp is being manifested right here.

The chimes ring from inside. Hank (a blessing) must have sidled past them too closely. Samuel goes to his waiting spot after the "imposter bus" drives by. He cranes his neck and says, "I see my bus."

He's gone from cranky to contend in our first hour of the day together. I wave to his friends (blessing!) as the bus pulls away.

Morning by morning new mercies I see...

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I fill the paper with the breathings of my heart....

I fill the paper with the breathings of my heart and my intellect interferes, muttering about "What's the purpose?" and the I-twin scoffs, "Can you make money from putting the breathings of your heart on paper?"

My heart gives a not so gentle nudge and I feel "let's prove it" build, rumbling volcano pre-eruption like under my breath. The pulse, the movement of blood and life force is in teh PROVE it. The ROVE whats true the ignite the fire metaphor stew with seasonings from the heart. Whispers of "look up" so I do. Women in blue uniforms connected by formica, disconnected by cell phones.

The "look up" also ignites the honking of yesterday's geese from outside my window. I listen and wonder of the connection between these words I added to my notebook while out and about and this moment, here now. A pregnant woman in a pink shirt waddle-walks by. "Hold your moments close!" I want to shout. My heart does it silently yet vividly for me. My heart warms up, grateful for the acknowledgment.

A woman comes to me after she notices, hand raised to knock. She leaves her rapping-on-the-door to open me to more light, even though I don't think I need it, I gratefully receive her outpouring of service.

She had been on her way to clean the men's restrooms. Before her knuckles rapped, she diverted her attention to my writing heart. I am sure that is what called her. Her footsteps matched my heart beat. "More light" she said, then created it. SHe put the shades into their upright and locked positions with my heart-words, ready for lilft off.

My left hand completely relaxes, remembering heart-opening yoga, last night.

I hear a blue shirted woman say, "Vamos a ver" and I nod, "Let's go"...

We mirror love, what we love when we write, when we speak, when we pray when we paint when we listen and feel...

When we reach our hand up to knock and recognize love, we may leave the rapping knuckles and write what compels before moving back into the "supposed to do's" and settle into the simplest heart service of raising a blind, wiping a nose, making a phone call, writing a poem, a sentence, listening to a goose's honks and smiling.

I fill the paper with the breathings of my heart. And next up in my day is filling the painting paper with the breathings of my heart... I'll post here, too.

(I am grateful that even as I facilitate, I know I am as much of participant as everyone else.)

For those of you who don't know about And Now You Write, consider this your invitation to join us right now - you are here at the perfect time...

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

More of the Writing Adventure at Hart Park: Sometimes an Ugly Duck stays an Ugly Duck

In today's session of And Now You Write I shared of my moments at Hart Park, a regional park not far from my home. I took myself there because although I attempted to write at home, I realized sometimes the best thing to do is switch up what we are doing and begin to write from someplace new.

I was lead to go to Hart Park, so I did.

I shared some of the story at the And Now You Write blog, but here is the missing excerpt from my sketch pad. I found it a lot of fun and thought I would offer it up to you, here.

I heard a duck sounding like a children's toy.

Not a quack, but something else. And then a gutteral grgrgrgrgrpip

The wood ducks noticed and came along, hautily, and swam in the way of these other, visiting country ducks and sang out the very quintessential duck "Quack quack quack quack!" The mallard joined in, pontificating "Quack quack QUACK!" which I think means something like "I am top duck, go make your grgrgrgrgrgrpip on some other pond."

The winter visiting country ducks pitch raises when they skitter-fly across the water, like Xena's shout changes when she gets excited and mobile.

I look at my attempt to draw the country-visitor-duck and I think Emily Dickinson would be so annoyed by me, so disappointed in my result.

The ugly ducks sound like a nerd choir, or a second, third or fourth string choir. The wood-duck-in-charge hates this and bellows at the country duck, "Shut up your choir, Jethro!"

Unlike the ugly duckling who grows into being a beautiful swan, these Jethro ducks are simply Jethro ducks. They are what they are, there is no changing the facts. I have seen them come to this pond and live here each fall and winter, year in and year out.

There will be no story of transformation from ugly Jethro to beautiful swan.

These ducks have been ugly Jethro and they will continue to be ugly Jethro.

Poor ugly Jethro ducks. As the saying goes, sometimes an ugly duck is just an ugly duck.

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Monday, September 20, 2010

Sometimes lightning strikes sideways

If I were open to lightning striking my writing... I get this image of me sitting at a picnic table at Songdog. Light was brand new them, just having cracked open along the line of the horizon. I wrote into that cracking of light.

I look at the previous pages. My hand wrote, rook notes, almost immediately post lightning strike yesterday when I got my idea for a script for Project: Love. If lightning strikes were measured on a richter scale like earthquakes, it would have been somewhere between 8.0 and 8.5. My writing is slightly sloppy, I notice. Still tingling then, still wobbly.

Keeping the lightning stike alive: this is a slightly different matter.

Notes alongside, remembering, poking the space of the strike. When I wrote my initial tears from the lightning were gone.

When I allow lightning to strike my writing I am open to emotion. I allow emotion to have the freedom to roam in my creativity. No cages on my emotion. If my creativity was an animal, well - for me it would be a menagerie - it would be a gazelle, an eagle, a domestic short hair cat like Constance and Bob. There would be a whittler: an old man sans teeth, whittling. His wife, Ida, plays the fiddle.

She is the creative whiz. He is the metronome. She is the one who does the jig. He is the one who walks in the pre-dawn. Their love shared is a given.

When I allow lightning to strike my writing, it doesn't bother me to hear Samuel's voice breaking through my words. "Mommy! Mommy!" he calls. I respond, knowing the page will be there waiting when I return.

Later, I took myself on an artist's date (a la Julia Cameron) because I was floundering and frustrated at home. The surefire cure for floundering and frustration is to change what you are doing rather than wallow in the mire.

I decided to get myself a drink along the way and just like that a poem and a sketch was born.

Sometimes lightning
strikes sideways
while doodling in
my drawing pad
behind a rogue carpet
installer, I copy the
rolled up carpets onto
my paper in swirled
flames of gratitude
I write that
his license plate
I see
1 box 6
times removed
she drives her
SUV west on
I lamented the
writing didn't won't
can't seem to strike

And I picked up my
and the lightning
came, surprising me
by striking sideways


Life and the Writing life, is grand....

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So much love to each and all reading this -


Thursday, September 16, 2010

What do I hold in my hand?

I post this free flow writing, raw, unedited - to illustrate how far off course I go with my free writing and HOW RIGHT IT IS to do exactly that - I even noticed when I started to type this all for you that I wrote "write" instead of "right" at one point. And it is the perfect, just right, make me giggle writing "mistake". Please don't hesitate to share your writing. It is like sharing at a slumber party with our masks all over our faces, dry and crackling. Sometimes these make the best memories and the best, longest lasting connections.

When I witness my hands I see...

What do I hold in my hand?

Splatter words, on the page. My write hand holds my pencil. I feel the tension of this pencil holding all the way up my arm. I never noticed that before, the tension tumbles and skitters and scrapes the veins as it works my way up my right side. It is not the most comfortable tension, I notice.

Samuel and I wait for the bus, I write that - so my hand "holds" that, too. Samuel notices a dog bone in our garden, left abandoned deserted hidden? by one of the strange looking hounds that has been carousing about the neighborhood lately.

Yes, I went from writing about my hand and muscle tension to dog bones and my son.

Free writing isn't always tidy.. .and I love some of the word combinations I came up with because I followed the flow of the pencil into those images.

(Note I never tell myself I messed up by going off course. Neither do you! Please don't hesitate to share your writing!)

Big hugs,