Back to the Blog
Oh, friends, it’s been a long, long time, and while there’s always meaning and importance in the silent seasons, it feels good to be writing again (at least for today!). I find myself “back to the blog” (as “Carty McFly”?!) for a handful of reasons important enough to name and for which to give thanks:
1. Gevin, a former student and forever friend, who is off to college next year, recently encouraged me to write again this summer, and goodness gracious, I cannot say “no” to this wonderful gent!
2. Today is June 1st. The first of a new month. Clean slate. Tabula Rasa. I love that feeling of “new,” and I especially feel it today, the threshold of a new month, a new season. So much of our lives wades in the waters of endings and beginnings, and I feel grateful for a new beginning this day.
3. This past week, I had the incredible fortune of participating in a workshop at school called, “Root to Rise,” and in each day of this three-day, full-day workshop, a group of us 10 women (mostly strangers) practiced writing and yoga together. Thanks to our wise, encouraging, and beautiful leaders Maggie and Mary, each day was sacred, as we rooted ourselves on the page and on the mat, finding meaning along the journey. Each writing practice was modeled largely from Natalie Goldberg‘s methods of writing practice, in which we would write continuously for ten minutes based on a specific prompt. Interspersed with yoga, we wrote (and shared when we felt called to do so) about eight writing practices per day, and like any good practice, there were specific rules to follow (from Natalie Goldberg’s Wild Mind):
- Keep your hand moving
- Be specific
- Don’t think
- Lose control
- Don’t worry about spelling, punctuation, or grammar
- You are free to write the worst junk in America
- Go for the jugular (don’t be afraid to write about the hard stuff)
These rules, I think, can apply to much more than writing practice, but I’ll let you explore that notion for yourself. As for writing, these rules were hard to follow initially, but the more you can surrender to your wild mind, the more it will take you where you need to go. Some of our writing prompts included, “I am looking at,” “pancakes,” “what have I lost?” “what have I found?” “failing and flying, “fathers,” and “what will you miss when you die?” (whew, light subject matter, eh?). Regardless of the prompt, these writing practices not only helped us explore ourselves, but often they allowed us to visit certain terrain we haven’t wanted to, and while that is not exactly comfortable, maybe that is exactly what we need – what we all need from time to time. I know I did, and perhaps they can do the same for you…
The very first prompt given to us was “I remember,” the one with which Mary, our teacher, always begins. This seems the perfect place to start for anyone, and perhaps I’ll share my writing practice from that prompt next time.
For now, as I begin again, little by little, thank you for reading, listening, and following, friends; slowly but surely, I’m finding and learning to use my voice again…
I pray the same for you…