So I’m Wondering…

Do I really want to write a blog on how to write?  Is that my heart’s desire?  Today, the answer is NO!  I want to write about what is on my mind in these very important times.

If I were your writing instructor, I would say to you to write about what you feel passionate about!  What pumps you up, gets you excited and/or rouses your curiosity or your ire?  That is what I would encourage you to write about.  Therefore, I’m going to offer this to myself.

I am a woman with many interests and curiosities.  One concern is for this planet earth, this place I call home.  I consider how someone could think they have a right to walk into my house, eat all of my food, pollute my water and leave trash everywhere.  Isn’t earth that home for all of us?  Don’t these same “rules” apply in regards to our hospitable planet earth?  I think so and it’s obvious that many in power don’t see it this way.  To them, earth is to be used until it’s all used up, exhausted of resources and unable to replenish itself. Hmmm.

I once wrote an essay entitled “It All Starts with Food.”  The bottom line of it is that women really do have more power than they claim.  Women are typically (in the USA anyway) the shoppers.  How I spend my money, what I put in my shopping cart determines what is on the supermarket shelves.  It appears to be upside down–that is what is on the shelves determines what I eat.  Consider that around ninety percent of the items on the shelves in the supermarket are not real food.  They are packaged, processed, infused with chemicals, hormones, antibiotics.  Honestly, our bodies aren’t mean to digest these unnatural additives.  Yet, we trust advertised products over our own wisdom.

Once, my five-year old grandson was staring at a long aisle of candy at the grocery store.  I said, “That’s not real food.”  His eyes got wider and I could hear the doubt in his voice as he replied “Yes, it is.”  Later on that day, i asked him to help me pick chamomile flowers in the backyard and then we brewed tea together.  This became a meaningful experience for both of us.

When I place food on the table for my family and friends, I feel good that the food I serve is fresh, is locally grown in the summer and fall,  and prepared consciously.  After a dinner one evening, my son-in-law thanked me for a meal that left him feeling good. There is a feeling of vibrancy and health when we eat “real” food.

Alright, I gave you a tiny glimpse of how I feel about our relationship to the earth and women’s power in choosing healthy food.

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Writing Prompt
Take five minutes to list the things that you frequently write about.  Or list things that you think you’d like to write about.
Do you feel inspired by any of the topics on your list?  If so highlight them.
Review the things that inspire you.  Do you feel passionate about any of these?
If so, take a bright marking pen and put a capital letter “P” beside what you feel passionate about.

(Note that passion can sometimes feel like anger when we are writing about injustices or inequities.  Don’t let the big feelings scare you.  They only want to be noticed and embraced.)

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By the way, have you guessed what the Dame Ragnelle told King Arthur in answer to the question “What do women most desire?”  Before I ever heard of this legend, I could have told you the answer from my own questing.  What I most wanted, what the Dame Ragnelle recognized and named, is SOVEREIGNTY.  A woman desires the power to make the decisions that govern her own life.  I wanted freedom of choice and to have this sovereignty respected by others personally, culturally and politically.  It is my belief that women across the word deeply desire this.  In fact, I believe that there is a culture of women which supersedes the boundaries delineated by race, creed, color, religion.   When we step outside these man-made boundaries, we recognize our common goals, challenges and dreams.

Peace to you..enjoy this day.

 

The Girl I was…

“The Girl I was once knew it all
the rising tides and nation’s fall
how to achieve peace on earth
the value of a woman’s worth…”  
And then I forgot.

Afraid to Lose You
Long lonely nights waiting for you to come home
from a night out.
Listening for the sound of your truck
in the driveway.
Worrying that you drank too much–again.
Praying you would make it home
safely.
Unable to express my anger
because
if I curse you,
tell you how your behavior
is hurting our family,
I might lose you.

I was under a spell cast by the society I grew up in.  It said that a woman’s highest role was to be a good wife–satisfy her mate, care for his needs, make him happy, help him to achieve his goals in life.  I would find my fulfillment in that.  Structured within this belief system was the notion that my own self-actualization was not a valid desire.

WRITING PROMPT
Have you ever had a sense of being under a spell?
If so, what helps you to awaken?
Write for ten minutes without censoring  yourself.
This way of writing has been termed “free-writing”.

Following is my paraphrase of an old myth involving King Arthur, Sir Gawain & Dame Ragnelle:

King Arthur is given a life-threatening challenge by the mystical knight, Sir Gromer Somer Joure–“FIND OUT WHAT WOMEN MOST DESIRE AND RETURN HERE IN ONE YEAR WITH THE ANSWER” OR ELSE!  King Arthur enlists the help of his nephew and trusted knight, Sir Gawain.  Separately, they roam the countryside seeking the true answer.  As the year is nearly up, they compare their notes and realize that they are no closer to an answer.  The despairing King rides off into the forest seeking inspiration of some sort.  This is precisely when the unattractive old crone, the Dame Ragnelle, appears to the King and offers him a solution.  In exchange for the true answer, she asks for the hand of Sir Gawain in marriage.  Sir Gawain accepts the proposal to save his uncle’s life. As it turns out, the Dame Ragnelle has been under a spell herself.  When Sir Gawain respectfully and tenderly takes her to the marriage bed, she transforms into her true and beautiful self.  Another enchantment broken by the power of love.  With all of this, can you guess what answer Dame Ragnelle gave to the King?

WRITING PROMPT
What would your answer to this question be?  Free-write for ten minutes.

(Dame Ragnelle’s answer
is forthcoming in the next blog.)

 

For now, here are a few WRITING TIPS for  you.

To begin this journey, you will need a journal or writing pad, a comfortable-to-grip pen,
clothing that does not bind, a good chair and sufficient lighting.  Decide what else you need to create your space for writing.  Could it be a favorite lamp, a flower in a vase, a candle, a centering stone, a feather, a seashell or a card from an inspirational deck?  It would be helpful if you had a timer for timed writings.

Writing Saved My Life

I began writing about my personal journey as a woman–daughter, wife and mother–when I was 27-years old.  At that time, I fell into a deep depression.  Prior to that, I hadn’t experienced the seeming slum of depression.  The landscape was foreign and frightening. I had one confidante, my younger sister, though she was busy with her own burgeoning family life.

My husband, five-year-old daughter and I moved from San Francisco to a suburb–away from what was familiar.  My marriage-constrained husband virtually abandoned us there, working long shifts in the city and after work, playing handball and drinking with his buddies.  The relationship was seriously fractured.  The journal page became my salvation.

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The intention of this blog is to encourage your writing process through sharing my own and other’s poetry and prose.   Having given creative writing workshops on women’s themes for over ten years, I offer you writing tips and prompts.  I have credited writing for saving my life.  And with that, I feel I owe writing a debt of gratitude. Therefore, it is my desire to promote writing (and creativity) as a “wake-up” tool.  With any inward pursuit, it is wise to go only as far as is comfortable.  And, do seek professional support if that feels necessary.

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WRITING PROMPT
For me, this depression was a wake up call and a turning point.  I invite you to reflect on and write about a turning point in your own life.  Set a time limit for yourself.  When you finish writing, read it aloud at least two times.  Ask yourself, “Is there more that wants to be said?”  If so, write some more.
I find it is a good practice to read what you write aloud, to yourself.  And take a moment to let your words sink in.  This is your writer’s voice.  It has value.

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Have a beautiful day.