I just returned... shit it's been a week, unbelievable! So I recently returned from my first writer's workshop / conference. I was invited by my friend and poetry coach, Bev. In retrospect I'm uncertain why it took me so long to get myself to a seminar around the written word. In a time of frugal thinking I traded my annual photography workshop time and money to experiment with writing. Was I intimidated? unaware? uninterested? Did I deem the topic overwhelming or just unessential... All these questions mere curiosities as I enjoyed it immensely and will be going back, definitely! I believe I was also fortunate to lucky, perhaps my true self was just waiting for the "right" writing conference to present itself. The Green Mountain Writer's Conference is an "anti-conference" or the antidote to the typical writer's workshop... I'll have to take their collective "word for it" as this was my first one. The next few posts I create will provide more insights and information as I "spread the love" over several days here.
I enrolled serendipitously in Justen Ahren's morning intensive, website description: "Justen Ahren will lead a workshop entitled A Devotion to Writing. This is designed for writers across the genres. Borrowing from principles found in monastic practices throughout the world, each day Justen will lead discussion on a different topic, such as surrender, gratitude and intention and tie the discussion to several writing prompts. The idea is to help you develop strategies to stay on task, to find time in our busy lives for writing, to learn how to concentrate." Even though I have the practice of morning pages and daily stream of consciousness writing, this appealed to me and ended up being an amazing platform for "jumping off and jumping in!"
OK... Here's a piece I wrote on the third day... the prompt: "the things I carry"
Justen set the scene by describing how he witnessed monks taking a small bowl out each morning to beg for their food for the day... bring a small bowl to your higher power and ask for what you need without judgement or expectations...
The Things I Carry:
The bowl is small and so the pack, the canteen, the blanket, the cup, the spoon, the bags and containers. Because life is short and uncertain.
Because life is short and uncertain I carry too much - too many. I stuff myself and my mind as if there is no tomorrow. What I carry is the fear of an unfulfilling future. I walk around with pillows tied around me, bumper guards - a giant jock strap around my chin - shin guards and steel toed boots. All of this weighing me down - physically - emotionally - intellectually - spiritually. Not just hanging... but clanging and dragging and catching on things as I lumber past.
Peeling it off layer by layer - inch by inch - item by item is drudgery THEN enlightening; ferocious and unfathomable THEN blessed and bright. I may imagine a breakthrough only to discover in short order yet another murky - moody - mulchy - layer of moldy shit. Fuck! Is there no end to this?!
Let's take food for example... I know less is more. Smaller amounts of delicious tastiness is perfectly satisfying and wonderful. I feel airy and light and energized - "I feel MARVELOUS - just MARVELOUS..."
And then I look down to see my hand going for another - then another - pre-programmed - mindless - unconscious - even as I witness the packing on and stuffing in.
Is there some mysterious, untouchable lesson yet to fucking learn? Reveal yourself already! Is it stuffed anger that calls for the extra turkey stuffing? Is it fear - or grief - or loneliness? Perhaps a lack of self confidence or support?
What the fuck? I keep asking faithfully and faithfully, in Spirit's time, I will be answered. I'll strip off the jock strap and shin guards - perhaps a pillow or bumper or two or ten and remember it's SAFE (BIG SIGH) and I'm OK and all is right with the world.
P.S. Hurry up - please -
Laurie Anne McCauley
Did that make you feel better?
I decided back in November 2015 to make my poetry available and journal online. I'm not exactly sure what "blogging" means but I am quite sure this is an online journal. Feel free to read on with an aire of open minded curiosity. At no time do I intend to offend, judge or pretend to know anything really, I'm just an observer and explorer, as we all are. Feel free to "boldly go" through my observations and perhaps it will spark or inspire. Comments are off because I don't want to be worried about political correctness when I'm writing. I'm not thinking about "you." I'm just writing because it feels "right". Feel free to enjoy or surf on.
Fibber McGee's closet!