Book Connections

Day 361…

An observation:  As the acupuncturist releases my inner chi energy, I follow her work by cleaning up and decluttering the outer chi, my house.

A book on a table near the Barnes and Noble cafe calls to me the other day.  Not something I think I would be looking for, but obviously something inside me connected.  It would have appealed to my son.

Advice for living well in this world, using quotes from science-fiction and fantasy.  Sacred teachings.

For the quote by Isaac Asimov, “If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn’t brood.  I’d type a little faster.”  the author addresses “being driven by the creative impulse–by the all-encompassing need to take what’s inside and put it out there…

Oh, I can so connect with that thought.

And the book itself, sitting on that table?  Was it patiently waiting for me to “see” it, to take what’s outside and bring it in?

Writing topic:  Books that connect

Simple Rituals

Day 360…

I have spent weeks sorting, cleaning, organizing…deep decluttering.  I am proud to say I am no longer a candidate for “Hoarders.”  And it feels wonderful.

Last night, the writing group helps me celebrate.  Alex makes an elegant rasberry tart, Lynda brings veggies and a yummy ranch dip.  Joann comes for the first time and Katie brings her endearing, brave self.

This is more than a girls’ night out, although there is a bit of that.  We have created a safe place to be, to speak, and to listen, and for me, in this noisy, cluttered world,  it is a respite.

I write to rise above my mindless day-to-day triggers and reactions, and on Wednesday nights I practice this ritual with others.  A couple hours of sacred awareness, amid record breaking high temperatures and drought, economic instability, family concerns and personal struggles.

My writing teacher, Natalie Goldberg, says “Trust in what you love, continue to do it, and it will take you where you need to go.”

Ah yes, Natalie.  Ah, yes.

Writing topic:  Writing as a spiritual practice

Love As Feeling

Day 359…

Why is love, the subject of artists and philosophers throughout the ages,  so hard to pin down?  It is not just words or images or specific people and events.  Although words and images and specific people and events certainly seem to trigger “love.”

There was a simple illustrated phrase hanging in our family breakfast room when I was growing up.  A craft made at Vacation Bible School.  “God is Love,” it said, every time we came together for a family meal.

God is Love.  And if God is Love, and we are God’s children, then we, too, are Love.

I like that feeling.

Writing topic:  The feeling of Love

P.S.  False alarm on Melissa’s baby.  But a good trial run for everyone involved.

Change of Plans

Day 358…

So the plan this morning is to finish cleaning my house…I’m so close.  Closets organized, shelves straightened,  curtains washed…Curtains washed!!!  The writing group is meeting here tomorrow night.  Last night I even downloaded The Paris Wife on my NOOK, thinking I might have time to read after I clean.

But when I wake up this morning a message on my phone tells me there could be a change in the plans.  Melissa’s having contractions. Can I come stay with the boys?

Why, of course.

So here I am, ready for the next adventure.  Maybe the house won’t be completely ready for the writers.  Oh, well.   If Melissa’s daughter is about to make her appearance, it will be good enough.  Priorities, you know.

Writing topic:  Changing the plan

Big Thoughts

Day 357…

This morning I have ideas that take me beyond the comfortable routine I am in  now.  I don’t wake with them; they just seem to be unfolding with the day.  I see possibilities…one piece at a time.

Great!  I appreciate the way you allowed my suggestions in the night.

What suggestions?

Where do you think these ideas came from?

Well, they seem to be from experiences I’ve been having for quite some time.

Yeah…you wanna talk about it?

Not yet.  I don’t want my resistance to block this process.

OK…I’m here whenever you need me.

Thanks.

Writing topic:  Possibilities

The Awakening

Day 357…

Writing evening pages is giving me what I wanted…several nights of uninterrupted sleep.  Until last night.

I review the day, noting several experiences with satisfaction…more deep cleaning and decision-making as I make my way through two rooms of my accumulated past, a satisfying session at T’ai Chi, a gratefulness for a day when the temperature did not hit 100.

One thing I do not address, however, is what I will be sharing at Artist Sunday in the morning.  This is a yearly event at the Unitarian church and I had agreed to participate.   Throughout the week I refer to it in my evening pages and every morning I wake with evolving ideas.

Except for last night.  Did I know what I wanted to share?  Maybe.  Did I think the idea had “evolved” enough?  I guess so.

But in the night, between the hours of 12:23 to 3: 57, my muse wakes me up with more ideas. Needless to say, I was not happy.

Listen to this, Laura.

Be quiet.  I want to sleep.  Tell me in the morning.

No, really.  I have this great idea…

I. Want. To. Sleep.

But really.  There’s a clearer way to present your thoughts…without sounding so schoolteacherish…

Great.  Hold on to that thought and tell me later.

Don’t you see…you’re slipping in to lecture mode.

Well, duh.  I’ve been a teacher most of my life…it’s who I am.

I know.  And I respect that.  Hear me out.

On and on we went, her persistence wearing away my resistance.  Yeah, she does have a point.  Well, maybe that is a better presentation.  And then…I don’t remember anything between 4:00 and 6:00…

Writing topic: I can’t shut her up

More Breathing

Day 356…

Today I continue cleaning and organizing my house.  Originally this task was an intention I set for myself when I volunteered to host the writing group on August 17.  But now, with all my closets and drawers and boxes emptied, it has become something much bigger.  A cleansing.  A new beginning even.

I bring my breath (spirit) to it, as I sort through my past.  Old writings, half finished projects, good intentions…and Carlton’s things I haven’t yet been able to let go of.

With every bag I take to Goodwill or load I dump into the trash cart, I feel lighter.

“Let your breath do the work,” Janis says at Qigong.

I am, Janis, I am.

Writing topic:  Let your breath do the work