But, what to write about? (Something we writers often ask ourselves as we stare at the empty page or screen).
I just spent a week with 14 (most amazing) writers at Write-By-The-Lake. Should I write about that?
Last night I met up with 8 writers from the Spring Green area as part of the Write Your Story Project. I could write about that.
how we live a storied life,
about this month’s free writer’s retreat at my home and how I offer this in honor of poet and activist William Stafford,
how essential it is to live our own story and not anothers’,
what it takes to live the writer’s life,
how waiting to be inspired is a flavor of resistance,
what it takes to let go and give up on a dead project,
how what we write about transforms writer and reader,
how motivation is an inner dynamic not dependent upon outside circumstances,
how depression, anxiety, fears and phobias can all be part of our conversation with the world around us,
how self-doubt is the hoarfrost of creativity,
how everything that shows up is material for our writer’s life,
how stories, your stories, feed the soul of humanity and keep us moving forward,
what it means to live your life in the open
how grateful I am to have chosen this rich vocation as writer, and writing Sherpa.
On my way home, my soul sent out a shiver
like a deeply buried seed in February
that knows, spring is coming.
When each of you spoke
the ground shuttered beneath our collective bodies
from each syllable, each word, each story told,
(this was not new for me,
my heart will break open in a stream of other’s stories
when I die)
it’s what happened
after we said good-bye, I packed my books and notes
had lunch with friends
and drove a familiar route home.
But nothing looked or felt familiar.
Even the rumbling road spoke a surprising
dialect of sewing machines, Palestine and time.
spoke in ancient tongues,
sang pristine lyrics, all along hinting, hinting and
welcoming me on . . . home.
My walk from car to door opened new internal pathways,
cleaning the chicken coop became a sacred act of comfort,
This precious life is short and full of inevitable change and loss, no one escapes untouched by trouble
My garden breathed in and out as I pulled weeds,
my blind dog saw my heart. I glimpsed the rabī in my daughter’s eyes.
My husband is a good man full of story.
because I spend time with you
and your stories.
This after only five days
of feasting on just slivers and possibility of your stories . . .
what your full story will do for the world.
–Julie Tallard Johnson, for WBTL students, 2015