Creative Nesting

I wonder if other writers experience this nesting phenomenon, much like before a baby is born, but instead it occurs at the brink of binge writing, or giving birth to a creative project.

I spent a good four hours nesting recently. I had this desire to know what I have, to love it or leave it, and to move things around or put them away.

There’s a kind of ‘shopping at home’ where you simply move things around until you find something that you just don’t like no matter where you put it.  I like to do this before replacing something or buying something new. A wall hanging that is unappealing in one area of the house might be perfect in another spot. I switched a couple large plants around too,  and thought them perfect again.

I went through my jewelry and my linens. I swapped out our gold chandelier that I never liked for a matte nickel one that is so much more aesthetically pleasing to me. I  have this feeling of fullness, of having everything I need, not feeling especially attached to any of it, but loving all of it. That’s the sweet spot with material things, I think- to love everything you have without being too attached to any of it.

20150828_215042At the end of my nesting, I ordered one large canvas art print and gave one old framed picture away. The look of the old one was cluttered and too country for my current taste. The new painting arrived, a splash of vibrant color across a lone branch. It looks both natural and modern to me, and I love it.

A chapter out of place, or no longer relevant, I move it or let it go. I feel the labor pains of writing: the blocks and the struggle, the fear and the pushing.

The bliss!

The fullness of it, when the words match my memory. The sentences, like thoughts on canvas, now visible. Fresh words, new perspective.

A labor of love, bursting forth to completion.

Create it, love it, let it go.

I have everything I need.

The Truth About Nature

20140721_104248Ahhh the grace of nature, a balm for the soul.  Aren’t we meant to come back to this source, to immerse ourselves amongst the trees or water, the cycles of the earth?  Nature is detoxifying, pulling us into the present, into our bodies, cleansing us of the burdens of the mind.

I don’t want to leave this place, where I breath easy, write freely.

My doctor goes through his list of standard questions.

Do you sleep well?

I just answer yes. I don’t tell him I wake at 4am these days, a new habit perhaps, or biology, hormones, announcing their shift.  Sometimes worrisome thoughts trickle in at this time.

Car accidents. One wrong turn, one distracted driver, an instant. One wrong choice. Tragedies. Illness. The people I love. What are the chances no one will be harmed?

Oh the burden of love.

And the global worries, the earth, the damage, the carelessness toward that which sustains us.


Inequality.  Unbalance of power.

Oh the burden of caring.

And since when is this politics?

Isn’t it as simple as right versus wrong?

Evolution versus stagnation.


Love over fear.

Truth over denial.

People before money.

Feelings over things.

Heart before ego.

And then I hate myself for thinking it is that simple, for needing to convince.  And then what starts in my heart shifts to ego. I am right. You are wrong. It is this simple.

But it’s not.

The burden of caring.  It is too heavy.

I don’t know how to care without suffering.

So now, in this place of beauty and surrender, I care less. I simply will do no harm, but I vow to focus less on that which I cannot change.

I am preparing to speak, a voice for children.  I am putting notes together, but  I keep coming back to this:  just show up and speak the truth. This I can do.

Write my story.  This I can do.

Do you sleep well? 

I just answer yes.

Because I will. I will care less for that which I have no control. I will show up and speak the truth.  I will write. I will be a voice, just one voice for one issue.  That is all.

That is enough.

I breath in the sky, the massive pine trees lining the water like an artist’s brush.  I will be back here soon. I will breath easy. Write more. Sleep well.

I return to the petty thoughts, the grounding thoughts.

The dog needs more food.

Shop for curtains.

Pick up the dry cleaning.

It feels good to care less about the world. Peaceful.

To pick one thing and just do that.

To surrender all else to the earth, the sky, the air.

That’s the truth about nature.  It takes nothing from us but our burdens, real or imagined.

And it gives everything in return.

Technology issues: this isn’t what I wanted to say

I’ve been having technical difficulties and thought that if I denied them a bit longer while away, they would somehow be easier to face upon my return.

I had an entirely different blog post in mind today. An important one. One that is already written in my head, ready in its completion and clarity, to take over the page and be released from my head and heart.

But my Windows has disappeared from my laptop. Or else it has gone into hiding. It has locked me out, telling me my password, the one I’ve used for the past several years now, is incorrect.

I am told I should download Windows 10. And I will, as soon as I figure out how. Today.

In the meantime, I could use Libre, even though I don’t like it, except that my pictures aren’t there.

Also, I sent my new photos from my phone to my email. But when I go to my email, the photo aren’t there.

Apparently my phone is taking a vacation too. Or maybe it’s my email that has quit functioning normally. I’m not sure yet.

First world problems, I know.

It is like losing our health and then realizing we took it for granted. Only it’s much less important than health, just more irritating. It’s only technology. But oh how we need it now.

Technology problems feel like car problems to me. Never am I more like a damsel in distress than with cars or technology. I want to be rescued. I want it fixed and fixed now by someone who is not me.

I have no desire for anything fancy with cars or computers or phones. All I require is that they function. All I want is something that won’t fail me. Just a tool. That’s all. No more and no less.

I love technology. I hate technology. I really should just figure out what is going on and fix it. Or ask for help. But instead my heart races, really races, more than it does when I’ve simply had a bit too much caffeine.

It races so much, into my throat, that I have to lie down.

Is it the caffeine, the one cup of coffee I had this morning?

Or is it techno- stress?

My God, did I just have a panic attack over technology?

Help me. Technology has knocked me down and I don’t know how to get up.

I am getting up.

And I am facing the techno demons that are haunting me, taunting me. Maybe it will be as simple as updating and downloading. Or maybe it will gobble up half a day and all my patience and make my head spin.

But I will not be kept down. My words will not be stifled. I am a big girl. I am not a helpless girl. Not a defeated girl. And I have something else to write. Something to say.

Writing and Wild Mind

When things settled down after my last blog post I was left with the simple clarity of what’s next. I need to move forward and finish my book. This is my next stop, my touchstone.

I don’t need another article, or another open mic story win or more encouragement. I don’t need to perfect my proposal letter to literary agents or secure another speaking engagement first, or read another book on writing nor start another blog.

stock-photo-33581722-cloudy-sunset-over-field-with-sunflowersI just need to keep writing.  I could keep eeking it out, day by day, but what I know I need to do is to binge write again. That’s how I really move the book forward because I’ve entered into that space of writer’s mind. I was there last fall and I got more done in the month of November than I did in the six months that followed.

Writer Natalie Goldberg describes our unconscious, or what she calls our “Wild Mind” as a big sky. Picture a little dot in the center of that sky, she tells us, and that is what Zen call “Monkey Mind”, or what western psychology calls part of the conscious mind. Goldberg says we give almost all of our attention to that little dot, the one that says you can’t do that, shouldn’t even try, do this instead. So while Wild Mind surrounds us, like a big sky, powerful and vast, waits for us, whispers the truth to us, we get swept away from it, for days, years, a lifetime, because we are focusing only on the dot instead of what’s beyond.

Emails are answered and clutter is cleared. I am being vigilant to stay on top of all the tasks of daily living while simultaneously enjoying the last weeks of this beautiful summer.

Then I will enter Wild Mind and try my best not to emerge until I bring my book to completion.  For the most part, my compass will be toward that big sky, my mind in the wild unconscious, my words coming from my truth, uncensored and untamed.

That we have access to that is our greatest gift.

At summer’s end, just when the days are beginning to get ever slightly shorter and there’s a hint of cooler weather, of fall ahead, I will know it is time. I will invite the muse, once again, to write through me. I will do my best to divert my attention from that dot, that monkey mind, and will look to the vastness and the miracle of that wide open sky.

I will reside in Wild Mind. There, where freedom and divine assistance always accompanies, I will finish what I started.