January 2022

Let the day begin…rituals, routines, rhythms, mundane, necessary, daily, wander, gather, realign, follow the path, find your way in, find your way through, no need to find your way out; it will appear–be apparent, it might look like a turn, a storm, a peaceful passage, a long journey or just an obvious, clear ending. (excerpt from my journal)

Photo take by Les Rohlf (Ford’s Terror, Alaska 2021)

I left a part of my heart in Alaska. Looking through the photos we took actually hurts. In a good way. I miss those days of discovery and being immersed in another world.

We’ve been home since September, quickly jumping into home improvements, catching up with family and friends, preparing for the holidays, traveling for Thanksgiving, coming home again, staying healthy, and beginning the job hunt for Les.

In the meantime, I’ve been getting ready for souldare classes 2022, and I took a part time job at our community center. I really like interacting with patrons, co-workers and being out and about. With the flurry of activity, I carve out time for my own creative pursuits, making collages and writing in my journal. This morning, as I sit drinking coffee and mulling over the day ahead, I notice my tattoo, which is the word: “write” with a hook attached.

What should I write? Why do I neglect publishing my writing? Does it really have to be so complex? Maybe I already wrote my book. Maybe the blog is enough. Who knows?

In writing class on Monday, I told the participants that writing in a journal can be a place to generate ideas and collect inspiration. Raw material. We played with words by using a word association exercise. Write 8-10 random words in a column. Cover those words with a sheet of paper. Reveal one word at a time and write an associated word next to it. When we finished, I invited anyone who wanted to read their words out loud. They read them in pairs down through their list. I made the observation, and encouraged them that there could be a seed of a poem in those word pairs. It was a fun discovery.

Writing does generate ideas. We can collect inspiration in our journals. Maybe writing in my journal is enough. Maybe encouraging others to use a journal for self-discovery is my mission. Maybe writing leads to telling stories.

We did another prompt. What if you met a person you admire in an elevator? What would you ask them? I set the timer for three minutes. Some started writing immediately and others seemed stuck. I jokingly, but honestly said, “It might take the whole three minutes to figure out who you admire.” We laughed together.

I chose Maya Angelou, because I do admire her. And because a friend had shared a quote of hers with me, and we contemplated it in class.

“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”

Maya Angelou

In my imagined dialogue on the elevator with Maya Angelou, I did most of the talking. She smiled and nodded at me. Just before I got off, after I had told her that I admired her for telling her story, she said to me, “Tell your story, too.” Maybe that’s why I want to write; I have a story to tell. It might be fiction. It might be short. It might be in the form of a play. It might be memoir. Who knows? But my tattoo, which took me many years to make sure it was really what I wanted, reminds me at the core of my being, the word “write” inspires me.

GOD made my life complete when I placed all the pieces before him. When I got my act together, he gave me a fresh start. Now I’m alert to God’s ways; I don’t take God for granted. Every day I review the ways he works; I try not to miss a trick. I feel put back together, and I’m watching my step. God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes.

Psalm 18:20-24 (The Message)
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