Category Archives: Literature

Not Since 1948

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Super moon

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Tonight we meet again.

Not since 1948.

Is it mere coincidence?

68 years ago we gazed at the moonrise from verandas overloooking the sea

We sipped sweet mint tea and spoke in hushed tones as the sky darkened

perhaps even gasped at she climbed the horizon, illumating her glorious fullness.

What A marvel! I could hear my great grandfather say. How bright it must have appeared to them then in the cloudless Levant evening.

Was the moon whispering messages then, as she is today?

Or it enough to just shine her glow on all our dark spaces.

“I see you” she exclaims dryly.  Like a sibling’s weary game. “You can come out now.”

Be prepared

Come together

Build your dreams

There is no where left to hide.

 

 

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On Inspiration: Making Space for Creative Thought Daily

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Writing daily is tricky while caring for children, a home, a partner and oh yeah myself!  But thinking creatively and finding inspiration doesn’t have to be…in fact, its deeply necessary and essential to an artistic mind.  blog picBelow are some quotes that I’ve kept in my “inspiration” list.  This is a living document, something that is constantly growing and changing over time.  I enjoy collecting  these tidbits, images, quotes, or thoughts for various reasons including simply reminding me that I am still immersed in the writing life, even when I don’t have a moment to write.  This helps jump-start my writing or just makes me remember the joy of creation, particularly on days when that’s furthest from my mind. Enjoy!

This is a classic one for me since discovering it in college:  “The first act of the conquered is to imitate their conqueror.” ~Ibn Khaldoun

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I’ve always been a fan of political poetry/spoken word and this one introduced me to this new writer as well:

you have to understand,
that no one puts their children in a boat
unless the water is safer than the land
~Warsan Shire

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You were raised to believe anything was possible, but in a threatening sort of way that meant seemingly inanimate objects could pose very real danger.  ~Edward Gorey

I accidentally discovered Gorey after buying a desk calendar… but what a nice discovery indeed.  One day I’ll visit the Gorey house!

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“You were born for these transitional times. You came to create. You are here to make a difference. You are a player in a grand experiment. You are a change agent. You are an emissary of our New Earth…”

Astrological thoughts to inspire deed as well as character creation for a fantasy novel…!

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Any observation or information about pre-1948 Palestine always gets me:

“There is little evidence of the people who lived here because their houses were razed to the ground after 1948 by the Israeli government, but blue Mesopotamian irises continue to grow on the grounds of the village cemetery. The custom was to bury the dead with three irises: one placed on the head, one on the stomach, and one by the feet. Today, the succulent buds poke through the earth of the cemetery of Sar’a, as nature continues to both witness and renew.”

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Darwish is the man:

And I have vowed
To fashion from my eyelashes a kerchief,
And upon it to embroider verses for your eyes,
And a name, when watered by a heart that dissolves in chanting,
Will make the sylvan arbours grow.
I shall write a phrase more precious than honey and kisses:
‘Palestinian she was and still is’.

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A remembrance of the sacred is key
 This is not a world that sustains our models of economic growth and consumer desires.
This is rather a world of wonder and magic, and a world that needs our attention

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Writing ideas/advice:

“In short stories there’s more permission to be elliptical. You can have image-logic, or it’s almost like a poem in that you can come to a lot of meanings within a short space.” – Karen Russell

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“A short story works to remind us that if we are not sometimes baffled and amazed and undone by the world around us, rendered speechless and stunned, perhaps we are not paying close enough attention”— George Saunders, in an interview with Ben Marcus on Granta, quoting Marcus’s introduction to New American Stories
(via poetsandwriters)

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And finally, from the writer Salman Rushdie’s new book Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights

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“To be thin skinned, far-sighted, and loose tongued, he said, is to feel too sharply, see too clearly, speak too freely.  It is to be vulnerable to the world when the world believes itself invulnerable, to understand its mutability when it thinks itself immutable, to sense what’s coming before the others sense it, to know what the barbarian future is tearing down the gates of the present while others cling to the decadent, hollow past.  If our children are fortunate they will only inherit your ears, but regrettably, as they are undeniably mine, they will probably think too much too soon, and hear too much too early, including things that are not permitted to be thought or heard.” 

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Winter Solstice Reflections: The fine mingling of letting go and holding on

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“As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison.” Nelson Mandela

Mandela on Day After Release

Mandela on Day After Release

This quote was brought to my attention recently and I couldn’t help but recognize it as execeptionally fitting given not only Mandela’s passing, but also my heightened sense of personal growth as it relates to letting go of habits, thoughts, and feelings that no longer serve me.  In order to live the life I’ve been blessed with, I need to activily let go of what no longer serves me.  ( most noteably- habits Ild developed as a single mother- of a divorced person, of an economically challenged life, of constrained gender expectations…)

This past year has brought me many changes, a supportive partner and co-parent, a new home, a different job situation, opportunites for creative expression, and deeper relationship with the Earth. The future is very much unwritten, with endless possibilities- I dont want to cloud the possibilities with the heavy heart of a painful past… part of my growth has been the recognition that how I choose to move forward  is very much a choice. That recognition is the first of many difficult steps towards becoming the woman, mother, partner, teacher, and writer that I strive to be.

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Fittingly, the month of December is a time that  highlights the need to let go while honoring what brings us joy. It was clear to me that although I’ld already come a long way from the me from last year, it was clear I still needed had some personal work ahead of me.  For example, transitioning from single parenthood towards a trust filled, healthy partnership was a huge shiftt in the day to day routine ( oh so i dont have to work nonstop all day? Dinner is already cooked? like whoa.)

That was something I was able to immediatly feel relief from.  But, on a deeper level, I still had a lot of letting go to do.  I was still prone to jump into autopilot when it came to craming house work alongside childcare instead of simply asking for help, still asumed the worst during those times of exhaustion /heightened stress that my co-parent was not going to have my back or would react in an unhealthy way.  I found myself replaying scenes and dramas from long ago, times where I felt like I needed to downplay my exhaustion in order to shield my son from the less patient co-parent of that time. That was a  short, yet highly emotionally charged time where my protective instinct overpowered my desires of self care. These past traumas-as brief as they might have been, (and as logically picked over and sorted as a leftover thankgiving turkey carcass), still had power over me- still controled the way I shaped my reality.  

And that was the last thing I wanted, to live in a self imposed prison…

December 17:  Use this full moon to expand your sense of what could be. The time between this full moon and the Winter Solstice should be honored and quality time should be carved out to do what brings you joy. What needs expansion and more inspiration?

 What do you need to let go of?

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December 21: Winter Solstice-Do a ceremony around honoring yourself and your own truth. Your desires should be given top priority. Don’t be afraid to dream big. If you are still feeling the weight of what you have carried, changed, released, processed, started or created in these past months, release it somehow in a fire or other ceremonial way.

For more, check out power path-  http://www.thepowerpath.com/index.php/power-path-home/the-power-path/monthly-forecast/583-december-forecast-2013

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“The art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on.”  ~Havelock Ellis

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Kindness poem by Naomi Shihab Nye

Before you know what kindness really is you must lose things,

feel the future dissolve in a moment like salt in a weakened broth.

What you held in your hand, what you counted and carefully saved,

all this must go so you know how desolate the landscape can be between the regions of kindness.

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How you ride and ride thinking the bus will never stop,

the passengers eating maize and chicken will stare out the window forever.

Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness, you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho lies dead by the side of the road.

You must see how this could be you,

how he too was someone who journeyed through the night with plans and the simple breath that kept him alive.

Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,

you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing. You must wake up with sorrow.

You must speak to it till your voice catches the thread of all sorrows and you see the size of the cloth.

Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,

only kindness that ties your shoes and sends you out into the day to mail letters and purchase bread,

only kindness that raises its head from the crowd of the world to say it is I you have been looking for,

and then goes with you every where like a shadow or a friend.

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Creating that balance…

Letting go...

Letting go…