The Middle Way

The Middle Way

After seeing pictures of children in cages, it’s nearly impossible to write about anything else. Even writing that sentence makes me uncomfortable – mostly because to go on living as we do – just the regular stuff; get to the bank, stop by the market, write the blog post, choose the poems, think about summer – all feel, in light of knowing that children are in cages and separated from their parents  – obscene, or as one woman in Wild Writing wrote this morning, “has me feeling complicit.” How, many times over the years have I thought about the people in Nazi Germany who watched as Jews were taken from their homes and businesses, and who turned away and got on with their lives. I’ve wondered about the fall out for them, and what it means to turn away from something you know in your bones is heinous. How the crime of turning away lives in you forever, no matter how you might want to spin it. How that same student from this morning, a mother of two young children, wondered why she wasn’t just selling everything and going down to the border. That’s one option. The other, the easier one, the one most people I know can handle is writing letters, making phone calls and giving money to one of many causes addressing this. We do what we can, and still, I’m thinking about the way we hold it all; children in cages, the suicides of celebrities we don’t personally know, but which dismantle us, news of a friend diagnosed with an incurable illness, the divorce of two...
Workshop in Mexico with Laurie Wagner + Andrea Scher!

Workshop in Mexico with Laurie Wagner + Andrea Scher!

SOLD OUT! San Miguel de Allende, Mexico January 2019 P.S. Want to be added to the wait list? Email me HERE! San Miguel de Allende, Mexico is one of my favorite places in the world! It’s full of beauty and art, warm and friendly people and incredible architecture. It’s a place full of color and amazing food and the streets are full of life at night. Andrea Scher and I had the pleasure of taking a group there this year to explore + learn + create and we’re going to go back next January. The city attracts artists and lovers of art because the light there is magic. It’s that painterly sort of light that exists in a handful of places in the world and it always fills me with awe. It’s a place where you want to drink in the terra cotta walls, walk for hours on the cobblestone streets and peek into hidden artist studios. It’s a place where you want to create. (And sit in chairs with wings!) My dear friend Andrea Scher and I are taking a small group of creative folks back to San Miguel this January 2019 (January 6th -11th, 2019 to be exact) We will be exploring, writing, storytelling, taking lots of photos and having one of the most creative and delicious adventures we’ve ever had! Our days will be a perfect blend of Wild Writing, creative photography exercises, storytelling and exploring this magical city together. We’ll learn from local artisans, take a food tour of the city (total foodie paradise!), take photo walks during the magic hour and wander the town square where celebration fills...
Why I Am A Wild Writer

Why I Am A Wild Writer

Because in a world that has become even crazier than I can remember, and I hear myself telling friends how busy and tired I am, when making a date with someone can take me weeks, and texting is the new talking, when losing my phone feels like losing an arm, and scrolling the internet is the way I fall asleep at night, and my next romance happens because I swiped right, it’s essential for me to be able to sit down with people knee to knee, to let them see the whites of my eyes and for me to see theirs, as we remember how to use our words and find our voices. It’s true that my Instagram account documents slices of my life, and my Facebook page is seen by my “friends,” but there’s something soul healing for me when I gather around a table with other people, putting our phones away for two hours, and pulling out our pens to tell our stories so we can document what it feels like to be a human being. I Wild Write because not all stories have a beginning, middle and an end and I’m interested in getting to the heart of things quickly, and because I’ve watched hundreds of people zip line their way straight into the core of what matters in 10 minutes. Wild Writing trains us to get out of our own way, to untether ourselves from the masthead of formality and pleasantry and to tell the truth, write it raw, and let go of what other people will think. In Wild Writing, we know that the...
Maybe You’ll Teach Me How to Love

Maybe You’ll Teach Me How to Love

“Maybe you’ll teach me how to love.” That’s what he said to me as we lay in the sparse grass by the creek near his cabin. I didn’t know about that, though I did suspect that I was going to need to teach him about the conjunction of your – as in, your purse – and you’re, as in, you’re going home. I didn’t even know if it was called a conjunction. I don’t know what a conjunction is because I never took a serious English class – but he was screwing it up, was all I knew. * That week I had met two Jeff’s on Tinder, both 54-years-old. He was Jeff from Bakersfield. Jeff from Vallejo and I had joked that when people messed up the conjunctions it was an automatic swipe left. We just couldn’t abide by it. I guess I’d made an exception for Jeff from Bakersfield, whose real name was John, but who was changing it to Jeff. I may never get the story of the name change because I may not get to know the man, but it was worth noting. And let’s cut him some slack because his parents were practically teenagers when they had him back in Bakersfield. Then his mother went AWOL and left him early with his father, and within the last year he’d buried that man who’d spent most of his life drunk. If Jeff from Bakersfield wants to change his god given name, let him. Maybe you’ll teach me how to love. It surprised me that he said that because this man is a leader in the...
What I Tell Myself When I’m Feeling Down

What I Tell Myself When I’m Feeling Down

That everything is actually okay – that your life is practically charmed; You’re not sick, are surrounded by people who you love, and who love you. You have work that is built on words, a career you conjured from air, feathers and wood smoke, a schedule you made yourself, a dog in the yard – buried yes – but a true and loving companion for years. Sometimes you go to exotic places to share your work with others, and every day you sit in circles of women, knee to knee finding new words for sadness, for joy, for grief and love. Your students are generous. Human beings who crack themselves open right in front of you, which you find startling even after 25 years. So much of the time you forget how precious this life is, and you rush around thinking that you have to do even more to be noticed and loved. And then these people you work with unzip themselves and step out of their human casings to show you what they’re made of – same stuff as you – all of us just longing for connection, so many of us believing that we should be more. They think you’re the teacher, but it’s always the other way around. You’re lucky. You have children who are just enough hoodlum to make them interesting, but responsible enough to get to work on time. They’re healthy, they know how to love other people, and even when you broke up their family of four, they kept coming home and loving you both. You’ve got, not just a roof over your...