Archive for December, 2010

New Year’s Eve: A Point of Stillness

Friday, December 31st, 2010 | Labyrinth Walks, The Writing Life | No Comments

I am walking the labyrinth tonight at the Church of the Servant. The motion of the spiral path leads to the center, a point of stillness where the old is released before I walk out of the labyrinth again to take up the new. I love the ritual of the New Year, a time of friends and family, parties and drinks, but also a time when I look back before going on. A still point in the motion of my life. I am not alone in this, I know. This year, along with my family and the friends I have known for years, I also have a cyber community of other writers and artists who are walking their own paths. I am grateful to know all of you, in cyber space or in the flesh. I hope the New Year brings you joy in your work and in your lives. Properity and blessings to all of you, as you step onto your own new paths.

Labyrinth Walk for New Year’s Eve

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010 | Labyrinth Walks, The Writing Life | 4 Comments

This year I plan to walk the labyrinth at the Church of the Servant in Wilmington, NC to release the old year with all its gifts and challenges, while welcoming the new one. I find that clearing the slate so that I can start clean is a huge step in my work as a writer. Though I am working on the same projects, all the images and ghosts from old, completed ones must be set free.  Every piece of my work is like my child, both the published and the unpublished pieces, and each of those children has to be released so that I can give my time, energy and focus to the new ones. Every piece I’ve ever written lives in me still, and always will. So I suppose the ritual of walking the labyrinth this Friday night will be more about releasing myself, giving myself permission to walk on, to take the next steps on the path I am meant to walk.

Notre Dame de Paris

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010 | Uncategorized | No Comments

Notre Dame de Paris was one of my favorite places on earth long before I discovered that Louis VII, Eleanor’s first husband, began to build it, partnering with the Bishop Sully. Inside the nave there is a little plaque to Louis and to Sully, remembering them. Now that I know that “my” Louis built this cathedral, it holds an even more treasured place in my heart. Louis was not just Eleanor’s cast off first husband, he was also Princess Alais’ father, and the father of Philippe Auguste. Two more people I adore. The buildings that still stand today evoke the memory of the people who lived before. Louis VII knew that he would not live to see the cathedral finished, but he began it anyway. And whenever I step through those towering doors, and walk into the dark depths of that church, I am grateful he did.

Walking the Labyrinth

Monday, December 20th, 2010 | Labyrinth Walks, The Writing Life | No Comments

One of my favorite things to do is to walk a labyrinth. These ancient paths, now re-created in churches and gardens across the country, allow me to reflect on my life, and then to let those reflections go. That is usually the hardest part for me, releasing the thoughts I have about my work and my life. Walking a labyrinth, like the one at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, allows me not just to think more clearly about my life and my art, but to let those thoughts go. Walking the spiral path relaxes me, centers me, and also brings me to a state of grace that I have rarely found anywhere else.

Letting Creative Fields Lie Fallow

Friday, December 17th, 2010 | The Writing Life | 4 Comments

In between drafts, I like to do absolutely nothing. Of course, with deadlines imposed now by outside sources, my editor, my agent, and the publishing house, the time in which to do nothing becomes shorter and shorter, but I still think it is essential to making my work better. Rest is vital of course, but not just for me. The characters and settings, the themes and the narrative, all grow when I leave them alone for a week or for a few days. Things come out of that dark, womb-like time that I never would have discovered if I kept pressing onward, writing and re-writing without letting my subconscious work in silence and stillness.

Has anybody else found this to be true?

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