Saturday, December 7, 2013
If It Be Thy Will by Leonard Cohen has been speaking to me lately and I recommend listening to the song (posted below.)
I am writing memoir and Cohen's song pretty much describes my writing process. A memoir involves taking the stuff of one's life, as though clay, and creating a third thing with it, hopefully art. It involves telling the truth, a loaded subject in the world of publishing over the past decade (another blog post altogether.)
I agree with those who say truth is critical in memoir. However, it is emotional honesty I am striving for; no, not striving, rather, it is being demanded. It is not facts I am concerned with or some chronological rendering of the events of my life, it is some deeper truth.
I now understand what writers over the ages have referred to as the muse. My muse requires from me not only honesty, but a true voice, although I am writing from a broken hill, as Cohen sings. I am writing to end the night...to let the rivers fill. I am not in charge. The muse is and for that, I am grateful.
Each day, before writing, I light a candle. I play this song. I ask that mercy spill onto the page, that my burning heart be made well. I ask that the tattered rags of memory be clothed in light. I ask to be let to sing.
If it be Thy will.
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
You can see that I haven't blogged since September 2010. I won't try to cover that lost ground, just start where I am. I committed to an innovative writing project aka The Book Project at The Lighthouse https://lighthousewriters.org/ located in Denver, Colorado. We relocated here from Alaska in late August 2010.
Let me clarify what I committed to:
I committed to myself and my lifelong passion for writing and reading.
I committed to a daily writing practice. I committed to emerging myself in a writing environment, one where I am in daily contact with other writers and readers.
I committed to writing a book even if I don't know how, even if I don't know what, even if, in the end, the book I'm writing turns into something else or equals three different pieces of four different books, or one short story, or two essays or maybe a poem.
I committed to listening to and following my Intuition; because She has taught me the hard way that all the other voices are liars.
I committed to living the writing life because it is the Life to which I have always belonged even as I rejected it in favor of anything, anything, anything else.
Last night, in workshop, I shared a selection from my memoir in progress where I describe the death of three friends by suicide related to alcoholism. This morning I get a Tweet about a piece in The Atlantic by Rob Delaney, an excerpt from his memoir ROB DELANEY: Mother. Wife. Sister. Human. Warrior. Falcon. Yardstick. Turban. Cabbage where he describes the death of three friends, essentially, by suicide. http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/11/drugs-will-kill-your-friends/281418/
His piece is, by far, more polished than mine but so what? I was tempted by the Liars in my head to completely dismiss my version, throw myself on the floor, and give up writing due to this discouraging coincidence, or is it synchronicity?
But instead I decided to start blogging again here on the KellyBlog. I'm gonna keep Writing About What Matters as long as it matters to me.