where did i go?

imagination - Caleb Pirtle

credit – caleb pirtle

Today’s Daily Prompt asks ‘what is your superpower? how and where will you use it to appear/disappear at will?’

Curiously, that feels like a continuing thread from my previous post about feeling unresolved about blogging onward. Which in turn elicited a back-and-forth with a blogging acquaintance in response:

PR: My bottomless self-doubt has paralysed blogging for the time not-being!
SB: Odd, how self-doubt cycles through us. When it’s gone, writing can be very very good; yet when it is upon us, all is horrid.
PR: Indeed, not only horrid, but self-perpetuating! Right now I am not a writer any more, and it’s like losing my identity! Where did I go, and was it all illusory, all along?

It is now clear, in the context of today’s prompt, how to define my superpower! To come and go as writer-illusionist. Sometimes writing is strong, powerful, has a will of its own. Other times, it is timid, shy, refusing to show itself. And since words are my identity, I must meekly follow along. Now you see me, now you don’t.

sunday reflection


clouds reflected in pondSummer hasn’t quite yet started for me. Or rather, it’s started and moved in fits and bits. Not just heat settling and then dissipating. Events, too. Weddings. Retreats. Reunions. Helping family move. Planning the launch for the book of writings from the incarcerated women we work with. Acclimating the new rescue kitty (OK, she’s three but so t-i-n-y at 7 pounds she looks and feels like a kitty), reassuring the resident rescue dog. Oh, and did I mention writing . . . ?

By next week (my calendar assures me) I’ll ‘be on vacation.’ Meaning, I hope, writing more. Lots, in fact. But between now and then, let this small token suffice:

Retreat Reflection

You pass through me
breeze and breath, sorrow and joy
the rippled lilt of the mirroring pond.

You grow in me
grafting roots, limbs, the whole
living tree of us reaching toward light.

You live in me
your words the bread of our communion
your laughter the wine that lifts my spirits.



from summer 2012 retreat

Tomorrow morning, a new writing circle starts. We will be a full group in our dedicated writing studio; a group of women writing together in a new combination, as it is new each season. Words recycled into new meanings, gathering us to their heart as we gather one another to ours.

As each season starts with a new group – even though every woman in the circle has been there before, never in this configuration, at this time, in this place – it seems an initiation. There is something about that first meeting . . .

Your initial impression of this group may
be uncomfortable – what with the candle and all.
a few weeks in, you’ll be holding
conversations with it. As in, ‘hello, candle
how ya doin’ today?’ This happens
because the candle has become more
than just familiar. It’s become a friend,
a part of routine initiating every circle
we hold together, a way to slow down,
transition from the rest of our lives and move
into our circle space, together.

Why a candle? Other than the obvious —
it gives us something to look at, focus on –
it represents inspiration, the creative fire; speaks
to some of us of silence, reverence, both
of which are ways we choose to open
and conduct our circle.

This signals a kind of personal
initiation as well – an entry into this sacred
circle of evolving women devoted
to telling their stories and exploring their lives
through writing and speaking their words.

Here we create a new community,
one composed of writing hands and listening ears,
of curious minds and open hearts. We share
our stories – sad, tender, funny, outrageous; we
encourage one another onward with our writing;
we let our words spread out into the broader world
so that others may in turn be inspired, perhaps even
initiated, into the sacred circle
of fire and trust.


courtesy bobgod.com

The word inevitably arises within the first month of each new writing season. Despite her sometimes desperate desire to be writing, here and now, a woman’s resistance to writing looms huge and seemingly insurmountable.

This resistance is insidious. It’s downright evil. NOW is the time I have set aside. To write. Regularly. And to share what I write in order to get constructive feedback.

Silence. Blank paper. Nada.

This resistance wears many disguises, excuses primary among them. Didn’t get enough sleep; not comfortable in my writing place; need coffee, light, a walk . . . Too many phone calls ahead or bills to pay . . .

Over the years I’ve shared, many times, the wonderful demonstration described by Stephen Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. When asked to fill a bowl with large and small stones, most folks start with the small, only to find there is no room for the large. Yet, if you put the large ones in first, the small ones settle in and find their niche.

I remind my writers that WRITING IS THE LARGE STONE. This is what we want to do; so let’s do it! Not worry about it; not put it aside for the myriad minutiae that can immediately scream for attention the minute we strive to focus on something for ourselves. Those things will get done. After the writing.

What it really comes down to, of course, is that women constantly need to be reassured that it’s OK to take time for ourselves. We are programmed to be on call 24/7 to others’ needs and demands. Programmed to feel guilty for taking time for ourselves. Programmed to feel not worthy of all this attention to self. It is time we put ourselves atop our to-do list. Amazingly, not only will the small stuff get done; it generally will take less time and seem less onerous having attended to our own needs first. And yes – writing is for many of us a Need. So put it in first place as self-care. And enjoy it! We deserve every minute.