Thursday, March 4, 2010

Contradiction Within a Metaphor

While discussing my plans for the enormous success of a newly finished manuscript with my son (as if planning has anything to do with success!), I mused, "Ah, I'll be in heaven when that happens."

My wise son replied, "That's a weird expression, Mom. It can be both negative AND optimistic. You could be saying that success won't happen till after you're dead. Or you could be envisioning the joy you expect to happen."

Maybe I should have used a simile instead: "Ah, I'll feel like I'm in heaven when that happens."

Word power...


You get an idea for a poem or a story, but you're in your car or out walking, somewhere impossible to write. And the idea spins into lines in your head, begging to be recorded. You worry that you'll forget this windfall of words before you can write them down. My advice to you: Don't strain to record them later if they were but temporary traveling partners. You wouldn't try to force a friendship with someone you met on the road unless some surprising, special bond had occurred. The same applies to your words.

I have learned to trust the power of reverberation in my writing life.

Reverberation is a quality directly proportional to the quality of the words. Great words tend to stick around and echo in your head till they're recorded. They are memorable because, by definition, they are "able to be remembered"--by the author as well as the reader. If you've forgotten your own words, chances are that someone else will forget them, too.

Trust the power of reverberation, and recognize that memorable words flow--they can never be manufactured.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

On Passion: Thanksgiving-Related, Spiritual Thoughts

If we are vehicles traveling various roads to spiritual fulfillment, then passion is our driving fuel. Yet the price for that fuel is the full investment of oneself in living in the present—our Gift from God. Those who constantly live in the past, muttering over the “good old days,” or fretting over the “could’ve-would’ve-should’ves,” cannot feel true passion for any aspect of their existence; the best they can feel is heartfelt reflection, or a sentimental ache. And those who live longingly for the future, murmuring “Someday…” and gazing off to imaginary “better days,” sacrifice the chance for experiencing passion by miring themselves instead in mere anticipation. Those who never experience any intense inspiration, any awe for a process, any fervor for a cause or another living thing, or any overwhelming gratitude for an experience, merely exist, rather than live. Thus, the discovery and nurturing of passion brings with it a heightened awareness of the Now, and an acceleration toward what I call “Shalom Shalem,” meaning “complete peace” in Hebrew.

To pursue one’s passion with love for God and our fellow humans—that is the key to balancing the universe and healing the universe, for in receiving the joy of self-fulfillment, we give our fulfilled selves to our world. We “heal” the breaks between the pieces of God that we all are, those breaks representing the egos that separate us. We abandon our egos and glue ourselves together, thereby solving the puzzle that is GOD. In sum, the pursuit of passion along a road paved with awe, gratitude, and love, is a sublime journey toward Oneness with all.

We must find the sparks within us to be lights unto others.