Thursday, October 22, 2015

A See-Saw of Words Becomes a Circular Poem

     "The more ____, the less _____," offers a playful, thoughtful see-saw of words on which to balance contradictory concepts. I played with those concepts today, after posting another of my "freeze frame" moment photos on Instagram. A friend recently commented that she enjoys the way I observe the world through photos. I replied that my new photography hobby helps me slow down to notice things, and to dedicate a few sacred moments to conjuring thought-provoking captions. From this conversation, built upon the verbal see-saw, this poem evolved:

Circular Treadmill
By Susan L. Lipson

The more we rush,
The less we observe,
The more we feel unfulfilled,
The less we strive,
The more we stagnate,
The less we grow,
The more we disconnect,
The less we feel we matter,
The more we need to matter,
The less time we seem to have to make our marks,
The more we rush,
The less we observe…

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Writing as a Sacred Mission

          The upcoming publication (Sept. 22, 2015) of my story "Connections," in the new Chicken Soup for the Soul edition, Dreams and Premonitions, exemplifies how my writing often becomes a sacred mission, more than just a desire to share my words. My true story about the supernatural events surrounding the death of a dear friend and mentor is one I have told and retold orally for many years, whenever the topics of life after death, psychic experiences, or how to treat the comatose happens to arise in a conversation. Those who have listened to my remarkable, life-changing--and life-affirming--recollection say that they have "chills," or that I've changed their perspective in a significant way. Many have asked me to repeat the story to another friend who "needs to hear it."

          That perceived "need" to hear this story indicated to me that I needed to write it in prose, to share it with a bigger audience. Thus, my audience could grow--in both senses of "grow." 

          So I wrote my short memoir based on an even shorter version that appeared in a tribute booklet at my deceased friend Connie's memorial service. I had no idea where to submit it, though. The story stayed in my files for years until I saw an ad in a writer's publication for memoirs that would fit into a new Chicken Soup for the Soul book about dreams and premonitions. I submitted the story, having always felt driven to get it published, to share what I consider a gift from God--a divine connection between souls across planes of existence. I've felt that I, too, have a need for this story, a need to share it and pay forward the illumination like an Olympic torch passed to others who can share the light. I know that sounds overdramatic to you right now, but try to say that after you've read "Connections," and all of the other remarkable stories that will accompany mine in Dreams and Premonitions. PREORDER YOUR COPY TODAY! (PLEASE. Sorry for the missionary zeal!)

Friday, May 22, 2015


A popular Instagram #hashtag these days is #nofilter, indicating that the beauty captured by the photographer in the posted photo is completely natural, without any augmentation by the application's supplied "filters" for editing. The #nofilter means that, in contrast with other doctored photos on the site, the photo bearing this hashtag is more worthy of awe.

I find it amusing to ponder another meaning of "no filter": the meaning applied to people who have no sense of what NOT to share in public. Wouldn't it be appropriate to add #nofilter to the comments sections of posts on Facebook, Tumbler, and Twitter in which people post excessively intimate confessions, hateful rants, sexually explicit photos, grossly descriptive medical information, and mean-spirited gossip? And to be sure that the hashtag's non-photographic meaning is understood, an accompanying hashtag could appear: #TMI (for Too Much Information). Instead of cringing as we read lengthy posts featuring someone's blow-by-blow bout of gastrointestinal problems, recollections of extreme familial dysfunction, or bigoted diatribes tantamount to verbal hate crimes, we would simply add to the comments section #nofilter to alert the post-writer to the fact they he/she has offended us. In this way, offended folks could avoid further pollution of the internet with their own unfiltered retorts to TMI, as well as avoid prematurely"unfriending" someone before giving the offender a chance to reform via a polite hashtag reminder. 

Just a whimsical thought for the day...

If you leave me a #nofilter message in the comments section, I'll consider self-editing for the future! (;