Where does inspiration lie? Everywhere!

This is my attempt to pounce on and then shape the words I breathe.

Please join me with your comments and make this a dialogue . . . and visit Susan's Poetry!

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Writing Into Transformation

a workshop with Dr. Amanda Kemp

To hold the space for transformation, we are learning, can be more important than

to make a point or to be certain that “those others” don’t 
mistakenly believe

we are with them.  We want a larger we. We want to grow able 
to love and to

critique ourselves simultaneously—a muscle that is 

So DANCE.  Find out where you each hold your breath and feel it ease under loving attention. How you create the space for transforming is by discovering that you are frozen

in formal bias and letting it ease within loving attention.  Oh.  
WE ease

and Melt THEM, breathe and direct attention to them, 
opening up the door to love

without conditions or defensive moves. In this homebase for transformation, we

give “those others” a chance to change, we take a chance on 
trusting an unfamiliar

procedure.  Oh.  We melt.  We speak our truth in order to 
connect, to hear their truths,

to meet them in space for transformation. If I say it often enough, it’s true. I think we can, I think we can.  To climb to transformation peak, to grow ourselves.

Exercising critique and love muscles in us, we contemplate 
and wait on God.

We take care of our soul and their souls, too. Oh.  How 
wonderful the parallel acts:

of releasing bodies, of holding space for transformation, 
and of opening

the door with time with curiosity with God and them and we--
expanding we.  I see.


Saturday, January 7, 2017

Be it resolved ...

No, that's passive voice, legalese, Quakerspeak. I resolve--that's better--an active choice--that I will blog here at least once every two weeks on Friday afternoons or soon thereafter.

The parts I like in this blog are from when I was on a creative high and writing daily, bringing process thoughts here every other day, writing to think.

Since then, I have written a lot, mostly poems, but taken few pauses.


  • I am still writing with Jennifer in a productive weekly write and share event for which I am most grateful.  It meets a need for both of us and often helps us through blockades set up by us or others. It's also a question time, a praise time.
  • I am still visiting Poets United weekly, taking part in its small team of collaborators.  
  • I am still attending NewCORE monthly and following Ruby Sales, Reverend Barber, Black Lives Matter, and SURJ.  
  • I am still alive in all of my own isms: aging, women's rights, LGBT diversity, equality, environment.
  • I've finished the work of Marcelle's course on Living in Love based on her book Our Life is Love.
  • I've started the work of Eileen's course on Being Made for this Moment
  • In preparation for accepting my leadings, I am working on one New Year's resolution--only one: to unknot and dispel negative thinking and end debilitating negative interior monologues. This is  "living in love." 
  • In keeping with my resolution, I have withdrawn from my URG #2 planning group.  I love our project to set up a Co-Creating Racial Justice program on the model of the Spiritual Discipline program of BYM.  I believe it's needed and brilliant, but I get so many negative thoughts about waiting and making mistakes in the realm of undoing racism that I have to let go.  I have to heal myself.  The problem isn't really with anyone else but me and my own privilege. If I can stay in conversations about race and intervene in white supremacy and hate speech more directly I will hurt and heal more productively.  I said I'd be on call for direct action.
  • I've been wanting to tutor, so I'm working on setting that up starting with 1x a week. That is what I will establish in the next two weeks, I think. Reading Eileen Flanagan's book Renewable: One Woman’s Search for Simplicity, Faithfulness, and Hope reminded me again that my search is also the journey of her subtitle.
That's all for today folks. I have avoided mentioning the elephant in the room--the fact that DT is the President Elect.  A shock like 9/11. An unthinkable that makes all liberals have to reevaluate our intentional living, especially those who worked for other candidates.  I worked for Hillary Clinton.

I'll write more as way opens.

Oh!  One more thing.  This was Richard Rohr's exercise today--totally timely:
Turn it upside down and say, in first person, present tense, an affirmation of your God-given value. For example:
I am unlovable. . . . I am infinitely loved.
I don’t have enough. . . . I have everything I need.
I am stupid. . . . I have the mind of Christ.
I am worthless. . . . I am precious in God’s eyes, I am honored, and God loves me.
Repeat the positive statement aloud, slowly, with intention and trust, several times. Then rest silently in the awareness that you are already and forever, without any effort or achievement on your part, a beloved child of God.

Gateway to Silence:
Create in me a new heart, O God.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Just Saying

Over at 1sojournal, Elizabeth offers prompts for these challenging post-election times.  Her first 3 were Fear, Love and Acceptance. Today's is a poem and question.  Here's my answer:

Just Saying

for Elizabeth on Day 4

DO I know what I mean by saying “Just
Saying”?  I mean "I meant what I said, but
let me disparage it before you do
because I do not want to hear any
critique or commentary of my point
OR view."  And that’s true.

"The words, images,absolutes just crept
out of my mouth, like fish moving through an
aquarium toy, maybe a castle
with open doors and windows—my image
of what you must be—receivers of no
concern of mine, things for me to weave webs
around and to eat later during my victory
two-step and my twirl.  And why aren’t those fish
aquarium toys edible? Cakes are
and bird seed patties and the ground I stand
and the masses, faceless but nourishing none-
the-less."  (My brother taught me this meaning
and I haven’t used the words since he did
because he was savvy. I’ve become better
at listening and interpreting lines.
Trust a businessman  to know the lingo.)

Just saying.
With love, Susan

I love Elizabeth's directions for this series of prompts:  
The Challenge here is to use your creative talent to bring light into the current distress in the world around you, in whatever form that talent takes. Please remember that we are reaching out to a world that is facing upheaval and possibly a great number of changes. Let us reach out to that world and bring it the lessons we have learned by becoming artists and writers.  You may use images, photos, music, poetry, prose, short story fiction, personal essay, or whatever suits you best. I will post one word a day, adding a few of my own thoughts about the word. The rest is up to you. You may post as many times as you like, and may use old or new pieces, as you choose. When you have finished creating your post, return here and leave the URL in the comments section below. Then post it to whatever social media you are involved with. If you are not connected to some form of social media, consider joining one now. If not, say so when you post, and I will attempt to post it on mine, which is Facebook.

Visit her.  Visit me.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

A reminder

Susan Lisbeth Chast!  You are a writer.  Write!

And do this, too:

Constructive Rest

Guided Constructive Rest Audio

From Alexander Technique with Constance Clare-Newman

One-Practice: Being Present In Your Body

Bring your awareness to your feet. Let them rest on the ground and feel the soles of your feet widen into the floor. Sense the many bones in the feet and think of allowing a little space between those bones.
Now bring your attention to the top of your body, at your head/neck joint. Way up high, almost between the ears, and behind the roof of your mouth—think about allowing this joint to have a little more space. Let your head balance delicately.
Attend now to your right ankle and continue up your right leg through to your right hip and invite the muscles and tissues around the bones to be soft yet dynamic. The joints to be spacious. Do the same on your left leg.
Take your awareness to your pelvis and sense the bowl-shaped structure.
As you are sitting, notice your sit bones resting on the surface of your chair or floor. Think of allowing this bowl shape to rest easily and support you.
Invite width across the lower back as if your pants pockets could widen away from each other.
Now bring your attention to your core—your spine—with it’s fluid-filled discs between each vertebrae. The intervertebral discs are wide and springy. Think of allowing length along the spine, from the base of the sacrum all the way up to the head/neck joint.
Notice now your breath, and how your whole three dimensional torso is gently moving. Lungs and ribs moving out and in with ease.
Allow your shoulders and collar bones to drift away from your center, so that you don’t hold your shoulders down or back or anywhere, but they simply float on your ribs.
Think of your neck muscles, all the way from your upper torso to the base of your jaw and skull, to rest into length and ease. Again notice the gentle balance of your head.
During your day, at any time, you can invite an easy spaciousness into your sitting. As you practice coming back to presence, it will become easier, fuller and more pleasurable.