Beginner's Heart

Beginner's Heart


writing, beginner’s heart

Pen on journal page

photo the author

Writing is my practice. It took me a long time to recognise this, and even longer to accept it. It didn’t fit my (preconceived!) notions of what ‘practice’ looks like.

But over the years, I’ve come to realise that writing — which I do daily, and multiple times daily, at that — is not easy for others. In fact, it paralyses a lot of people. (and why is that??)

So: I write for those who can’t, don’t, won’t. I write to be a voice for others, as my beloved mentor poet Carolyn Forché said, a ‘witness.’ I write everything from letters of recommendation — an art form someone should acknowledge! — to blog posts. :) I write poetry, non-fiction, lesson plans, book reviews, eulogies, emails of consolation, thank-you notes and lists and political rants & manifestos. I write alot.

I write about women, mostly. But also men — after all, I’m happily married to one for decades, and the mother & aunt of several others. Not to mention dear friends, my father, my uncles. I write about all of us, our tattered beginner’s hearts.

grapes2

photo the author

I guess I write the way I try to breathe, when things hurt: in tonglen. Focus on what hurts, and breathe for those who share that pain. Make it easier, by sharing, taking to ourselves what is wrong, and trying to send out love.

It sounds sooo hokey! But that is why, I’ve come to realise, I write. Particularly this blog. I write for all of us who often can’t (including, paradoxically, my own self). When I have no words for what I’m feeling, I can write about someone else, or the birds outside the window, or today’s horrific battle w/ grapevine (I think it’s winning… :( ). And through that, I come to peace.

How cool is that? And isn’t that what practice is all about, anyway?

 



Previous Posts

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posted 3:13:54pm Aug. 22, 2014 | read full post »

our own best friends
Here's the thing, folks: who is your best friend? Who do you trust? Who has your back? And who -- within broad limits -- will you forgive almost anything? If you yourself aren't on that list, welcome to adulthood. And how sad is THAT? Buddhism talks alot about knowing your own self. There's a

posted 3:18:30pm Aug. 19, 2014 | read full post »

my mother's heart and #Ferguson
This is my wonderful family. These are my infinitely fallible and perfect sons, my perfect daughter-in-law (known in my writings as DIL), my beloved. And this is a story about empathy. Both of my sons look -- to anyone outside the immediate family -- perfect. I will not share their private pasts,

posted 12:42:13pm Aug. 18, 2014 | read full post »

turning hatred into love, or, the importance of Unabashed Smiles
Teeth. You need them for so many things, obviously. Eating, of course. But also speaking. And singing. And to present a certain ... image, to the world around you. Imagine all your teeth suddenly gone. Compound t

posted 7:19:07pm Aug. 17, 2014 | read full post »

heartsick reprised
I use this image alot in my blog. I wish I knew who first created it -- they deserve my undying admiration & gratitude. Because to me, this is beginner's heart. It's what I think of these days, especially, as

posted 1:33:59pm Aug. 16, 2014 | read full post »




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