Wordswept ~ Falling In Love With Words All Over Again…

Wordswept

I have been a lover of words since I was a young girl. I started writing seriously when I was nine years old, carrying a red spiral notebook with me wherever I went and writing poems and stories with the fervor of a frightened child willing herself to survive through the written word. I have never stopped writing and more often than anything else in my life it is words that save me. At a difficult juncture in my life I am returning to words once again and I will heal myself with each curve of a letter, dangling at times from a single syllable, holding a vowel close and letting it hum inside my mouth as I try to form the words that will be my salvation. I am looking back to the journal writing process which I taught for four decades and lived for much longer. I am wondering if I will return to teaching this process which I both taught as a method of self-discovery and healing, as well as a way to record and keep our stories. Muriel Rukeyser said, “Our lives are made of stories, not atoms.” I am getting ready to write a new story for my life.

Today I listened to the “On Being” podcast done by Krista Tippett as she interviewed poet Naomi Shihab Nye who said that writing things down makes people feel better. Such a simple and elegant statement, powerful and true. Writing things down releases them from our body where they may be pent up causing anxiety and fear, the unknown and unseeable made manifest on the page before our eyes. Something concrete and real can be dealt with. Words on the page anchor us in reality. I need words more than I ever have before.

I have been feeling lost, not knowing what direction to go, what I wanted to do when the longing to do anything at all felt absent. I have decided that blogging more and exploring this here can be a way that I can unearth the things that are under layers of numbness, deadened with fear, from worries about survival on basic levels, to everyday realities. I am only 62 years old. I am healthy and strong. I have life to live ahead of me and I don’t want to take that for granted. I will use words as tools and go spelunking in the caverns of my mind to unearth the things that can still call to me, strengthen the will to live and create and be in the world. I will refer to thesauruses and my trusty synonym finder, to The Oxford English Dictionary and all manner of books to help me find my way. I will read for pleasure and read for gain. I will write my way to clearer days.

I used to go everywhere with my journal and pens and write wherever I was, from room to room in the house to cafes, libraries, in the car, and all around town. These days I seldom leave my house and I no longer carry a journal with me, but I want that to change. Without writing to clearcut the path I have been lost in a jumble of overgrown weeds in my mind, amorphous blobs of anxiety, my psyche battered and bruised from pathways littered with fallen branches of thought and dark things that go bump in the night. Daily writing opens up the channels and lets the spirit breathe.

And should I teach again? I am pondering that, wondering if, in this day when so many are offering journal classes of one type or another if I have something unique to offer, and I think that I do, I am just not certain if this is the way I should make my way in the world. When I teach I put heart, mind, body and soul into my classes, I give my all to my students, it is a whole life process for me and I would need it to sustain me. Can it do that today? These are things I am considering now.

But beside all of that, apart from matters of clarity and survival, I am simply falling in love with words again, how they feel forming in the mouth, handwritten on paper, typed with keyboard. I have come a long way from the years when I would never have considered keeping a journal on a computer to now when it is the most natural form of writing for me and my fingers sail across the keys, an easier way to keep up with my thoughts. I think I will keep my journal on the computer. In an age when people are getting back to beautiful journals, handmade journals, artful journals, all of which I love and admire, I am hell bent on writing as fast as I can, of building a life with words, building a monument to sentences and paragraphs, and the computer is my tool of choice. So be it. I have fallen from grace, I’m quite certain, but I am writing as fast as the wind as I fall.

And this blog. I want to resurrect it. It has nearly fallen by the wayside during these months of fearful living but it can be my record of days and times spent finding my way back to life. If the days of bipolar highs and lows threaten to overtake me I will write here on my own behalf to save me from myself, and when the days are better and brighter I will share how I have found my way to the mountaintop, to a sunlit meadow in my soul. What better way to sustain the sunlight than to write about it?

And so now I will sit back and shake this page out and see if all of the words still cling to it, if it is ready to wend its way to you. I hope you will come back and be with me as I find my way. I would enjoy the pleasure of your company. It would help me stay the course. Do leave me notes below and I will answer you. Let’s have a dialogue. Tell me how you are, if you keep a journal and in what form, if words soothe the savage beast for you. Let’s find our way together, letter by letter, syllable by syllable, sentence by sentence. The time is now. Let us begin…

MaitriSz4.4.16.09

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Comments

  1. So beautifully written my friend. And this is a good way to explore, and you know my answer is going to be yes, of course you have something unique to offer the world. Even if there are a million journaling classes, yours would be UNIQUE, because there is no one quite like you. I for one would be interested in what you teach. Have fun exploring all the parts of yourself and seeing what feels good now, in this moment.

    • Thank you so much darling Bekah, I appreciate your kind and wise words. And you see I am not going with great gusto into teaching or anything else, I am simply using words to find my way. I listen to you, I pay attention. Thank you dearheart, I love you…

      Maitri

  2. Oh, Maitri-
    Such a lovely and inspiring post, just as I set out to go traveling again, but am full of anxiety about my vegetable garden while I’m gone and seeing family again, etc. Silly stuff.

    Your steadfast courage is always inspiring.

    And your journaling class would be wonderful, and unique (as Bekah wrote). You have given so much, and have so much more to give.

    Hugs,
    Lisa

    • Thank you so much dear Lisa…

      And it is not silly to worry about your vegetable garden. Is there anyone who can water for you while you’re gone? These are important concerns especially when you have put the work and love into your garden that I know you have. And thank you for the kind thoughts about my journal class. I am thinking about it very seriously but I have to find a way to make steady income now and it would have to provide that and I’m not sure if it would. These are things I’m pondering now.

      Take care dearheart, and travel safely and well…

      Love,

      Maitri

  3. I trust words, too, and writing, as you do. Safe and wondrous journeys to you! I saw you’d shared this on the SARK group, so thought I would come and find out more about what you’re doing. In gratitude,
    Phyllis

    • Thank you so much dear Phyllis, and I hope you are traveling well with words. Journey onward safely and well, and wondrous journeys to you too.

      Blessings,

      Maitri

  4. if i ever stop writing, i am in exile from myself. therefore, i write. writing is a form of self-love, and then it can also be shared — i.e. giving love outward. so yes, maitri, welcome home. the muse is one of the best friends you’ll ever have.

    xo
    ka

    • Thank you darling Ka,

      I know what you mean about writing and I have surely been in exile from myself. I am finding my way home to myself and to the muse. So yes, here’s to writing, and here’s to love…

      I love you dearheart,

      Maitri

  5. Susan Phelps says:

    Maitri,

    I’m so glad you’re back to this blog! You’re love of words is clear in everything you write. I, too, would love to learn what you have to share regarding journaling. Sadly, we don’t live close to each other. But, the internet brings us together, in many ways!

    • Dear Susan,

      Thank you so much for liking my blog and visiting and especially commenting. I would love to share with you in my journal classes. I am getting very close to making a decision about them and it’s good to know that there are indeed people interested. And they would be online so it’s fine wherever you live!

      Love and blessings to you dearest,

      Maitri

  6. Paula Brown says:

    Please please please PLEASE teach again. I want to journal, I decide to journal I know it woudl benefit me, but keep putting it off. Perhaps I need just to know how to START. I would gladly take your course. How does one make it a priority? Your course is needed by I would guess many more than me. When the spirit moves for you to do it, I’m quite sure you will have plenty students.

    • Darling Paula, thank you SO much,

      Your enthusiasm about my classes warms my heart and I would love to have you as a student. And it is hard to do anything alone but journalling in community, in a class, with others to spur you on would be wonderful and a great impetus to get going. Hold me in your thoughts and prayers as I work toward making this decision and perhaps it may come to pass…

      Love to you dearheart,

      Maitri

  7. Olive Appleby says:

    Another blog that resonates with so many. I loved writing, then life got in the way. You obviously need to get your words out now…….so go. I’m sure they will fly from your fingers onto the page. 📕📗📘📙🖋💖💋

    • Dearest Olive,

      Thank you so much, you are always so dear and I’m glad you liked this post. And yes I need to write now and I appreciate your kind words about carrying on. I hope you find your way back to writing, it would surely carry you far…

      Love,

      Maitri

  8. Vivienne says:

    Yesterday I ventured to SARK’s fb space, I saw this and another post on writing. I am seeing this a a nudge. Personally, I am struggling and I know I’m in the darkness, thank you for your beautifully written words that are a blessing to read this early morning.
    Love and light and joy in words,
    xo

    • Dear Vivienne,

      Thank you so much for visiting and leaving a comment. I am so sorry to hear that you are struggling, I hope you can find your way to writing and write your way clear of some of the difficulties you hold inside. I know all too well how suffering can take you from your writing, and know equally well how writing can bring you home. I will pray that you find your way.

      And love and light and joy to you as well dearheart…

      Maitri

  9. “…spelunking in the caverns of my mind…” Now there you go, dear Maitri. That’s why I will read whatever you write, knowing the cavern is strewn with colourful gems that you will unearth and share with us.

    • Thank you so much dear Cathryn, you touch me with your kind words. You, too, share such beautiful gems through your photography and writing and those pieces touch me all the time. I’m glad I have something to share with you in return.

      Love to you dear friend, tender, heartfelt love…

      Maitri

  10. Journaling, yes. 🙂

    I also found myself lost in space and time, and have begun to journal again. Much of it is in response to a 12-step book for caregivers that I’m devouring right now. I’m coming home.

    I took your Journaling class many moons ago; I still use one of your techniques in writing “evening pages,” to put a twist on Julia Cameron’s work. I’m actually starting The Artist’s Way this week and would love to add your wisdom to the process.

    Here’s to writing our way back to Serenity and Sanity!

    Blessed Be,
    Victoria

    • Victoria honey I am so glad that you are finding your way back to the journal and that it is helping you, and so touched that you still think of my classes from many moons ago. Here’s to writing our way back to serenity and sanity indeed!

      I love you honey, sending you a warm hug and wishes that your Jonathan be healing well and that all is well with you….

      Blessings dear sister,

      Maitri

  11. Your words help you heal & also all of us that are connected to you through this wonderful blog. With gratitude I thank God for you. Your words are are food for our souls. We are hungry for them. God bless you.

    • Kathy thank you so much for your kind words, they mean more than you could know. I am so glad my writing meant something to you. God bless you and keep you healthy, happy and safe, now and always…

      Love,

      Maitri

  12. Terri Myszka says:

    I will always follow you. I’m so grateful you are resurrecting the blog. I have journeyed my entire life however it has always been somewhat heater smelter. I have taken different journaling classes over the years, but would be thrilled to hear anything you may say. Your words bring inspiration and soothing comfort to so many….lead and I shall follow my friend?

    • Thank you so much Teresa, you are so very dear. It means a lot to me that you enjoy the blog and that you would like to follow me. That means more than you could possibly know.

      I am sending you love and best wishes. I hope you are having a wonderful day honey…

      Maitri

  13. Terri Myszka says:

    I meant to say I have journeled my entire life but it’s been somewhat helter skelter lol ( that’s what I get for not checking before posting) lol

    • Ha ha ha, I got a kick out of heater smelter! I swear autocorrect will be the death of us yet! It has a ball with my name! Helter skelter indeed! 😀

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