I write selfishly. I comfort myself with my own words so that I don’t have to wait for someone else to ask me how I am feeling or what I am thinking. I don’t write so that after I am gone, people will remember me. I write so that I can remember me while I’m still here.
"After having personally practiced shamanism, shamanic healing, and shamanic journeying for more than half a century, I can say that there is nothing I have encountered in reports of the spiritual experiences of saints, prophets, psychedelic drug experimenters, near death survivors, avatars and other mystics that is not commonly experienced when following classic journey methods using a drum."
—Michael Harner, The Foundation for Shamnic Studies
As award-winning poet Lauren Berry takes us through the after-effects of the sexual trauma experienced by her young narrator, the reader is chilled by the depth of the girl's vulnerability. But then there is another layer which the author weaves in with equally potency: the growing sense that here is a girl who, despite everything, remains the narrator of her own self-identity. Colorful and eccentric and steeped in lush, figurative language, this story, however difficult, is unmistakably her own.
When it comes to learning how to tune down the inner critic, the affects can be far-reaching: Not only can you free yourself up to be more spontaneous and adventurous with the project you're working on, but, as Krug points out, the benefits can often extend to other areas of your life as well.
I invited some of the special people I know ~ from poets whose work has appeared in Combustus magazine to a dancer friend of mine who immigrated from Hungary ~ to share with us some of the wisdom they’ve received over the years from their fathers as well as what has been passed on to their own children.
It happened quite naturally. I liked to quote lines of poetry for them. Once when we were visiting the Atlantic coast and watching the waves crash and the sea spray spouting up, I quoted a favorite line from Hart Crane's poem, "The Dance": “what laughing chains the waters wove and threw.” My children never forgot that. Several years later when looking at another wild body of water, they would remind me of that same line.
"I do think Americans take themselves too seriously. Just turn on the TV and count how many programs are contests – cooking, sports, singing and dancing, finding a house, a spouse. I suggest that once a year the major networks televise a sports game where both sides don’t keep score. Or broadcast a cooking show where the cooks make one big meal instead of competing against themselves to see who can make the better individual meal."
"If only I had parented differently, if only I had been a better child, if only I had been more desirable, then the addict would never have chosen their addiction over me. The truth is that addiction is a complicated process that no other person can be responsible for, only the addict. To believe otherwise is at the heart of codependency."
~Andrew Nargolwala, psychotherapist
"I was always watching my mother for signs of what mood she was in, so I became a very quiet child. You develop a good ear for dialog when you’re always monitoring what’s going on around you. You also get really good at hearing not only what’s been said, but also the undertones."
~Jonna Ivin, author of the ebook memoir, Will Love for Crumbs
"Children need their mothers. I feel lucky I lived a year with my birth mother in prison. We bonded and I know this helped better prepare me for life. The down side, the trauma of our separation, after that year together, took its toll. She had a long sentence ahead of her."
~writer, Deborah Jiang Stein
I think the burden we bear as artists is often a burden of privilege. We’ve “made it” to a place wherein we can search for art or discuss the meaning of being or search our own souls for the sweet sad music our angels make. Understanding how lucky we are to have the opportunity to make art of our speech, for whom shall we speak? The song of the self soon grows stale, while the songs of engagement bind us and poultice our wounds and open our hearts to the world. Chuang Tzu lived in a harsh cruel world and yet had the courage to dream he was a butterfly.