05 November 2007
yesterday i was invited to attend a writer's workshop in la conner as part of their art's alive festival weekend. having just returned from my month-long excursion to south africa, and having my journal remain mostly painfully bare with very little documentaion of that month, i decided to accept the invitation.
i'm so grateful i did. luci shaw, a poet, essayist, and all around lover of words was the guest writer and she was a delight. beautiful, distinguished, and so spry you're fooled into thinking she's at least twenty years younger than her almost 80 years, the afternoon spent listening to her stories, her poetry, her encouragement, was a gift.
she reminded me what it means to attend--to be attentive to the ordinary occurences in day to day life, to mine out the beauty and explore the connections and the meanings and the mysteries waiting to be discovered. taking the time to sit with pen to paper, and open yourself up to your thoughts is a way to engage with your own story, your own place in this world. and reflecting on that story is an exercise that is well worth the time and effort that is required of you.
one story that she offered about being encouraged in her own life, really resonated inside me and i feel compelled to share it here, too. she told of her old college professor, her mentor in her writing, who became a life-long friend. long after he retired, she spoke to him on the phone one evening and this is what he said to her: "luci, you are the real deal. you are a poet, and i love you." he passed away the next morning, but he left her with a precious gift. he named her. and in calling her to embody what she was, he challenged her to continue to be just that, to go on living out her identity.
i think that when you have someone in your life who believes in you, you don't want to disappoint them. it makes who you can become so much more possible. i think we all need such voices in our life.
i left that afternoon spent in the sun-sprinkled loft above the next chapter bookstore inspired to not only be more intentional about spending more time writing and reflecting about my life and this world around me, but to look for ways to intentionally see into people and encourage them to be more fully who they already are.
here's to living more deeply...