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Thursday
Jun052014

Soul Amendments

When I saw my garden plot I was surprised at the way it seemed both small and large.

I got to spot the blossom first. Judy first spotted the cluster of green cherry tomatoes, and texted me a photo. I look forward to watching their reddening, and to the day of harvest, to that first burst of pure sunlight in my mouth. But the yield is not high in my goals. Neither, any more, is the work of emptying my mind and dirtying my fingernails. 

My primary goal in sharing this garden is to yield to the Overseer’s soul amendments. 

 

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Thursday
Jun052014

Crop Rotation: Make Something Else

My experience has been that I mistake seasons of “creative dryness” for a season in which it is time to make something else. So, rather than simply waiting for the next moment of inspiration or the next deadline to move you into creative work, move yourself out of your normal discipline and do some painting, drawing, shooting, playing, etc. After all, you are a creature who creates — that is the core of who you are. What you make is secondary. 

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Thursday
May222014

The Place of Our Affection

With all of this in our hearts, we got in the car and left the hotel, returning home to what we love.  Before long, the acute stages of family emergency had passed and everyone moved on to more permanent situations. As things returned to a more normal state, I found myself feeling more placed than ever, letting go of questions about the future and digging in to life as I know it right now.  

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Thursday
May222014

Becoming a Songwriter, Part 3

Whether you believe you have a soul, a personality, or that you are a random blip in a succession of universes, within your person is the very you of you. I’m describing the you that is only you and no one else on the planet. You know you’re not me or your sister or brother. You are you. You have a mind and emotions that feel, think, and imagine. You have a body that has mobility and senses. You have a gender. You’re able to communicate in a number of ways — non-verbally through expressions, with language, with your whole body, and of course with music. Creativity, and specifically songwriting, ought to be the natural outworking of the whole person simply being what he or she is, human.

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Thursday
May222014

Breathe

In that first class all I could think about were Madonna’s biceps. It was the late 1990s, and Madonna had recently become as famous for her toned physique (attributed to her recent interest in yoga) as for her music. As I looked at myself in the mirror of the studio, awkwardly trying to follow the instructor’s gentle guidelines, I wondered if Madge’s muscle tone would be a happy by-product of my journey into health. “Bring your attention to the breath,” the instructor said, while gently lifting my hips, which were already trembling from exertion. Madonna, her biceps, and my own body scampered away from my attention, as I shifted that attention to my breath. Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale. On my way home on the subway, faced with the mild anxiety that always seemed to accompany me into cramped spaces, I tried to do the same. Inhale. Exhale. Inhale.

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