Monday, November 5, 2018

The Writing Life: Finding Space for Serenity and Self-Care

Everyone has a voice, everyone has a truth. All of Them are vying for the space in your head.

What is your passion? What are your priorities? What role do you play as a writer?

In this season of divisiveness, finding a space for serenity and self-care becomes essential to the writer. A sheep herding mentality exists—either you’re on one side or the other—there seems no middle ground, and some demand you stand with their truth or you’re a distraction.

I see writers I greatly admire speaking passionately on Twitter and Facebook, unafraid of stating their opinions and political persuasions. I see others remaining silent, watching from the sidelines. Whatever we do, however we say it, this is not a competition for the truth.

It’s central to creative life to join together in small, collaborative communities where our stories are met with acceptance, in the belief that all voices are welcome, all relevant, all creatively unique and distinct.

All points of view and political persuasions should be welcome, too. You can concede or condone. Accept or reject. Once you come to a conclusion—your truth, your meaning—becomes your voice.

Writing at this stage of my life has focused on people I have known who made a difference—whose memories remain and serve as a doorway to craft into scene...impressions of life.
Yesterday was All Saints Day and I attended a lovely Evensong service at the Church Farm School in Exton, Pennsylvania. Founded in 1918, Church Farm School is an independent boarding and day school for boys in grades 9-12 in the Episcopal tradition.

Since the late middle ages, evensong has been the popular name for vespers (from the Latin vesperis,“evening”). In many Anglican cathedrals and other large churches, especially in England, evensong is sung by clergy and choir as a choral liturgy.
The boys’ voices soared to the rafters. Peace and reflection filled the small chapel—a community of worshippers gathered to commemorate all saints, known and unknown. I had felt it time to seek a place of quiet, or as a friend put it, "a space of serenity for self-care and restoration of spirit." 

As writers, this is our great gift…stories that bring healing and transformation, insight and awareness. And in that act alone, maybe we can find meaning and truth. Remember those who have come before us—those we have loved and lost—all the while never forgetting the importance of loving and caring for ourselves along this harsh and tempestuous sojourn called life.

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