Toward the end of 2022 I enrolled in a virtual writing program, 27 days of Wild Writing with poet and writing coach, Laurie Wagner. It became a sacred practice each morning after breakfast, and I found that I missed it when it was over. So, on Dec 30, I signed up for the ongoing monthly program and community. Laurie is a wonderfully inspiring writer and coach. With this process she reads a poem, suggesting jump off lines for our own writing, and then we write as fast and as messily as we can for 15 minutes. I find the writing to be both opening and emptying, meditative and cathartic. I highly recommend her program. Here’s an unedited sample I wrote along the way this month.
Weather Conditions by Clarence Major
Jump off line and instructions: Here’s the local weather (collect what’s in front of you)
Here’s the local weather – from my bedroom window I notice the red leaves have finally all dropped from the tree and the maintenance guys have cleaned up the grounds in yesterday’s break in the rain. Really, from my second floor vantage point, I don’t have a clear view of the weather. Mostly just tops of trees, the large picture windows of the second floor living room across the way, the crows and squirrels hopping along the roof next door, and the neighbor’s fence across the back alley. I very much miss the unobstructed views of sunrises and sunsets of my Colorado days. I never expected to be here this long.
Here’s the local weather – what’s reported on my iPhone every morning as I doom-scroll through the news on Facebook. It’s incessant and all the same right now; Harry and Megan being dissed or defended, the wondering if there will be a family reconciliation or if they’ll attend the coronation. Major concerns for the Brits. Here at home, it’s blow-by-blow coverage of Lisa Marie’s final days played over from every angle, and reminiscing about the still larger-than-life Elvis. Some social media site decided it was okay to post pictures of Naomi Judd’s bedroom suicide scene. We are a gruesome lot, hungry for ugliness.
The weather in the house of representatives is gloomy and unpredictable as republicans lie and cheat their way forward preparing to burn our government and country to the ground… and we’re stoked with fear of losing social services and retirement benefits, benefits that we paid for and are entitled to. The cats aren’t the least bit concerned. They’re curled up in a nest they created of pillows on the futon.
Here’s the local weather – in Ukraine it continues to rain bombs with a foggy outlook potentially from nerve gas. In Burkina Faso, 50 people were taken hostage, while older white women friends, unaware perhaps of their colonizing appearance, seeking excitement, travel in neighboring Gambia, in search of authentic Djembe drums and potential love. The rest of the world rapes the African continent, stripping her of precious metals and gems, then demeaning her as being poor.
Here, a month of rain from atmospheric rivers, flooding, mud slides, high tides… all our microclimates impacted by raging global warming, while at Davos, the UN chief warns that “the world is in a sorry state.” One of the cats jumps onto my lap breaking my thoughts and making it hard to write, but I’m grateful for his warmth and affection. I really need to limit my intake of the local weather, it’s just too damn gloomy these days and I’m in need of a healthy dose of sunshine.
My photographs have passed 1 Million Views on Pexels!!! I only started uploading images in November.
You can see my every-growing portfolio HERE. All downloadable for FREE.
Some exciting news!!! – I just created the Sacred Threshold Journal – see info below.
For sale through Blurb at THIS LINK.
Announcing: East-West (virtual) Death Café Launch February 26
My friend and colleague Katrina Leathers and I are hosting a series of “Death Cafes” on the last Sunday of each month starting on February 26th. We will meet on Zoom at 1:00 Pacific time, 4:00 East Coast time, for 90 minutes or so. This is a gathering for open discussion about death. Up to 30 people are welcome to register. It is not a grief, bereavement nor therapy group but a time to listen, contemplate and share how we each relate to the presence of death in our lives.
About this Death Cafe
Lisa and Katrina, two interfaith spiritual counselors and colleagues at The Chaplaincy Institute, invite you to an online gathering for open conversation about death. Bring whatever you may think, feel, believe, or imagine about dying and death, for the purpose of living a full life. We gather on Zoom with open hearts, open minds, and respect for all, with no specific agenda. This is not therapy nor a bereavement or grief group. We plan to hold these the last Sunday of each month, 1pm PT/4pm ET. Gatherings will be limited to 30 people.
About Lisa and Katrina
Lisa Winston is a spiritual counselor, interfaith chaplain, energy healer and mystic. This calling is a result of her near-death-experience at age 49. Lisa trained with the Nine Gates Mystery School, The Chaplaincy Institute, lived at an ashram, and was a hospital chaplain. She is also a published contemplative photographer. Lisa lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her feline family, Richie and Margot. Learn more about Lisa at: https://ljwdivinesight.com/
Katrina Leathers is trained as a death doula, expressive arts therapist, interfaith chaplain and spiritual director. She is also a mother, a dancer, a cancer survivor, a shamanic practitioner and a sometimes art-maker. She currently lives in Portland, Maine and serves as Dean at The Chaplaincy Institute of Berkeley. For more information about Katrina’s work, see: https://katrinaleathers.com
From the Death Cafe website:
Our objective is ‘to increase awareness of death with a view to helping people make the most of their (finite) lives’.
A Death Cafe is a group directed discussion of death with no agenda, objectives or themes.
It is a discussion group rather than a grief support or counseling session.
Our Death Cafes are always offered:
– On a not-for -profit basis
– In an accessible, respectful and confidential space
– With no intention of leading people to any conclusion, product or course of action
We’d love to have you join the conversation. Contact me if you’d like to register.
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