the practice

the writer‘s retreat is the best thing i could have possibly done with my time.

i have stumbled upon a copy of “Writing Down The Bones” by Natalie Goldberg and for the past two days, i have been unable to put the book down. it is amazing. it’s like a well-kept secret in the literary world. Goldberg is a Buddhist, a writer, a poet and a motivator. She is insightful and has affirmed so many things for me in the last two days.

I could publish a bunch of quotes from her, but i choose rather to keep much of her advice to myself for now. i will share it when the time is right. I will say however, that the chapter called Composting and the chapter called Doubt is Torture were life changing.

Here’s an excerpt from page 15, Composting:

“This understanding [of the writing practice] also helps us to accept someone else’s success and not to be too greedy. It is simply that person’s time. Ours will come in this lifetime or the next. No matter. Continue to practice.”

With one giant sweep of the pen, five simple sentences, Goldberg unfolded a truth kept hidden deep since i began to hold the office of writer: my time for success will eventually come and it will come when it is my season. this is what God has been trying to tell me about seasons, waiting, patience, and being still. I now know what pastor meant on Sunday when he said God was looking for ways to show his love for me. i have found this truth here at the writer’s retreat.

i wrote this piece after an amazing time in the forest today. I offer this little poem about the trees. Enjoy.

This Community

Swaying left—swaying right
swaying back—swaying forward
reaching up toward heaven
the concert of trees
a theatre in nature
in perpetual praise to their Creator
awaiting  the coming storm
patiently waiting for the change of season
content in their present state
confident to provide
security, peace and comfort

this restless soul
whose imagination
like an over-stretched belly
must continually be fed
this nomadic wanderer
whose emotions
like a road map
must continually be consulted
like a rose garden
must continually be tended
needs this community of trees



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