Posts in READ & WRITE
Believe Survivors

Sexual violence is more than just garden-variety abuse. It is an abuse of power. And anyone who has proven that they are willing to abuse their power at the expense of someone else’s' wellbeing has no place sitting on the Supreme Court, interpreting the law, for generations of Americans to come. Survivors of sexual and domestic abuse are finally beginning to come forward with their stories of abuse at the hands of the powerful and influential. But the real question is: will we believe them?

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An Open Love Letter to the Sunday Edition of the New York Times

Like many adults in the fall I always find a replenished desire to learn, grow, and stretch myself. To "Get back to it."  So when the lower humidity hits and the temperatures begin to lower, I find myself attracted to learning, to soaking up new information, all in the quest of feeling re-invigorated, 'with-it', and decidedly scholarly. Enter the Sunday edition of the New York Times. It's economical use of space and flimsiness of ephemeral newsprint should not fool you - this is dense stuff.

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READ & WRITE: Essential Blogging Tips

Blogging is hard work but it's rewarding work. When I get to a place where I am writing freely, where I am able to post when I want about what I want, when I feel organized, when my correspondence is up to date -- that is when my content is ticking. And that's when relationships are built. That's when new opportunities knock on my door. And it's when I feel most personally fulfilled and inspired. I want you to have that feeling too. So here goes. My Essential Blogging Tips

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READ & WRITE: The Invitation

It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living.I want to know what you ache for and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing. It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon... I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shrivelled and closed from fear of further pain.

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READ & WRITE: Sweet Valley High

When I was young, I dreamed of one day owning a shop, one with catalogs and real merchandise and many customers -- hopefully still including my dad. I also dreamed of being a writer. It sounded like a perfect job, this writing. You could do it from anywhere, one. Two, you didn’t need a team of people or a specific place to do it. I liked that it seemed moveable, transportable, efficient, and private. Thirdly, writing could be done with very few tools. A spiral-bound notebook, a pen, a place to sit.

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The weather here in the high plains of Minnesota has been brutal. Black ice, strong winds, blowing snow. These, along with other conditions of the spirit have driven me further into my already very reserved world of writing and reflection.

At night when work can be carried on no longer the stash of dog-eared maps come out. New Mexico, Arizona, Texas. I circle border towns with my pen -- Taos, Sedona, Terlingua, Bisbee, Chimayo -- tracing the sinewy scenic routes to each through mountains, deserts, and reservations with nail-bitten fingers.

Despite modern convenience this cold has sent me into a reptilian state of shock. Will I make it out alive? Will everyone? And how? These are the questions that fester for some time, until the warmer weather and longer spells of sunlight appear as promised.

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READ: Stories as Cultural Currency

What is something you believe in strongly? This is a question rarely posed in everyday parlance, as it is usually reserved to separate the wheat from the chaff on college applications and during ho-hum job interviews. When asked to expostulate on one of my most firmly-held beliefs this week, the answer seemed weirdly top-of-mind rather than buried deep and murky.  I answered -- 'I believe in the importance of authentic, compelling storytelling.'

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READ: working/not working

A leisure economy will provide opportunity to develop the frustrated craftsman, painter, sculptor, poet, composer, yachtsman, explorer, or potter that is in us all – if only we could earn a living that way. Certainly, there will be a plethora of bad and indifferent productions from so many unleashed amateurs, but the general long-term effect should be a tremendous enrichment of the quality and variety of fine art, music, food, furniture, clothing, gardens, and even homes – created largely on a do-it-yourself basis. -ALAN WATTS

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DAILY PRACTICE: happy by choice

When my dad would drop me off at school in the morning the last thing he said before I closed the door and he drove away was 'Now, Choose to make it a good day.'

it was the same mantra in grade school and middle school, it was the same in high school, it was the same when I would call home from college, and if he was around now he would be saying it to me still.

Dad was on to something. For as soon as I  even begin to think of his phrase, and the way his gap-toothed smile grinned at me from outside the passenger window, any lingering clouds of malaise begin to slowly dissipate. I don't need to try to be happy. Instead, happiness becomes a definitive choice. An intention that eventually grows into it's own expression.

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