Gleanings from the Week Past

“Because a song, a book, a play, a picture or anything created was gay it did not necessarily follow that it was trivial. It might well be, mused Mrs. Baily, gazing into the moving sunshine with unseeing eyes, a finer thing, because it had been fashioned with greater care and artifice; emotion remembered and translated to give pleasure, rather than emotion remembered and evincing only an involuntary and quite hideous howl.” ~ Miss Read, Thrush Green

I’m reading all the Miss Read books. I need comfort reading right now, and what her character says is exactly true.

“In every aspect of life, it’s easy to let fear influence our decisions.” ~ Barbara DeMarco-Barrett, Pen On Fire

These days I examine my motives. Fear is there 99% of the time. Whenyou see it, you can make a conscious decision to set fear aside. One big fear for me is taking precious time for myself to write, when my mother or grandchildren, or anyone else, might need me. And someone always seems to need me. I’m practicing listening to what is right for me to do, and very often it is simply to write.

“Pain is a central part of a writer’s education. Pain is inevitable, as you discover that this piece must be rebuilt from the foundation up, that that piece is dead in the middle, that this third piece is a beautiful idea rottenly executed. Since pain is inevitable, fear it a little less.” ~ Eric Maisel, Living the Writer’s Life.

Pain is a part of all life. It seems the oddest thing to me now, but for much of my life I would go to great lengths to avoid pain, as if I believed, and yes, I did, that one could avoid pain, or at least minimize it. I did not realize that by attempting to live without pain, I was only half-alive. Now when I look back, I realize that my best writing occurred when I went headlong, my emotions carrying me beyond fear of looking foolish or being hurt.

Accept pain as part and parcel of living and writing, and suddenly it isn’t so fierce some. It is equally true that all things pass, and pain most of all when faced. Keep writing right through it.

It would be great for any of you to post what you are reading, and what gems you’ve found helpful.


15 thoughts on “Gleanings from the Week Past

  1. Read this today and just had to share: “…Act – don’t think about reasons for not acting…That’s the way some people go through life. They sit and think about the consequences. Make the consequences happen. Embrace consequences….you’re never going to be happy until you take control of your destiny.” -The Forever Girl by Alexander McCall Smith


  2. As usual, I’m in the middle of a few books, but the one that’s really taught me a few good lessons right now is The Forever Girl by Alexander McCall Smith. Among its many little nuggets is the gentle reminder that love brings pain and hurt. We can choose to avoid it altogether, thereby avoiding both the pleasure and the pain and walling ourselves off from all that love offers, or we can choose to take the risk of pain and learn how best to deal with it because of the benefits that come with it. I think this can be said of all of life, as you said above. Pain can be avoided, possibly, but what kind of life would that mean? Not one I’d want to live.


  3. Thanks for this post….I am reading “They Speak By Silences” author listed as A Carthusian; and Surrender, a guide for prayer by Jacqueline Syrup Bergan & S. Marie Schwan; An article in AARP magazine (Aug-Sept) The Missing was a light bulb going off for me yesterday. Although it was an article focused on the loss suffered by the families of Flight 370, Vietnam MIA’s (still 1,500 listed), missing children and adults, it put a name to a condition I believe myself to be living…..AMBIGUOUS LOSS….. though fear is involved, it is more a gathering of many different emotions that are open to hit strongly at any given moment. Psychologist Pauline Boss says “triggers a kind of stressful, unresolved emotional state distinct from traditional grief. ..resistant to usual therapeutic treatment (don’t have $$ for treatment now anyway) instead the path to healing involves negotiation an uneasy rapproachment with the unanswered questions that such a loss leaves in its wake. “grief therapy doesn;t work because there is nothing wrong with the person, there is something wrong with the situation itself.

    I would not go so far as to say there is nothing wrong with me, BUT I do feel the reality of living in the WAKE of personal bankruptcy, and constantly discerning between what I must surrender to and the courage to change the things I can change, which seem so very few at this time; then I call upon my higher self to manifest, live in faith and continue my life one step at a time; I can cycle through anger, despair, confusion, craziness, at any time of any day; I do not know when they will asail me and at times overcome me. I do all this with acknowledging my responsibility in all of it and consciously tryiing to know out any traces of blame.

    And my life looks from the outside looking in that “nothing much is going on here.”


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