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Thursday, February 25, 2010

A Love Remembered

Write a lot, read deeply, listen well.    Natalie Goldberg
Photo taken by Kevin Moul     Taos, New Mexico

I used to do this thing called writing practice.  It was my love, really.  Something i learned from a brave, bold, wise woman named Natalie Goldberg.  A woman i studied with, three summers in a row, in Taos, New Mexico.

We sat crossed-legged on zafus; candles lit, notebooks in hand.  We sat and wrote and wrote and wrote. 

We sat in silence.  Then chose a prompt, set the timer for ten minutes and began.  The rules were not to edit, not to stop, to keep our hand moving--no matter what. 

We wrote about what we remembered, what we didn't remember. We wrote about our fathers, our mothers, our homes, our monkey minds.  What we would miss when we die. 

I remember the sounds of pens scratching paper, pages turning, chirping crickets and singing birds, car tires crunching gravel, deep sighs, barking dogs.  i remember my mind--how loud it was, how it wondered if i was a good enough writer, if i would ever be brave enough to read aloud.  I remember how close we were; knees brushing knees, elbows brushing elbows.  I remember my pounding heart and the rush i felt the first time i read aloud.  And i remember the brave voices that read their brave words and how they filled me and continue to fill me.

And will always be here tucked inside.

I can still smell the sage.  Still feel the presence of Taos Mountain.  Still see all of us in a line-walking slowly, in silence, toward the big white cross.  Still see the clouds all filled with light and dark.  Still hear the silence between the sound.  The faces.  The blue doors. The stories.  The way every bite of food was just fresh enough, just sweet enough--bursting with flavor and goodness.  The Pueblo.  The pink hollyhocks. The thunder.  The adobe.  The dancing.  The skipping.  The drumming.  The wind.  The sun.  The rain.  The rainbows.

I am fuller because i went there and wrote with her and them.  I am fuller because i put my pen to the page and didn't stop until the bell rang; over and over again.  I am fuller because i wrote even though monkey mind told me i wasn't good enough.  I am fuller because i floated, just me and my body, down the frigid Rio Grade.  I am fuller because i went and wrote and went again.  I am fuller because i was brave enough to give voice to what was inside.

Doing all of that opened my eyes to magic i had always known i needed to see and feel and hear.  And helped me remember that i am enough. 

All of it is tucked away, safe and sound.  All of it so very deeply and forever cherished.


  1. What beautiful, rich, soul memories of awakening and sharing with others. Thanks for taking me there, and reminding how creating always leaves a remnant of magic to be savored and cherished.

  2. I just stumbled upon your blog off of Kelly Berkey's! It's always great to find another inspirational soul in this little blogging community! I love this post and your others. It trully has inspired me to do that free flowing writing that I used to do before life got crazy!


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