Musings: The Golden Light Shining Through the Trees

Today as the rain falls outside my desk window, I think of the beautiful golden sunlight often seen shining through the trees when walking in the woods.

Light Through the Trees Shackford Head in Eastport, ME

This is the light of redemption and renewal. This is the light that draws us into our center, our core, and reflects back through us when we are open to the beauty that surrounds us and is within us. This is the force that feeds us, body and soul. This is the forces that fills our psyche with unlimited love. Continue reading

Quote Of The Day: Anais Nin

When we are young girls we often dream of being a mermaid, as grown women we realize that shallow living holds nothing for us, it is the depths that drive us…

Mermaid Quote Anais Nin

From Anaïs Nin’s 1950 novel, The Four-Chambered Heart, based on her life: “I must be a mermaid, Rango. I have no fear of depths and a great fear of shallow living.”

The Eastport Mermaid: Photo by Pamela J. Leavey

New Hampshire Mother Uses Art Therapy to Raise Heroin Addiction Awareness

13450033_10153852229215345_6907428901319467035_nAnne Marie Zanfagna’s gregarious nature is evident from the moment you start talking with her. One would be hard pressed to see the pain hidden behind her outgoing demeanor. Even as a life long friend, I do not always see the sadness Anne Marie carries with her.

When I sat down with her for an interview about her Angels of Addictions project, it quickly became evident that her sadness was what motivates her to paint the portraits of young heroin overdose victims. Anne Marie feels this work, painting portraits and talking about heroin addiction is now her life’s work, her mission.

Through her 501c3 non-profit organization, Angels Of Addictions, Anne Marie and her husband Jim work to raise awareness about heroin addiction, the stigma of heroin addiction and to help raise money for recovery services and a scholarship in their daughter Jackie’s name. Jackie died of a heroin overdose in October 2014.  Continue reading

Quote of the Day: Terry Tempest Williams

Today’s Quote of the Day is from one of my favorite memoir and nature writers, Terry Tempest Williams:

“Once upon a time, when women were birds, there was the simple understanding that to sing at dawn and to sing at dusk was to heal the world through joy. The birds still remember what we have forgotten, that the world is meant to be celebrated.” ― Terry Tempest Williams

“Once upon a time, when women were birds, there was the simple understanding that to sing at dawn and to sing at dusk was to heal the world through joy. The birds still remember what we have forgotten, that the world is meant to be celebrated.” ― Terry Tempest Williams: When The Women Were Birds

 

*Lesser Goldfinches photo by Pamela J. Leavey

 

Writers on Writing: Jane Bernstein

Reading Jane Bernstein’s essay “How and Why” brought to mind my own very speculative mind and spirit that is in constant query as to the how and why’s of things. As a writer, my speculative mind and spirit causes me to look deeper into my own heart and mind, and I feel that it also grants me a strong intuitive mind that understands what is deep within other minds, connecting me to depths of humanity and life itself.  Reading “How and Why,” I could identify with Bernstein’s running, in that I walk, to clear my mind and “mull” things over. (Griffin p. 11)

When I am walking outside in nature, I lose myself into the landscape that envelops me as though I am one with it. When I am walking outside in nature, I tune out any extraneous real world soundtrack and tune into the concerto of bird song or the rustle of the leaves or marsh grasses whispering in the soft breeze or perchance keening in the wicked wind. My mind becomes clear, empty in that process of immersing myself in nature and it is then that I mull, as Bernstein does when she is running. There is a space in a clear mind that creates from a point deeper, more connected to the soul, which is a vital point of connection needed to write in the first person about one’s self and life.

Jane Bernstein’s essay “How and Why” is available in Connie Griffin’s book “To Tell the Truth: Practice and Craft in Narrative Nonfiction.” This book has been my go to book throughout the past two years studying Creative Writing at UMass Amherst University Without Walls. It has also served as textbook and reference book for four classes I have taken with Connie Griffin, including two core classes, Frameworks of Understanding and Writing for Experience, as well as Magazine Writing and Creative Non-fiction. 

The practice of reading other writers on their struggles with their craft is so helpful. All writers struggle with finding their voice, creating the right space to work in, shutting out their inner critic and getting past self-doubt. Those are just a few of the issues that writers face. As I continue to work through my own issues with writing and work to shape my first memoir, look for more posts here on Writers on Writing.