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Setting a creative intention for this time between the Veils
Last night I was out for sunset and moonrise, as is my wont on clear Full Moon nights. It was a peaceful, muted sunset here in western Massachusetts, and a glowing, over-the-top moonrise, the moon so huge and round, with Jupiter trailing alongside like a glittering diamond.
As I lingered under the trees, watching the light shifting from warm solar afterglow to cool lunar moonshine, I thought about how, in this Samhain/Halloween/All Souls/Day of the Dead time of year, the veils between dark and light are said to grow thin, allowing enhanced communication between the living and those who have passed into nonphysical being.
Do you ever feel your ancestors looking over your shoulder?
I do. I often feel them as a glimmer of reassurance, a soft cheering at my back, urging me to keep trying to do the best I can, to make the most of this precious lifetime even when the headwinds of my time and place are challenging.
This is not an easy time to be alive, let's just come out and say it. All the conveniences of modern life are cold comfort when you consider the cost in terms of the violence that shrieks endlessly in the background of our days and nights: war, shootings, the razing of forests, the extinction of species, the poisoning of air, land and sea, the crazy imbalance of the climate.
Like it or not, this is our time to be here under the warm light of the Sun and the cold light of the Moon. This is our time to serve as the living tips of the vast lineage of ancestors behind us.
Looking out into the unfolding story of the 21st century, there is so much I can't control or predict, but one thing I can do is set my intentions for how I want to show up in the world.
Oh, I fail to live up to my intentions, over and over. But ruminating on past failures gets me nowhere unless I use my shortcomings as life lessons that teach me to do better in the future.
This is precisely the spirit of purposeful memoir and writing to right the world.
Just as we study the history of dark times under the banner of "never again," we can think back over our individual lives with the same forward-looking intention.
There is no denying that life is hard and full of challenges—personal, political and planetary.
Family members can flip out, become crazy and violent. Ancient feuds can lead to mass suffering of innocents. Warm waters can spawn hurricanes overnight.
Looking out into this troubled landscape, we have a choice: we can lose ourselves in the anguish; or we can keep our heads above the stormy waters of grief and rage, focus on whatever beauty we can find around us, and tap into our inner guidance, that still small voice within that says, Fear not; all will be well.
In my comparative research into nonphysical guidance over the past decade or more, I have found that this message is brought back over and over by those among the living who can penetrate the veil.
It's at the heart of the spiritual teachings of every religion: Strive to do good in life, and all will be well in death.
No one of us has it in her power to undo all the violence and harm that besets our planet. But each of us has the potential to do what she can, where she is, with what she has, to make her corner of the world brighter.
That is all we can ask of ourselves, day by day.
In this season of darkness, let us kindle fires and light candles. Let us gather to tell stories that lighten the heaviness of this time on Earth.
Yours in the intention of writing to right the world,
Upcoming opportunities for writing & sharing together
Next Friday, Nov. 3, I’ll be offering the first of a three-session online memoir workshop focusing on writing about family.
We’ll do some generative writing in the spirit of what I am coming to think of as “kaleidoscopic writing”—turning the wheel of our perspective to gain a fuller understanding of a memory. Come join me!
Join the Free Birth Your Truest Story Online Community for Writers!
We have some great events coming up at BYTS, including a Day of the Dead Open Mic, and a Poetry Workshop—for Prose Writers! Join us!
Halloween/Day of the Dead “Behind the Veil” Open Mic, November 1, 7 pm Eastern. Register here.
Poetry as Attention, Poetry as Love, with Allie Rigby, Nov. 5 & 12, 1 - 3 pm Eastern. Register here.
Check our online Events Calendar for a steady stream of online coaching and writing sessions, classes and events designed to nourish your writing practice and build community! See it all here.
Riding & Writing
Monte Velho Equo-Resort in Evora, Portugal, January 7 - 13, 2024. A week of dressage lessons on beautiful, well-trained Lusitano horses, plus guided writing sessions and plenty of time for relaxing and exploring the hill country of the Alentejo. JUST ONE SPOT LEFT! Find out more and register here.
Hestaland in Borgarnes, Iceland, June 10 - 16, 2024. A week of riding spirited Icelandic horses in beautiful rolling countryside, writing in good company, and soaking in the hot springs and Arctic Summer Solstice energy of Iceland. Find out more and register here.
A window into my life as a Solo Entrepreneur
I was recently invited to join in a virtual parade of solo entrepreneurs based in the Berkshires, and I’m happy to share the story with you in this short video produced by series curator Sherry Steiner and Operations Manager Erica Spizz of Community Television of the Berkshires.
If you’ve been curious about my work as publisher of Green Fire Press, or would like to see a cornucopia of pretty photos of my recent writing workshops abroad, check it out!