What Makes Your Heart Sing?

 Mt Hood, taken from Dufur, OR while on a Portland Women Writer retreat. Great opportunity to generate new poems and refine old ones. An example of the lovely fall weather Oregon has been experiencing.

Mt Hood, taken from Dufur, OR while on a Portland Women Writer retreat. Great opportunity to generate new poems and refine old ones. An example of the lovely fall weather Oregon has been experiencing.

It might reach 65º in Portland, Oregon today. Seriously. This is November. Skies are blue, air is warm. If it wasn’t for the bare trees and rotting tomatoes left on the vine, I might be fooled into thinking I had fallen asleep for six months and woke to spring. That, and a self-imposed deadline circled on the calendar at the end of the month.

I was asked the other day why I haven’t blogged since early October. Was something amiss? No, just not enough hours in a day. What I offer to others, both individually through spiritual direction and to groups in workshops, is an invitation to nurture, heal, create and explore inner areas of their lives. I believe to be a healthy person to meet with, I need to do this in my own life.

One of my personal practices is writing poetry. It has been a core element in my own healing journey, provides me with nurturing when I meet with women in writing circles, is a creative process, and allows me to explore both the external world around me and the deeper waters stirring within. The need to create can overwhelm me at times. I feel my hand drawn to pen and paper like children to a bakery. My muse spills metaphors down the front of my coat onto the pavement as I walk in the morning and I pick up my pace to get home and jot down a few key words before work. But I have discovered my muse needs to be fed something sustaining like the lamb shank I had for lunch yesterday or it will get bored. So to honor what has been given, I have collected 70 of my poems and started the exhausting work of editing for a book. I have a writing coach to help me in the arduous process. It is like giving each poem an employee review—starting with what you feel they do well, then offering the "room to improve" assessment. I am embracing the journey. Like I told my coach, I fell I'm taking a master class and my poems are tighter and more grounded as the result. When I have a chance I will be swapping out the ones on the website with the revised versions.

So this was a long explanation as to why I have been absent from the "blogosphere." Besides my chaplain work and taking care of other life essentials, my spare moments have been focused on “the project.” The deadline is approaching and I still have a lot of work to do. I took this break though, because I want to invite you to reflect on what gets your creative juices flowing. It may be something that makes your internal voice sing—that is enough. Or maybe you have a bigger goal in mind. Once I submit my manuscript, it will be released and I will have no control over the outcome. But, ah, the satisfaction. My heart is singing.