Creative Arts and Healing
LATE AUTUMN REPORT 
My goodness, how did that long oven hot season suddenly depart, and the welcome breezes of autumn stir me to action again? For I am in the middle of my fall classes -- teaching Lifestories at the women's prison, and for OLLI, a senior institute connected to FSU. I also offered a program for the Tallahassee Writer's Association on "Fables and Fantasies,"
a delightful session for writers who really want to enjoy themselves, not sweat over revision, craft, or anything else to deter their vivid imaginations from taking flight! Here's a fun exercise for anyone reading this blog today. Find a partner, one of you choose an animal (say, a rhinoceros) and the other an inanimate object (say, a washing machine). You each take these prompts, and begin your fable with Once upon a time (a rhinocerus found herself tired of washing her garments in the muddy river, so she set out in search of.... etc!).. Once you have written your fables, you share them with one another, and laugh at the differences in your stories or even at the amazing similarity (one never knows).

... But aside from the joy of my classes, and soon, the pleasure of compiling the literary reviews for each group of students, there is "the rest of my life," which, if you have visited my blog before, you know means time in the garden, my big wonderful yard filled with stone pathways, planting beds, container flowers, statues and temples, a victorian cottage (once my daughter's play hut), adirondack chairs, a mighty and fecund grapefruit tree (that my mother planted, 3 months before she died, 13 years ago), camellia bushes and trees galore, and so much more, a homestead I tenderly refer to as "Haiku Garden" for all the Haiku I have written here, in the last 25 years, and to the future poems too, that will one day emerge. Time in the garden, yes, but much time reading too, and visiting Tallahassee's public library, time cooking, or as mom always said "arranging food", time changing sheets, throwing in a wash, feeding my cat (and bird), visiting with my daughter (still local, a working architect), going dancing with my husband, or to a movie or play, or for a brisk walk down to Cascades Park, the newest addition to public space, just ten minutes from us.

I confess I also read news magazines, and the New Yorker, and get the Sunday New York Times, and tune in to the machinations of advanced 20th (or is this 21st?) century problems, adventures, crises, -- such as the current campaign for president, or the refugees fleeing war-torn nations and other privations, fleeing with just a small bag of possessions, children in hand or in their arms, looking for a place that will take them in and give them a new home. All this is happening, along with the weather - the storms, the hurricanes, the flooding, the droughts, the earthquakes, as well as gorgeous sunshine, tender rain, full moon radiance, shining stars -- it's all happening, but you could never possibly describe it all, you can only go on living your life to the best of your ability, and feel compassion for the world's sorrow and the world's suffering peoples...

Yes, it is autumn, that exhilarating time of year, that I so love -- when leaves change color, even "down here," and one can actually put on a sweater, and use a quilt on one's bed. Fall is full of energy, of focus, of, in my work, passing on my devotion, my enthusiasm, for the
wisdom of the pen, inviting all my students to share their voice, to know it is of value, that they are of value, and that our collective force field is a powerful gift not just to us, but to all who our words touch now, or will touch later.

I reach out to you - my readers - friends - colleagues - strangers - who could be friends - and wish you the best of this harvest season -- homemade pumpkin pie, blooming chrysanthemums, hot apple cider with cinnamon, a good book, a hot shower or bath,
a walk thru the leaves, a contemplation of autumns past which have brought you to
this autumn, and ask that you add your voice to this human serenade, this travelogue of possibility, of heartbreak and ecstasy, just pick up the pen, it will always be ready to accompany you, as you jot down the notes of today, in its ever expansive catalogue of
moments.


Autumn wind chimes blow
casting a magical spell
on the one who types

Lift me higher now
let me spill my poems for you
golden like your leaves

Colorful music
to guide my contemplation
into fall's mirror




xo
ka



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