Creative Arts and Healing
Dear friends, thank you for your patience as i finally show up again, ready to share the present moment and beyond, my last entry written in Autumn...

We have had a cold spell, probably the coldest and longest of our 27 years in Tallahassee,
and while a bit daunting, is nothing compared to what is going on up North, and in the Mid-West -- i did actually have to scrape my icy windshield (with a plastic spatula) and douse it with a watering can - for perhaps the first time in memory, and i watched my confused cat walk gingerly across the back deck that had a slight dusting of snow, then ice. Georgie kept picking up his paw and staring at it, then putting it down, then picking it up... Such innocence! He has grown his thick winter fur, and sleeps in a laundry basket of towels in our mudroom, curled up in such a tight ball he looks like a big loaf of challah.

Meanwhile, we keep a fire roaring in our fireplace. Perfect for dreaming and scheming and basking...

My 74th birthday is coming soon -- in five days -- and i smile, seeing as how it adds up to 11, which is also the number of this calendar year (add 2 0 1 8 = 11) so i'm saying i am entering double portals: 11 11, into whatever adventures beckon to me.

I continue to try to place Prison Wisdom in prison libraries -- here's a good story. I receive the Sun Magazine, out of Chapel Hill, and they put out an issue with alot of attention to Prisons (alas i did not know this in advance or I could have contributed.) Well, in the next issue there were two letters by men, one in Tucson, one in Manhattan, Nevada (!) both of whom teach creative writing in prisons there. I found them on the internet (magic), and
e-mailed one, and wrote the other a letter. The first, Erec Toso, who teaches at the university in Tucson and offers Creative Writing to the men in a nearby prison on Saturdays,
responded to my inquiry. He purchased one copy, and i gifted another (remember, individuals who purchase my book can also "gift" a book) to his students, and hopefully it will eventually end up in their library. This man - Erec - is also working on compiling a book of HIS inmates' writing, and I'm thrilled that others think (and act) as I do -- sharing the creative spark among those behind bars, and honoring them with a publication. When their book comes out, I will pass the info along to you. I'm still waiting to hear from the Nevada contact.

And so it is, that opportunities arise, almost mystically, for me to share Prison Wisdom,
and the inspiring message that beams from its many writers and artists... I still plan on offering sermons or "special programs" to various churches in town, to spread the good news...

Tom and I, a year or two ago, completed the 100 days of Happiness Journaling Challenge, which consists of each of us writing, before bed, in our own journals, something that made us happy that day. Then we share it aloud with each other. We have found this exercise to be most uplifting... first, we tend to focus, during the day, on what we might be writing about that evening, which means actually paying more attention to happiness moments. Secondly, we heighten the intimacy of our marriage by taking the time to share these moments with one another. Writing is very different than "just talking." It allows contemplation and reflection, and the words come out differently - perhaps more lyrical and potent, or so we have found.

Because we had enjoyed doing this exercise/ritual for 100 days in a row, i decided, when a chance arose, to do a reading/sharing at our Unitarian Church about the experience, and people asked could we lead a workshop to help others take the Challenge? We said YES,
and did so. We plan to regroup the first Sunday after the 100 days have passed, to share the results with each other.

Now I've got a bee in my bonnet to start offering introductory workshops around town on taking the 100 days of Happiness Journaling Challenge. It's so much fun to write about happiness, and very poignant to hear what others write when they share highlights from their days.

So now I say to you, dear readers, what's stopping you from writing nightly in your own Happiness Journal, and sharing the results with a partner, child, friend, or neighbor.
It's so simple, and so rewarding! Ten minutes with a pen on paper, and watch your happiness moments multiply!!!

Time to throw another log on the fire, look out the window to see my camellias in bloom,
and continue my explorations of what 2018 might bring - what beckons - what I will
leap into -- and, will report back...

Out my window now
sky so blue it thrills my eyes
as cold fingers type


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