Writing Out Loud

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Trees...the sun and I...

For all who wonder what the purpose is of writing a book, I don’t have a ready answer, as the motivation is unique to each writer. A piece of writing can be the result of sudden inspiration, a message that absolutely must be shared, or a story that just won’t go away until it’s consigned to paper or word processing screen. Some writers become wildly successful, while others enjoy a modest sense of accomplishment. Then there are those who write simply because they have something to say that they think is important enough to share, and they don’t really care if they make a dime.

I’ve come to believe that what a person chooses to write about also says a lot about his or her reason for doing it. In my case, I write primarily about Nature. That takes the literary mantra “Write about what you know” to a whole new level, as I don’t just write about something I know a lot about but because it makes more sense to me than anything else does, especially now in these very troubled times, when NOTHING “out there” makes much sense. And when something makes that much sense and leaves no room for doubt, well, the words just flow.

That’s how it is with Nature and me: I get her and she gets me. And together, we make some pretty good music. In our world, there are no loud voices or disputes, and other than birds twittering, the wind blowing in the tops of pine trees, or the rustling of chipmunks chasing each other through the dry leaves, there is no sound at all. The benefit of that? I get to hear what my thoughts sound like, and what’s more, I hear whatever it is that Nature is trying to tell me. We have secrets, she and I, and from time to time, we share a few, and that is why I wrote this book.

It was time to let others in on it…





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Nothing Else


Yesterday, I took a short drive to a place I’ve only just recently rediscovered and where I sat on a bench beneath a great old maple tree. During the late spring and summer, this tree’s leaves are a bright vibrant green. But at this time of year–late October–they’re intensely yellow almost to the point of glowing when touched by the sun. And yesterday was just such a sunny day, so that tree was literally on fire.

I looked up through its branches from where I was sitting and found there were no words…none at all…that could adequately describe how that felt…to look straight up through a startlingly intense tangle of leaf and bough that was, ironically, in its last throes before the next strong wind or storm decimates it for another year. But that’s the thing…for just another year, not forever, unless someone comes along to cut that tree down, thus ending its life for all time. But in the place where it stands, protected, well-cared-for, and revered, I doubt that will be happening any time soon.

When I first got there, I was alone. And the only sounds I could hear were the wind in those dazzling yellow leaves above me and the calls of birds. Every few seconds, the wind increased and a few more leaves fell from the tree, some doing a small pirouette as they descended, others simply floating on the breeze in a to-and-fro motion. At that point, I heard voices in the distance and noticed two women walking toward where I was sitting.

As they passed, they never stopped chattering, and that, of course, spoiled the silence and serenity for a few moments until they moved far enough away so I couldn’t hear them anymore. It occurred to me how vastly perceptions of certain places and experiences can and do vary. There I was, needing no other sound other than that of the wind and birds, while they walked along talking nonstop. While I can’t be absolutely sure, of course, I suspect that they missed the true wonder of that place, lost as it was in the sound of their own voices.

I hope that, at some point in their lives, they and others like them, DO take a moment now and then to be still and listen to what Nature has to say, because she’s got plenty to talk about in that wordless way of hers that I love so much. Trees communicate, too, and yesterday, that maple I sat beneath was singing for all the world to hear…something along the lines of…”Let your gaze linger on me and you’ll know there is nothing else you need…”



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A Sacred Imperative

I write, not because I want to, but because I must. And there are just so many words and ideas that my mind can contain before releasing the surplus into the vast universe where they will either be repurposed or allowed to die. But even death is not an end for them, because words or their meanings are eternal and can be reincarnated at any time. And what they failed to do for me they might for another writer. And so it goes…

Some people knit or weave, joining strands of yarn together to create intricately beautiful things. Others mix and blend colors to honor the world with canvases that take our breath away. Still others use their bodies, their voices or their evocative skills, not only to entertain but to also communicate something that lives deep within them. Then there are writers, who take the thoughts and ideas of all the people who have ever lived and try to channel them into something new and meaningful.

I read somewhere not long ago that there is just one mind, one great storehouse of knowledge and information that we all draw from in our daily lives and from which some of us tap the energy to do what we do. That energy is then filtered through our own experiences and becomes our particular form of art, and it is as unique to us as our eye color or our smile.

When I started writing many years ago, it was because I had something to say that I thought would benefit others as well or at least get them thinking. Later, that evolved into an imperative that grew sacred over time of sharing certain stories that had never been told and that would never have been told had I not written them. For who would otherwise have known of an old house discovered by a group of children at the top of a hill in a mill town in Maine or a small purse that a German lady had carried with her through World War II? Who would ever have known about Mrs. B., the old woman who covered her walls with mementoes, or of a farm family who must come up with new survival tactics to make it through a monster winter storm?

And then there’s the woman who has cancer and just weeks to live and who does the only thing she can think of to do: run to the woods where she believes she will be safer than she might in a hospital bed.

I don’t know what other configurations my own collection of words and ideas will assume from here on out. What I do know is that I will enjoy wherever they take me and hope that those who have accompanied me along the way will as well.

Trees....what words to use...

My books can be viewed by visiting: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00JJ259DS