A Writer’s Gift

Some of you who read my blog may notice I have started posting a lot more this week. Over the weekend I attended a blogging workshop held by Jon Katz and Maria Wulf down at Pompanuck Farm Institute, a beautiful place where the ideals of living a creative, inclusive life in harmony with the environment appear to be genuinely coming into being.

While we were all there to learn and grow in our own work, part of the group’s purpose was to support Pamela Rickenbach of Blue Star Equiculture (a working/draft horse sanctuary in Massachusetts) establish a blog for herself. Already you can hear in her blog (Yacu Colorina.org) that she has a powerful, amazing voice with a lot to say on the work she does with her cherished horses.

Our group was small and included my fellow Hartford resident Carol Conklin, an incredible batik artist, and artist/illustrator Rachel Barlow (who is also apparently quite the techie). Everyone was at a different place around writing a blog. Some were off and running, while others were still unsure about getting started. Thanks to Jon and Maria, all of us came to understand, I think, how powerful a blog can become in sharing yourself and your work with all the world.

Jon is a best-selling author of many popular books, mostly about animals and their stories at Bedlam Farm. He is also a prolific blogger and believes very strongly that having a blog is a way for anyone to speak or share their work and vision with the world. Maria, too, has come to see blogging as a way to tell her own stories about her art – beautiful quilts and her own unique intuition dolls, among other things – and reach those people that appreciate her work. Maria shared at the workshop that she now can’t not write her blog. Jon told us his blog saved his life. Together they are a compelling force in advocating for and encouraging fellow artists and writers to join them.

Look at me here now. I couldn’t deny them. I have written every day, at least once, since I came home. And I wanted to thank them for that here.

I think keeping this blog will be my way of finding mystery and magic in the world again. That may sound kind of funny at first. But think about when you were a kid and everything was magical. Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny were real. Halloween was actually spooky, and basements were full of monsters instead of just old junk. Forests held fairies and elves, and buried treasure lay at the bottom of a swimming pool.

I have missed those feelings for a very long time. I think most of us lose them when we grow up and the burdens of adulthood take over. The real tragedies of life befall us, wear us down after awhile, until our vision becomes clouded. I can almost always see beauty, find peace and quiet, and experience moments of joy and clarity. Those things have saved my life and are part of what I want to share.

But magic, mystery – I don’t know that I have truly felt them in a great long while. I think that’s why so many of us (including me) love fantasy and horror movies and books. They make you feel like there are still some great secrets in the world to discover, to treasure, maybe even to fear.

So yesterday may have been my birthday but I got my gift a few days early from Jon and Maria, Pamela, and my fellow workshop attendees. They helped me see that writing this blog, telling my stories and sharing my work is maybe a way to find my mysteries again.

And I want them, desperately. I want to not always know, to not always see or think with the veil of reality and adulthood between me and the world. I think that may be what what many of us are looking for. And I think we can learn from those who already experience magic their lives every day, even in the face of all the bad things that happen in the world, how to see it again, too.

I believe I will find my magic again. I will let you know when I do.