Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Back to Basics

"Do not be afraid of going slowly, only of standing still." - Chinese proverb

One foot in front of the other. That's what I can do right now. Depression has been my companion for many years. It sat nearby, often in the chair beside me. Recently, it slid over and climbed onto my body like a dark cloak. Not the magic kind. I walk through the world with it hanging from my shoulders. I walk slowly, but I will not stand still.

In the meantime, I've gone back to the basics of pure writing practice with a touch of technology. My friend Wendy and I skype write. Wendy is at the core of my writing. She is one of two women I discovered writing and reading aloud to each other in Stauf's Coffee Roasters in August of 1996 when I returned from my first workshop with Natalie Goldberg. They let me join their little group and she and I have written together at different times since. She and writing practice bring me back to the ground of my being.

At an appointed time one of us initiates the video call. I pick a topic. She sets a timer. We write. The timer goes off with a sound like the barking of a dog. I smile. As she reads, I close all the other windows on my computer so I can listen and watch her face. Her words fill me. I thank her, but do not comment. Then I open the document and read only the words on the page, mistakes and all, without explanations or disclaimers. She says, "Thank you." Then I pick another topic and we do it again. Over and over and over. It is simple and healing and perfect for this slow time in my life.

What does your writing look like when life takes you down a notch or seven? I'd love to hear about it.

2 comments:

Jenny said...

Although I am sorry you are going through this, what you are doing with the writing is really cool. What a great idea. So good that you are able to do that.

Nita said...

Thanks, Jenny. The writing practice Wendy and I do is the technique I learned from Natalie Goldberg.