Trust and the Practice of ‘Nothing’s Happening’

This article first appeared on mindfulnessmeditationforrichmond.net I was on retreat for the weekend. Twice a year, a group of practitioners from the Insight Meditation Community of Richmond rent The Clearing–a space in Amelia County that belongs to the Quaker community. We spend two days in silence, practicing meditation and listening to recorded teachings. I’ve been… Read More

How Sitting Alone Can Connect Us to Others

This post first appeared on mindfulnessmeditationforrichmond.net The benefits of mindfulness meditation seem endless. There is no part of my life that the practice has not touched and transformed, including my relationships with others. It seems obvious to expect that as I feel more peaceful, clearer, more centered, less reactive, my close relationships would see benefits.… Read More

Time to Write

This post also appeared on AgileWriters.org. Today’s writers contend with distractions inconceivable to writers of the past. It has almost become pat to discuss the diversions inherent in living in our modern, digitally connected world. But these problems of instant gratification and endless attention shifting are even more lethal to the creative than they are… Read More

The Invitation of Suffering

This post was featured on http://www.mindfulnessmeditationforrichmond.net Many of us come to mindfulness meditation to feel better. The suffering that drives us may come in different forms–for some it is the acute grief or strife brought on by catastrophic loss, for others the experience of a persistent dissatisfaction with life. Or perhaps it is some combination… Read More

Leaving Space for the Reader

We entered into a productive discussion last week at Agile Writers, my local novel writer’s group. It centered on the problems inherent in writing (or acting, performing, producing) for an audience of peers rather than an audience of. . . people. The topic arose because we are making our way through Lawrence Block’s classic on… Read More

Inviting the Reader’s Gaze

“In the particular is contained the universal.” – James Joyce Sometimes I have to forget about you–the reader. Your gaze invokes my self-consciousness. And my self-consciousness strangles the work. Or stops it all together. (Fear is a powerful dam.) But, I knew the risks when I decided to start this blog. When I decided to invite your gaze.… Read More

An Open Letter to the Children Who Aren’t Mine

For all of the nannies,  who devote their time and their hearts to caring for children who aren’t their own. ______   “They” say I have to draw a line through my heart. I can love you, but only so much. Only the appropriate amount. Because you are not mine. What “they” (the ambiguous, omnipresent, “they”)… Read More

The Peril of The Pause

The wind barreled down the concrete breezeway and slapped my bare cheek as I walked through the library doors. I held a tottering stack of books flush against my chest, their corners digging into my ribs through my sweater. Inside the library, I had felt calm, as I usually do. The dank, dusty smell and… Read More

The Myth and My Truth about Mental Illness and Creativity

  I was eight when I first decided I wanted to be a writer. I had wanted to be a veterinarian before that. Dr. Harris, our neighbor and one of the most interesting adults I knew, was a veterinarian. He wore a thoughtful expression and a white coat, and he fielded all my questions with great seriousness… Read More