When Stories Come to Life
February 16, 2015


“Our lives are at once ordinary and mythical. We live and die, age beautifully or full of wrinkles. We wake in the morning, buy yellow cheese, and hope we have enough money to pay for it. At the same instant we have these magnificent hearts that pump through all sorrow and all winters we are alive on the earth. We are important and our lives are important, magnificent really, and their details are worthy to be recorded. This is how writers must think, this is how we must sit down with pen in hand. We were here; we are human beings; this is how we lived. Let it be known, the earth passed before us.” ~ Natalie Goldberg

celestialmapping8“As we sit at our desks, struggling to bring a conception into existence, we are always trying — if we are serious and not simply working for money and attention — to make ourselves worthy of the vision, no matter how modest the accomplishment. There, for me at least, lies the mingled hardship and true joy of writing, the journey taken.” ~ John Rowe Townsend 

celestialmapping7“It isn’t by getting out of the world that we become enlightened, but by getting into the world…by getting so tuned in that we can ride the waves of our existence and never get tossed because we become the waves.”  ~ Ken Kesey

“Accept loss forever. Believe in the holy contour of life. Struggle to sketch the flow that already exists intact in mind. Don’t think of words when you stop but to see picture better…You’re a Genius all the time, Writer-Director of Earthly movies Sponsored & Angeled in Heaven.” ~ Jack Kerouac

celestialmapping1“Art is a by-product of an act of total attention.” ~ Dorothea Lange

“Let me live, love and say it well in good sentences.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“You get your confidence and intuition back by trusting yourself, by being militantly on your own side. You need to trust yourself, especially on a first draft, where amid anxiety and self-doubt, there should be a real sense of your imagination and your memories walking and woolgathering, tramping the hills, romping all over the place. Trust them. Don’t look at your feet to see if you are doing it right. Just dance.” ~ Anne Lamott

celestialmapping9The magnificent art in this post is by the gifted Tallmadge Doyle. Her Celestial Mapping series takes my breath away and makes me feel as if I’m studying maps of remote galaxies as I plan a voyage to distant stars.

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