The Journey as Sestina

 I felt like writing poetry today, and decided to challenge myself by writing in a form called Sestina. I’ve only used this form once before, in a poem I wrote years ago for my sister called “A Sestina from the Heart”

MOVING INTO THE UNKNOWN

Box by box, item by item, I pack for our move
to a place both familiar and yet unknown
pursuing a life or perhaps a dream
of days filled with fulfilling work and challenges
met with a smile, a laugh, and joy
and evenings filled with stars, friends, and peace.

What will it take to find that peace?
Does the solution lie with this next move?
Or does the truth lie with inner joy
and acceptance that life is a journey into the unknown
with every day bringing new challenges
as we pursue our ever-changing dream?

What happens when we become unsure and dream-
less, tossing and turning at night in search of elusive peace?
Perhaps the search for a new dream becomes one of the challenges
which keeps a soul vibrant and constantly on the move
always  embracing the unexpected and the unknown
which will sometimes bring sadness but more often joy.

What if you find life is not filled with joy?
Or that everything you hope for is only a dream?
Then the next step becomes another unknown
followed by another, and another, and another until you find the peace-
ful place inside your heart which encourages a move
toward other dreams, other stories, other challenges.

Unless, of course, you wish for a life without challenges,
but for me that seems like a life without joy.
For me a successful challenge is a move
toward the next step of the journey and piece of the dream.
Knowing I can handle what comes gives me a sense of peace
even as I journey into the unknown.

I knowingly take steps toward the unknown
trusting that life will not give me any challenges
I cannot face. Knowing that even days not filled with peace,
can still be filled with joy.
As long as I keep working toward a dream
then nothing bad will happen on this, or any,  move.

While I don’t know what challenges this move
will bring, I believe that the unknown dream
is the one that will bring me peace and joy.

All We Need to Know About Life

I don’t know where this originated but I stole . . . um borrowed this from my friend’s Facebook page because I found it full of inspiration and truth.

Here’s the thing, life is not worth living if we spend all our time worrying and stressing over things beyond our control.  Life should be something we embrace every day with passion and joy.

I am hereby making a promise to myself to live my life as joyously as possible. I’m going to trust the universe to provide what I need, and meanwhile I am going to continue to work towards achieving the dreams and goals that I have for my life.

What exactly are those dreams and goals? Well they seem to be every-changing, but that’s okay. I happened to read a quote today from Martha Steward (not one of my usual sources, I admit). She said,

“My new motto is: When you’re through changing, you’re through. “

Changing dreams and goals is part of living. Learning how to embrace those changes to live a fulfilled and happy life is perhaps the most important thing we can do as individuals.

Again, I ask myself, what are my dreams and goals? I can only answer for this moment in time, but here is my list in no particular order of importance:

  • Give Sarah a life full of opportunity, learning, and travel.
  • Travel myself to visit all the places I still dream of heading (including England, Ireland, Nepal, Australia, New Zealand, Greece, Alaska, revisiting Bali and Japan, and many places I haven’t even thought of yet).
  • Write several books that actually get read, some for young adults, some non-fiction, some for adults.
  • Direct some more professional productions for adults.
  • Direct some more professional productions for children.
  • Actually make a living as an independent, freelance writer/theater educator/theater artist
  • Develop arts programming that makes a difference in people’s lives.
  • Have a home that is my own. It doesn’t have to be huge, but something comfortable where we can live, create, and grow together as a family.
  • Write a script and create a puppet show with/for Nathan.
  • Find a way to merge my love of teaching/mentoring young women with all of the other passions of my life.
  • Meet some of my favorite blogging buddies live and in person. ;)
  • Become healthy in body, mind and soul.

The list is long but not impossible. It is also a list that can last years, or change with time. I think for me it is not about achieving goals in a specific time period, but enjoying the journey as I work toward those goals.

All we need to know about life, then, is that life is worth living as passionately and beautifully as possible.

Goal Setting and Re-focusing

“Four basic premises of writing: clarity, brevity, simplicity, and humanity.” (William Zinserr)

Sometimes I feel like I can't see the forest for the trees.

Now that I have freed myself of the obligatory blogging I’ve been doing, I feel the need to reflect on and establish some goals for myself in terms of writing and blogging. I started this blog with a purpose that included (according to what I wrote on my About page)

” . . .  a place for me to explore life and practice writing. It is a motivator for myself to sit down and write as often as possible. It is also a place to explore ideas, issues, and questions. Sometimes it is a place to vent. Sometimes it is a place to cry. Sometimes it is a place to laugh. To me, it is a sacred place, so please treat it with respect.”

I think that still holds true, but now the blog has become so much more. It has become a place of community and support, where I am meeting wonderful people who boldly express their dreams and trust that this environment is a safe one where dreams will not be mocked. It is a place where I have discovered my inner artist, my hidden poet, my passionate advocate, and my angry rebel.  It is a place where I have learned to recognize my strengths as a teacher, a mentor, a mother, an artist, and a friend. It is a place where I have discovered the parts of myself that need strengthening or changing; the darker parts that I do not love but I need to accept. It is a place where my dreams have begun to shift and reform so that I see more possibilities instead of only obstacles.

So now the question becomes, what do I want next? Where do I want this blog to go?

I’m not sure yet, but I do have a few goals:

  • I want to continue writing daily, but not just blog posts. I want to get back to writing stories or articles and working toward publication.
  • I would like to find a way for this circle of wonderful people to support each other in their publishing goals, a way that somehow bypasses the bureaucracy of traditional publishing and allows us to nurture each other toward success.
  • I want to continue to write about things like arts advocacy, arts in education, challenging social injustice, and creating a more peaceful world.
  • I want to continue to nurture the relationships I have started as well as develop new ones.
  • I want to find the balance between writing, reading, responding and growing as a writer
  • I want to do research on and perhaps start writing two projects that have called to me for a long time. One that reflects on women’s voices through some form of historical fiction or drama, as I discuss here. And one that shares stories of people who have fought through no guarantees to thrive and grow and create their dreams–a story which I’ve begun to explore in my other blog, Living Life Without Tenure

But, despite that list, I’m still struggling with focus. So I have some questions for you, my readers. I feel a little lost in confusion and would appreciate some help clarifying my focus.

Which posts or topics do you find the most interesting to read about on my site?

What do you think Woman Wielding Words is really about?

I Give You Permission . . .

I give you  permission . . .

to paint the sky green and the clouds purple and the ground blue.

to create something out of mud, water, pen and ink.

"The Long Walk Home" by Heather Henry

to write about love, or hate, life , or work.

to dance to your own inner rhythm or to the music blasting out of your stereo.

to pursue knowledge because you love to learn, and then throw that knowledge in the air to pursue something else.

to leave your house messy  as your follow other projects.

to live in the present with only a small thought to the future.

to celebrate your family and your life in every way possible.

to cry, yell, scream and moan, as long as you don’t hurt yourself.

to travel wherever your dreams take you.

Castle in Spain. Photo by Steve Kramer

to dip your hands in finger paints and brighten up your walls.

to write–posts and poems, stories and letters, thoughts and dreams–just be sure to use all your words.

to believe in leprechauns, fairies, unicorns, vampires, and ufos.

to take naps when you are tired.

to take a break when you need one.

I give you permission to believe in yourself  and pursue a life full of joy and happiness.

Who am I?

I am you.

Give yourself permission!

Creating Dreams in the Midst of Chaos

I am struggling a little today with who I am and what I want out of life. I mean, I’m surrounding by people pursuing their passions and following their dreams, but I feel like a supporting player. I guess that’s okay, but it can be frustrating at times when I know I can do so much more. I’m not saying I have to be the star, but sometimes I want to do something more. Yet, I’m surrounded by people and things that need me to just support them; Sarah, the dogs, Nathan, the CT, my family . . . and the list goes on. Where am I in all this?