The Real Work

From one of my favorite writers, this interesting perspective on the inevitable cruxes we face in our creative lives:

The Real Work
by Wendell Berry

It may be that when we no longer know what to do
we have come to our real work,

and that when we no longer know which way to go
we have come to our real journey.

The mind that is not baffled is not employed.

The impeded stream is the one that sings.

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Why We Write

I was fortunate to hear National Book Award winner Ta-Nehisis Coates speak at Oregon State University last night. He had many insightful, wise, and provocative things to say, especially about race in America. He also talked about writing: “I don’t write to convince anyone of anything; I write to express my humanity.” His work does just that, and he inspired me to do the same.img_3882

Write On

Although Thanksgiving is one of my favorite days of the year, I’m working particularly hard this go-around to cling to the sentiments it embodies, even after it’s passed. Despite all of the pain and hate in the world, there is much to be thankful for, especially the collective concern building to work for positive change. There are many ways to go about this: volunteering, donating, activism, education, etc. For me the best way is to write. As Nobel winner Toni Morrison put it: 

“This is precisely the time when artists go to work. There is no time for despair, no place for self-pity, no need for silence, no room for fear. We speak, we write, we do language. That is how civilizations heal.

“I know the world is bruised and bleeding, and though it is important not to ignore its pain, it is also critical to refuse to succumb to its malevolence. Like failure, chaos contains information that can lead to knowledge — even wisdom. Like art.”

Write on . . .

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Optimism

This is what I keep telling myself: Think long. Goodness will win out, even in those that are very hard to love. Naive? Clueless? Okay, but I’m going to stick with it. Otherwise, how do I get up in the morning?img_4107

Love Wins

43 years ago today, Debbie and I went on our first date. I was already smitten. It’s nice to think about love, and how strong it can be, in times when hate keeps bullying its way through the door.

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