Today, I was unsettled. I walked to clear my head and focus on a new story idea. I didn’t know it was a “walking meditation” until my aunt arrived at my side. I could have been traipsing down the grassy path to the pond of my youth, or the woodsy trail to the Big Rocks, at the creek, near the cemetery. But today, she and I walked on my new island path.
The last time I saw my Aunt, was in Spring 2006 before she died. She posed for me on an old brick pillar of the home house foundation surrounded by daffodils. I snapped her photograph. This past Friday, daffodils unexpectedly arrived in my life. Maybe they are responsible for the walking event and this writing lesson gift
As a child, when you visited your relatives, they gave cakes or cookies. Not with Aunt Virginia, her offering was the written word.
The words, the poem of the day, were always captured on an onion-skin carbon copy. I wish I had kept every piece of paper she gave me. Now, I find the poems printed in one of her fifteen books. They don’t hold the same energy as when she pulled the paper out of her typewriter and placed it into my hands. I knew then, they were important, but I have come to understand their significance, now.
Virginia never knew me as a writer because that occurred years after her death. But after my walk today, I wondered if she knew it would happen. Had I been in her writing class all those years? Did she know back then what would take me years to own?
Write. You have something to say.
So today, from my “kick in the pants” meditation, here are five points from her life lesson and the poem she picked for me.
1- Never doubt yourself. You have something to say. Be brave and say it.
2- Every day arrives with a clean, writing slate along with new thoughts and ideas. Pull one down from the universal consciousness and play with it. It was meant for you.
3-Sex is a primal, dirty, pleasurable, and a personal thing that we all can experience. Show it to us, Dr. J.
4-Listen to a story idea with an open heart. Take note of the life connection and the characters’ experience. If it resonates, then you have tapped into a universal truth. Give the account of it.
5-Embody the story. Feel it in your flesh, hold it in your heart, and then give it the words to fly.
Today’s lesson was based on her poem, Literary Footnote found in Stones of Silence
An early Irish triad
Three cardinal sorrows.
To mock a poet,
To love a poet,
To be a poet
Invites constant storm,
For over a half a century
I yearned to be a poet.
I was wrong, wrong, wrong!
Finally I have learned
I only need
To be the poem.
~Virginia Love Long~