...And so she keeps diving down in, mining for word-pearls in all the hidden places, stringing together her favorite ones – the truth-tellers, the kind that bring us back to ourselves and each other to breathe new life into the hollow spaces inside and between us.
The "tree" of my professional life has many branches -- as author, speaker, guide, lyric writer, word-art designer and freelance writer across many fields and subject matters. You may view my professional history here, and below is an excerpt from an upcoming book entitled Writer-Seeker, which gives a glimpse into what's at the heart of all my work.
They called her a dreamer....
She was a stubborn, sassy, head-in-the-clouds kid with no common sense, never seeing what was right in front of her ‘cause she was always looking off in the distance. But life was growing her up fast – and as important things and people came and went, she was more and more drawn beyond the here-and-now to someday-when. She might’ve gotten lost along the way, except for books and words and a longing to know the truth of everything and everyone, including herself. The longing became her way in, and words her way out. The words told her about other kinds of lives that could be lived, and they showed her the sky of her own heart. And from there her dreams were born, giving her something pure and shining to reach up for.
Over time, her search for words to explore feelings and far-off things drew her to ever higher ground -- even beyond the moon and stars on strings. However, she also began to see in the people all around her the hurts and fears that were keeping so many dreams grounded and hopes dimmed. Some didn't like what she saw, and some would make fun of her or call her a know-it-all, even though all she really knew was that there was way more to know. For she saw that there was more than meets the eye in everyone – and often it was something hiding, even hurting, in the heart. And so, a great desire welled up in her to find magical words that would help to lift everyone into the dream-skies of their own hearts. She knew in herself that the right words could make a heart burst wide open. And then there would be all this light!
One day, she ventured so far in to seek something unwordable that she got lost for a time. And suddenly, there in the darkest most silent place she'd ever been, she found words that had light inside them – and they found her back. They showed her that no one is ever really lost, and that only love knows the whole truth about anyone or anything. And as she soared with the sparkle of that knowing, she wrote her way to and from everywhere till the words took on a life of their own and made pictures and meanings of themselves and went places in the world without her. They were shapeshifter-words – one minute flowing like water, then dark as the earth or light as feathers in a breeze, and sometimes musical, far-seeing, and even on fire! Different words, different thoughts and feelings for different people. But all of them love-words, so that even when they were so very personal, were so very true that others felt they were their words and their truths too. And eventually the words showed her that for all our differences on the outside we are much the same on the inside, in our heart of hearts. All of us wanting to love and be loved, and to have something special and true inside us that we can give away to the world and still keep.
And so she kept on like that as time took her where it would. When she was all the way grown up she realized that the very things she was once teased about and shamed for turned out to be the best things she had to give. She never did stop dreaming, and she's still more interested in UNcommon sense and what lies between and under that holds the truth of who we are and why we're here. And so she keeps diving down in, mining for word-pearls in all the hidden places, stringing together her favorite ones – the truth-tellers, the kind that bring us back to ourselves and each other to breathe new life into the hollow spaces inside and between us. Words that the ancient ones call way-showers, showing us a way through all the dusty memories and undone dreams that hold back pieces of us. Words that shine a light on the inside to make a way out for all those forgotten parts. The parts that hold the best of who we are and what really matters. And the courage to walk our own way. Because these are our gifts to the world.
Header photo and metal art "Way:" Stacie Florer | "Little T" photo: Family archives
Tree artist: David Reed | "Taking Flight" drawing: Jeannie Occhipinti
Looking Glass Falls in Pisgah Forest, Brevard, NC: Photo by Teri Barr
"Bear Mountain Bridge at Sunrise" (Hudson Valley in NY): David Jenkins (PrimelightPhotography)