“The main block to transformation is the thought that we shouldn’t be where we are, that we should already be further along in our growth than we perceive ourselves to be.” I’ve had this quote on my desk for decades. On this same scrap of paper that I cut unevenly long ago. I’ve never re-typed it onto a new page Or framed it. Or re-cut the paper so it’s even. I like it just the way it is. And every time I reread it the words say as much to me now as they did then.
Two weeks ago Studio West, Sherman Oaks was filled with the magic of Amy Ferris and all the fearless women who wrote their truth in Amy’s HerShops. Yesterday Studio West hosted the glorious yoginis and writers taking The Alchemy of Healing, a gentle yoga/writing workshop (with Ann Braden and me.) Ain’t life grand?! (More photos to come)
Perhaps the most beautiful tree I’ve ever seen…And it plays a role in my next novel!
Almost 8 years ago, this woman, Ibu Robin Lim, CNN Hero of the year, delivered our Jazz in a bathtub in Bali filled with frangipani flowers. If you take a look at this video she’s walking through the construction site of her new Yayasan Bumi Sehat clinic, where any woman can go for prenatal care and to safely deliver her baby. For free. Robin, who goes to the poorest, war-torn countries to help women safely give birth, is known as the Mother Teresa of babies. I will be visiting her and the half-done new clinic when I go to Bali. And I will be asking her in the next few days what supplies I can bring from here. I, Elizabeth Gilbert and many others have helped support Robin’s work and they welcome donations to finish the clinic. Please let me know if you’d like to help. With eternal gratitude for our Ibu (‘mother’ in Balinese) Robin Lim.
As I begin to write my next novel I find myself exquisitely sensitive to the merest hint of criticism when I talk about what I’m writing. I’ve done an about-face recently and decided to finish an unfinished novel I started in 2001. Yes, I put aside The Goldsmith’s Daughter. Again. The scope of that story daunted me. And I found I was not happy to be back in that world as I was writing it. The title of my next novel is mbird and I’ve secretly delighted in and loved this magical world for 15 years. I am blissfully happy when I disappear back into it. Giddy, actually. Yet I find myself plagued with self-doubt when I think about the viability of this book and the potential criticism I might face even as I mentor/cheerlead all my writing students to just keep writing. No matter what. The fearless honesty of the article below made me realize, once again, how sensitive we are as writers, so easily wounded when we’re in the early stages of a book. Thank you, Irene Allison, for your timely words. You just gave me a large drink of courage this morning. I’m putting this out there as a first step towards silencing that loud, dominant voice of self-doubt.
Here is a link to Irene Allison’s blog post.