Writing from the Soul

What I really want to write about is the marathon writing retreat that I attended over the weekend. Held at the breathtakingly lush Botanic Gardens, we authors, journalists, yogis, wanderers, healers-in-training and wanna-be writers, all voluntarily subjected ourselves to four hours’ worth of writing (yes, 4!) over the course of the day.

It was both terrifying and cathartic; fun and infuriating; inspiring and gratifying. It was a course in healing oneself from the inside out, from the depths of the unconscious. (Thank goodness for the wrap-around counter, which is where I spent most of my time writing on my feet!)

Words were flushed out from regions so remote from our daily lives (and frontal lobes) that it was impossible not to be taken aback by the purity of thought and feeling unleashed on each page.

Writer’s block, you claim? I say: take one whiff of Jane’s writing circles, dip in with heart and soul, and you’ll soon find yourself wondering how on earth you could ever stop writing? When in doubt, follow the proven formula: paper + prompt (a short phrase to get you started) + 10 minutes on the clock = write-a-thon.

Hats off to Jane, for shepherding the whole lot of us, bleary-eyed and spent, right through to the end.Some excerpts, unplugged, from my scribbles du jour (prompts, if and when part of the included excerpt, are underlined):

Buried under thick skin lie millions, trillions, perhaps gazillions of particles of finely chiseled, precisely cut mother of pearl. I see those particles because I swim amongst them. I wade through cellular structures, keeping my breath steady, gazing at each of the flecks as if each were a star, a pebble, an opening into your heart…Despite the gems speckling the way, illuminating the path ahead, I am so easily distracted by sights that call my name…

…if I don’t strap hope onto my sandals with each step I take, I will flounder, sink into quicksand, never to regain strength and vision…

Instead of going home, I am going to the moon… yes, for a month at least, maybe more, I will go to the moon. Because on the moon, the journey will be clear, the obstacles transparent. My neighbors will be craters; my guides, astronauts who have been there before…I will contemplate formations, the stars, the milky way and various planets. If I leap, it may take minutes to land; if I attempt a pirouette, I may circle around for hours. Gravity is my friend (but)…

… An amulet that saves your life requires no name, but all the same, I am indebted to Yu…

… place me in a petri dish coated with sunshine and I will grow like a spiral gone out of control, like a seed that seeks the sky…

When we laugh together is the title of the film that I will produce one day towards the end of my life. I do not yet know the whole story, cannot yet fill in the essential elements of the script. But it will be full of sadness and pathos, tragedy and pain. In other words, wholly reflective of life…


  1. Beautiful!! I love that prompt, “Instead of going home,…” Sounds like a great experience. Keep it up, so I can enjoy your experiences and reflections, please!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s