Hello everyone! I am back after a very long break. Excited to be here and writing in my favourite spot inside the GDG! Pull up a chair, grab a drink, mine is a matcha green tea latte today, with just enough froth to create a heart I want to put to my lips while I savour the return to a familiar place. It’s a long post (would you expect any less from me! do read on, it’s been months since I have written like this, thank you)
Let’s start with recognising some achievements.
Linda is our point of contact person at the GDG, she will be highlighting the Baristas published achievements. A lot has been happening this week!
Also Christine’s selected poetry on Spillwords! too, Point Of Impact. More on Christine at the end of this long ramble so keep on reading!
Megha is our superstar, and she is soaring! The following periodicals have featured Megha’s writings in the month of July. In June, Megha’s poem, “My Victory Song” was the 1st Place winner at the NAMI NJ Dara Axelrod Expressive Arts 2018 Mental Health Poetry Contest. The prompt was “What’s your song?”We are so thrilled for you, Megha! Truly A victory song!
Linda Lee – is very excited to announce that one of her short stories, is in the following anthology! Behind Closed Doors: Best of Writers Assembled 2017 . You may purchase her e-book on Amazon. Amazing Linda, congratulations!
Being away from the café due to personal reasons I have missed the interactions and getting to know the writers who write here. Since my absence the café has grown from strength to strength and I feel grateful to be in the fellowship of really amazing writers. Overwhelmed even! I spent some time this week reading the writing and musings of a few Baristas and hope to get to read more next week.
Here are some of my favourites this week. Indulge with me!
I fell in love with Linda’s – “If I Should”, a beautiful poem recognising the inspirations to our writing. We should treasure those things or people who stir our souls to write with passion. Visit her blog Charmed Chaos and read her skill with different poetry formats like the Shadorma, Tanka and Haiku. And I was so enchanted by her spoken word pieces. Very clear and musical voice Linda! Linda’s words are very gentle on the heart and I found a place to rest for a moment and appreciate words that summoned peace.
Michael spent some time in the country and paused to listen to nature’s whispers, writing a reflective poem In the Waiting Dark, for us to stop and just be. No rushing, no distraction except for what the wind wants to tell us. I look forward to reading more of Michael’s connection with the beauty he sees in the world. I checked out Michael’s blog The Ink Owl (I do love that name!) and spent some time on his flash fiction, I was transported to a mystical kingdom of wolves and a battle between an eagle and Orion. Really captivating stories that took me back to nights reading under the sheets with a handheld torchlight. Goosebumps!
And Eric added much needed humour to my reading pleasure with his “Word Whoring” If he will allow me these descriptions: Eric it was so typically British wit and sarcasm, yet remaining polite and tactful, you had me grinning and thinking of “Black Adder”. An absolutely brilliant come back poem! Eric’s blog EDC Writing – Believing Sight Unseen, has a love story, a modern day romance and short lines of poetry, words of wisdom created by a very observant and inquiring mind. I enjoyed those EDC shorts and am keen to follow Sam and Erin’s love story. I felt like the fly on the wall!
The sky and its celestial bodies always inspire me and so reading Eugenia’s Nightfall Treats was indeed a most lovely treat, made me step outside and admire the equatorial sky, I was recently informed how different it is from the Northern Hemisphere’s sky. I was captivated by Eugenia’s heady poem. Eugenia has two blogs – BrewNSpew and ThusNSuch. I will be checking those out next week, see you then Eugenia!
“Come Sit with Me” is a place to meet and celebrate the Baristas and writers at GDG who make up this amazing community of writers. The Baristas who encourage and validate the writes who gather and write here, a place where your individuality is sacred and safe.
It is also a place where I share about the importance of being a writer. We have a duty to humanity to write about the things that matter to us and remove prejudices and fallacies. We have to tell our story.
This week let me leave you with two thoughts, one on energy and the other on telling a single story.
As a woman of science, working in Medical Radiation Physics, science is the logic that explains things to me when my heart has stopped reasoning. I share with you “Why you would want a Physicist to Speak at your funeral” written by NPR commentator Aaron Freeman,
You want a physicist to speak at your funeral. You want the physicist to talk to your grieving family about the conservation of energy, so they will understand that your energy has not died. You want the physicist to remind your sobbing mother about the first law of thermodynamics; that no energy gets created in the universe, and none is destroyed. You want your mother to know that all your energy, every vibration, every Btu of heat, every wave of every particle that was her beloved child remains with her in this world. You want the physicist to tell your weeping father that amid energies of the cosmos, you gave as good as you got.
And at one point you’d hope that the physicist would step down from the pulpit and walk to your broken hearted spouse there in the pew and tell him/her that all the photons that ever bounced off your face, all the particles whose paths were interrupted by your smile, by the touch of your hair, hundreds of trillions of particles, have raced off like children, their ways forever changed by you. And as your widow rocks in the arms of a loving family, may the physicist let him/her know that all the photons that bounced from you were gathered in the particle detectors that are her/his eyes, that those photons created within her/him constellations of electromagnetically charged neurons whose energy will go on forever.
And the physicist will remind the congregation of how much of all our energy is given off as heat. There may be a few fanning themselves with their programs as he says it. And he will tell them that the warmth that flowed through you in life is still here, still part of all that we are, even as we who mourn continue the heat of our own lives.
And you’ll want the physicist to explain to those who loved you that they need not have faith; indeed, they should not have faith. Let them know that they can measure, that scientists have measured precisely the conservation of energy and found it accurate, verifiable and consistent across space and time. You can hope your family will examine the evidence and satisfy themselves that the science is sound and that they’ll be comforted to know your energy’s still around. According to the law of the conservation of energy, not a bit of you is gone; you’re just less orderly.
We are this energy in the world, what we write is also energy, it never dies; it is never destroyed and lives on in the hearts and minds of those who read our words.
Let’s not remain in our comfort zone and write with the same lukewarm feelings and same tired and worn out themes, it is time to venture to new forms and new themes that might scare us and shake us up but ultimately create a change in the world. We all have pet subjects and causes we support, write about that this week, write in a new way that you have never done before, if you have only written rhyming poetry break away and write free verse, if you have always been comfortable with prose try poetry.
But write in a new way because there is a danger in telling and knowing only a single story. Listen to Chimamanda-Ngozi-Adichie, author of contemporary novels like Purple Hibiscus and Americanah.
She is an eloquent speaker and I share a short video on her thoughts about the danger of a single story. We have multiple stories but if we just keep telling or reading the one single story there is a danger to that “narrowmindedness”. Listen to the video and see the authenticity of her conviction and then make it yours.
I read her book “Purple Hibiscus” (my review here) and was very touched by the plight of the children who wanted to ask why but were denied. I also read “Frog” by Mo Yan (to be reviewed soon!) and his pen name translated from the Mandarin means “do not speak”. As a child he was forbidden to speak as his parents were afraid his words would be used against the family, living in Communist China, caution and fear ruled every step, every word. So when he grew up, he wrote and wanted his voice to be heard and his words sent out without fear. Would you do the same with yours too? We aren’t living under duress; let’s speak up for those who can’t. For the children who are marganalised, for the ones who don’t have a champion let us be that for them.
And with that I end with a tribute to an amazing woman and writer, an inspiration to many, she has just published a poetry book, writing about the composition of a woman, her life’s journey, but giving a voice to a generation of women who want to be heard above the chaos of life. Our very own Barista, Christine E Ray! Follow this link to get a copy.
A quote for you, something to think about why you should write……
The best moments in reading are when you come across something – a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things – that you’d thought special, particular to you. And here it is set down by someone you’ve never met, maybe even someone long dead. And it’s as is a hand has come out and taken yours. Alan Bennet – The History Boys
Will you challenge yourself this week? What will you write? What’s your story?
Hope & Light
“trust your heart if the seas catch fire” – e.e cummings