Apr 18 2017
1

Founder Elizabeth Ayres bids farewell to the Center for Creative Writing

Founder Elizabeth Ayres bids farewell to the Center for Creative Writing

In The Sound of Music, when Maria must choose between her life with the sisterhood and her life with the von Trapp family, her spiritual mother encourages her to follow the dream in her heart. “Climb every mountain,” the elder nun counsels, “Ford every stream.” For 27 years, I have poured all my love into the effort of encouraging aspiring writers to follow their dreams. Now it’s my turn to climb a mountain that’s beckoned…

Read More »
Dec 26 2016
Comments Off on Creativity Is A Way Of Life

Creativity Is A Way Of Life

Creativity is a way of life. It is deep within whatever it is that makes you who you are. It is an automatic process that can be monitored at random; and it is omnipresent and functions continuously. Every moment of every day stimulates the creative process whether those moments are exhilarating or mundane. Peaks of excitement in a lifetime should not have any different effect on creative activity than the lowest doldrums that you reach….

Read More »
Dec 01 2016
Comments Off on Creativity & Social Change (III)

Creativity & Social Change (III)

Creativity & Social Change (III)

In an effort to find models of strength in times of crisis, I have turned to Holocaust literature.  I’m now reading a memoir called And There Was Light by Jacques Lusseyran, a Frenchman who was blinded in a schoolyard accident when he was 7 years old yet went on to become a hero of the French Resistance during World War II.  Along with two thousand Resistance fighters he was sent to Buchenwald, and, after a…

Read More »
Dec 01 2016
Comments Off on Creativity & Social Change (II)

Creativity & Social Change (II)

Creativity & Social Change (II)

I’m still trying to get my head around what it means to be a creative artist at this moment in time. Aside from the obvious, I mean – aside from the specific content of what we might write, what does the creative act do for the writer?  For the world in which the writer lives? There are two quotes I’d like to share with you, because they have meant a great deal to me as…

Read More »
Dec 01 2016
Comments Off on Creativity & Social Change

Creativity & Social Change

Creativity & Social Change

The seismic shifts in our political landscape have led me to reflect more deeply on the nature of creativity as a force for social change. I sit at my desk every morning for three hours and every evening for another hour.  How can this solitary work contribute to the healing of the deep wounds apparent in our society? Let me borrow an image I came across in John Butler’s beautiful book, The Wonders of Spiritual…

Read More »
Nov 30 2016
2

A Writer’s “Four Noble Truths”

I was on a retreat recently, hosted by the Friends of Silence, which was founded by the writer Nan Merrill. Nan passed away a few years ago, and her legacy — the Friends of Silence newsletter — has been inherited by residents of the Rolling Ridge Retreat Center. As a tribute to Nan, Rolling Ridge has built a cabin to house her library, and in that library one can sit in Nan’s rocking chair, and…

Read More »
Nov 27 2016
Comments Off on Creativity and the Evolutionary Impulse

Creativity and the Evolutionary Impulse

Creativity and the Evolutionary Impulse

Since its emergence 13.7 billion years ago, the Universe has been a creative journey into ‘something more.’  From hydrogen and helium we get complex elements.  From a supernova explosion we get our sun and solar system.  From the alembic of Earth’s oceans we get one-celled organisms, worms, vertebrates, reptiles, mammals.  From seaweed we get ferns and oaks.  This is the evolutionary impulse, individuals sharing their characteristic energies in always-greater and more complex unions. The characteristic…

Read More »
Nov 23 2016
2

The Back Door Into Creativity

IN MEMORIAM Paul Schulkind 1955-2016. During the Great Depression, there were many “hobos” (today called “the homeless”) wandering across the country. They would often knock on the back door of a house to ask for food. One might say that it was there, rather than at the formal front door, that the ‘action’ happened, that truly meaningful interactions took place. The same can be true for your writing. Is what you want to write about…

Read More »
Nov 20 2016
4

Nature Inspires the Imagination

For most of my life, nature has fueled my imagination.  When I am stuck inside for too long, I get cranky.   In school I angled for the seat near the window, and 365 nights a year I sleep next to an open window.  When I cannot be outside, I bring the outside in:  jars of sand, bowls of rocks, winter twigs arranged in a pitcher. Therefore, it is no accident that when I write, the…

Read More »
Nov 14 2016
Comments Off on Creativity, Culture & Consciousness

Creativity, Culture & Consciousness

In response to the seismic shifts in our political landscape, Elizabeth invited the community of Center teachers to share inspirational writing. We’re trying to hold each other up so we can, in turn, hold all of you up. We want to make sure the Center remains committed to establishing for aspiring writers the conditions necessary for creativity to flourish. Now more than ever we need that, yes? This piece was written by Tawni Waters, who…

Read More »