Posts filed under ‘Spirituality’

Nov 30 2016
1

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…

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Oct 30 2016
12

Is Creative Writing Your Destiny?

Is Creative Writing Your Destiny?

So many doubts assail the writer as she struggles to put fleeting thoughts into memorable words.  He’s tempted to give up, because it’s hard.  There’s little recognition and even less remuneration.  The question keeps coming back:  “Is this really what I’m supposed to be doing?” The great priest-scientist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin wrote beautifully about the process of becoming “something more.”  What he said about the Universe moving towards its Omega Point – its moment…

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Oct 21 2015
Comments Off on New poems, video poems, gift poems: Elizabeth Ayres and her collection in progress, Azimuth of God

New poems, video poems, gift poems: Elizabeth Ayres and her collection in progress, Azimuth of God

New poems, video poems, gift poems: Elizabeth Ayres and her collection in progress, Azimuth of God

Center founder and teacher Elizabeth Ayres has been working on a new collection of poetry called Azimuth of God: Poems of Absence and Presence, and has now created videos for nine of them. We learn from the opening of the videos that ‘Azimuth’ is a navigational term defining the position of a heavenly body with respect to the horizon. The poems in this series explore the intersection of spirit and matter, and some explore this…

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Sep 18 2015
1

Fundraiser: Center student Tara Hurlburt writes through genetic illness

Fundraiser: Center student Tara Hurlburt writes through genetic illness

Tara Hurlburt of Vernon, CT, was born with Cystic fibrosis and has long suffered stomach issues. A runner and triathlete, she powered through, “working, raising a child, traveling, running, competing, surfing, and doing anything adventurous while taking care of myself nutritionally and emotionally,” she said. Until she found herself vomiting 20 times a day and dealing with crippling pain associated with chronic pancreatitis. She had a feeding tube placed and, miraculously, continued to work. But…

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Aug 12 2015
1

The hard work of writing pays off for Center founder, teaching associate

The hard work of writing pays off for Center founder, teaching associate

Center founder Elizabeth Ayres and teaching associate Tawni Waters (Writing to Reclaim Your Sacred Self) have some exciting writing news to share. Ayres is working a new book of poetry called Azimuth of God: poems of absence and presence, and has several new poems featured at the blog On Being. In her introduction to the new work, Ayres speaks with moving candor about her struggle to find meaning, the “something more,” in her life, “searching for God in…

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Jul 10 2015
Comments Off on New poems by Elizabeth Ayres at Burlesque Press

New poems by Elizabeth Ayres at Burlesque Press

New poems by Elizabeth Ayres at Burlesque Press

Center founder Elizabeth Ayres is writing a new book of poetry called Azimuth of God: Poems of absence and presence.  Five poems from this manuscript-in-progress are currently featured on Burlesque Press: “Not By Bread Alone,” “Syzygy,” “The Heronry,” “The Reef,” and “Doula.” Here is an excerpt from “Not By Bread Alone”: The old oak wakes in the night      to a whispering wind. “There is something,” the murmuration begins, “something in us that lives,” the susurration…

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Feb 26 2015
Comments Off on On second childhoods and manifestos, in life and writing

On second childhoods and manifestos, in life and writing

On second childhoods and manifestos, in life and writing

This week, one of my students misread “inner wild” as “inner child” for an assignment, and on realizing her “mistake,” declared the two to be one and the same. Last week, Elizabeth forwarded me a wonderful blog post by writer J.F. Booth about reclaiming one’s second childhood. Booth’s post is a manifesto of sorts, a gleeful “Declaration of Acceptance” of her place in life—“I’ve made it to the second half of my sixth decade,” she…

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Dec 23 2014
Comments Off on Soulful writing prompts, prompted by Center retreat

Soulful writing prompts, prompted by Center retreat

Soulful writing prompts, prompted by Center retreat

This week’s guest blogger is Donnette Hill Walto. Donnette Hill Walto is a registered yoga instructor who’s been leading yoga classes worldwide for more than 15 years. She especially loves to guide women and girls as they discover connections between life on and off the yoga mat, empoweringing them to move into their futures with confidence and grace. Donnette is currently working on a novel which introduced itself to her accidentally many years ago, when she took Writing…

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Apr 18 2014
Comments Off on Finding God at the Tip of Your Pen: Preparing the Way

Finding God at the Tip of Your Pen: Preparing the Way

When I was ten years old I started writing my autobiography.  I wrote it from the point of view of an old woman looking back on her life.  She was a nun, this older woman, and she wanted to tell her readers the story of how she had become a Bride of Christ. I finished this autobiography a few months ago, at age 62.  It’s called Home After Exile: A Spiritual Odyssey, and at the…

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Feb 01 2013
Comments Off on Surprise: A Writer’s Gift to the World

Surprise: A Writer’s Gift to the World

Yesterday during my morning’s walk, I noticed a ditch along the side of the road, filled with rainwater and clotted with leaves. Dead leaves in a ditch, I thought, but then my brain registered something else:  a mighty fretwork of trees towering loftily above – or were they plunging down below? – into a sky where alabaster clouds drifted by, billowing underfoot, but no, that’s impossible, they must be drifting high above, but no, the…

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Jan 25 2013
Comments Off on A Writer’s Sacred Duty

A Writer’s Sacred Duty

One of the reasons I founded the Center for Creative Writing was to provide aspiring writers with an awareness of artistic endeavor as a sacred call, a holy vocation, a divine mission to a people starved for wisdom.  Recently I came across this quote in a book called Creativity: Where the Divine and the Human Meet by theologian Matthew Fox. All artists have to let go of the modern world’s silly and reductionist notions that…

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Dec 21 2012
Comments Off on What Are You Birthing?

What Are You Birthing?

What Are You Birthing?

Today, December 21st, marks the end of the Mayan calendar. Tomorrow, December 22nd, is Birth 2012, “an unstoppable global effort to create systemic changes in all sectors of society.” Writers can make their own unique contribution to the shift in consciousness.  As part of the world-wide birthday celebrations tomorrow, you can publicly declare your commitment to write something that moves us all “another step toward a peaceful and sustainable world.” Watch evolutionist Barbara Marx Hubbard…

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Dec 14 2012
Comments Off on The Writer You Are Becoming

The Writer You Are Becoming

The Writer You Are Becoming

The other day I was wandering around nearby Leonardtown, after my appointment at the dentist’s and before the bookstore opened.  In the yarn store there was this woman sitting in front of a loom, doing mysterious things with her hands and feet that transformed stiff, straight rows of brightly-colored thread into soft billows of patterned fabric.  The me that has always been a weaver said, “I’ve always wanted to learn how to weave,” and I…

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