Sunday, October 14, 2018

The Walls Between Us

Beth Kephart and William Sulit at Juncture Workshops have put together an anthology called The Walls Between Us, an exploration of how we live with walls of all sorts. I'm happy to have an essay called "The Wall of Fear" in it. I wrote it by asking: Why do we have walls in the first place? What do we like about them? What do we expect of them, and do they do what we expect? What problems have they brought that we didn't foresee?

I've read essays for years, but my first attempts at writing them came off preachy and stiff. Recently I've begun to treat them more as an opportunity to explore questions, and especially to use my own reading habits as jumping-off places to new territory. I've been happy to see the personal-essay form flourishing, since as a reader I can't get enough of them. My reading has shifted to a heavy emphasis on memoirs and personal essays, but I'm still reading widely: novels, history, books on spirituality.

I've long thought of reading and writing as ways to bridge the distance between people. I hope that's still true.

Monday, October 1, 2018

October musings

Some random thoughts for the day: 

I got behind in moderating comments on this blog, but I'm caught up now. Thanks for your patience!

I noticed that many of my recent posts have been about not being perfect and not pursuing perfection. This was something I worked on a lot in my 20s and now that I'm a few years older, I'm still working on it. I suppose it will be a lifelong project.

I've had another short piece accepted to an upcoming anthology. More on that in the near future.

Many people like to spend more time outdoors in the coolness of autumn, but I find myself retreating, cocooning, as the days shorten. Yet I still manage to get in some hikes. 

Overall, I'm craving slowness, meditation, time for thought. I have pared my schedule way back and wish I could pare it back even more, but there is that necessity to earn a living. 

2018 has been a challenging year, but it's drawing to a close. I find that at this time of year, each month passes more quickly than the last, and December is typically a blur.

May you spend this autumn doing things you love and find meaningful.