Writing as Communing with the Page

I want the words to come easily, fluidly. I always want the words to come easily, fluidly. I want my thoughts to flow nicely and neatly, to coincide with my feelings in a symphony of expression and ideas, with a sense of understanding and nurturing development.

This has rarely been the case in my decades of experience with writing, or at least this is what I tell myself. Writing has felt like a sludging through thick mud on the way to a place I don’t even know if I want to get to.

But if I’m being really honest, writing has mostly been fluid and easy, nice and pleasant. This is why I’ve written so infrequently, so inconsistently — because I was waiting for writing to feel good.

What got lost in this waiting is the reality that I can find ease and pleasure in the midst of writing instead of waiting for it to strike me.

Much has been developing within me in relation to writing — understanding around what it means and how it works. This is in large part thanks to these women (thus far): Elizabeth Gilbert, Julia Cameron, and Natalie Goldberg (side note: if anyone has suggestions for women of color authors on writing, please share!).

I’m not far enough into Natalie Goldberg to know for sure, but I can speak confidently that Elizabeth Gilbert and Julia Cameron view writing as a spiritual practice.

And wow, how liberating, to view writing as something divinely inspired as opposed to an egoic pursuit. Trying to be a writer in the conventional sense has often been depressing, discouraging, and seemingly hopeless.

At one point in my life, I thought I wanted to be Ernest Hemingway. But then I learned he was kind of an asshole and (trigger warning), he killed himself. So, not exactly the ideal I want to work towards.

Even more relevant, I simply couldn’t work with this ego-driven perspective. I couldn’t feel sustainably inspired to write from a place of: my thoughts are important, are worthy of demanding attention. The “my” part made me cringe, made me turn off and turn inwards, away from sharing.

Part of this was insecurity and self-doubt, of course, but part of it was also a genuine and valid turning away from an overblown sense of self-importance. (I love the definition of humility as not making yourself too big or too small — it’s being right-sized. So, to be clear, I’m not against a healthy sense of self… nods off to AA for teaching me this one).

My writing feels important when it helps people. Everything else feels masturbatory, in service of me. Which isn’t to say I’m not here for journalling and solely personal writing — I’m saying if my goal is to impress people, to prove I’m smart and capable and articulate and can use big words, I’ve missed the point.

So, this new framework of writing really turns me on. It’s led to me writing every day, which I’ve only done rarely, in bursts, before it fizzles out. This perspective feels sustainable, and it also feels nurturing — writing has become a time for me to connect with Spirit, to listen deeply, to check my judgments at the door as I convene with the page.

I’ve also developed a deep gratitude for the page as a place of refuge.

The older I get, the more I realize my dad’s right that life is about relationships. And not just relationships with people, but relationships with everything, such as the page.

The page is kind to me. The page listens. The page doesn’t judge. The page is always here to receive me. And in turn, I do my best to honor the page and express gratitude and reverence for it. I mean, how lucky am I? That’s really how I feel at this point in my writing journey, which I’ve been on since I was a child (and am now 31).

Previously, the idea of being a writer felt like a goal forever out of grasp. These days, it feels like a calling, a given. It is the result of me showing up to the page and offering myself to it, and to Spirit, to be guided.

I mean, what a freaking relief, right?

reflections on being a capricorn & taking life too seriously

“Definitely. But Capricorns also take it so far as to make themselves utterly depressed. Capricorns require lighter-hearted people in their lives to lighten up and see more positives in the world and take things less seriously. Because although Capricorns tend to be more mature and “old soul”…where’s the fun in being a Negative Nancy all the time? I’d say Caps (as well as Scorpios) have a more likely tendency to bring tragedy into their lives by focusing and inflating the negatives in life. Capricorns need to learn to balance seriousness and silliness, otherwise they plummet.”

-reddit comment

also this: https://www.instagram.com/p/CnAdgsxvN2U/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

when i can begin with,

“it’s not my fault,”

i can find much more spaciousness

for what the other person is feeling…

~reflections on navigating conflict in relationship~

on holding space for the ways in which i disappoint others.

if i can make their emotional experience

something i don’t need to feel responsibility for,

i am able to show up more freely.

without malice, shame, regret.

but a full appreciation for each other’s humanity.

and the ways in which hurting each other

is an indication

that we are alive.

— thoughts prompted by a point made by ashe phoenix on the Dear Jessamyn podcast

what is it that you seek in the words of another?

what permission do you crave?

in what ways are you desperate to have your humanity named?

to be wild, free, alive.. these are the things you crave. these are the things you’re grasping for.

you crave poetry, because poetry attempts to name that which is out of reach.

you remember a time when you yourself were a poet

and what you mean by this is,

there was a bit there, weeks to a month

when you’d wake up before the sunrise

lay a blanket down

and reach poetry

until you felt the Spirit move you

to create your own.

now, those days feel long gone. and all you know, all you can remember is the grasping.

is winter always this hard? enchantment so inaccessible..

where can i find the poetry again?

to reawaken me to life.

feeling it out — “intuition saved my life”

i honestly have no idea what i’m doing with this blog, if anything. i’ve lost purpose, direction, intention.

it’s 6 months or so till i decide if i’ll renew. and why? does anything placed here feel so precious that i should pay for it to not be lost? i don’t think so.. but then again, i’m quite sentimental. so who knows.

for now, i’ll continue to follow what feels true, which is that i do not need to force whatever this is or isn’t. i don’t need to take so seriously the endeavor of starting something and therefore needing to keep it up. some things stick and some things don’t.

i feel exhausted by forcing life, by trying to solve life.

this life is a contraction and an expansion. it’s a breathing in and breathing out. i wonder if i’ll ever learn to not be in resistance? or maybe it’d be more apt to say that i hope i’m always practicing.

i get kind of resentful when people say that happiness is not something bought, that joy is something to be found in the now. as someone who grew up in scarcity, who understands (on a rudimentary level) what happens in your body when you experience trauma, it seems reductionist and often victim blaming to tell people they’re responsible for their happiness, no matter their circumstances.

but i remember that spiritual principles and material reality don’t always line up in a neat parallel. and there’s also science behind the idea that our brains create our reality. i guess my fear in making everyone’s well-being their business is that this is an extension of american individualism and an excuse to ignore everyone’s responsibility towards the collective.


it really is nice to have a place to muse. i don’t have many.. i feel self-conscious when i do it in conversation with others, because i feel like i’m “rambling.”

and doing it in my head doesn’t quite satisfy the processing that writing allows.


i got rejected from a writing publication recently. one of my partners suggested for me to submit since the editor is one of his besties.

i think the hard part is i didn’t really entertain rejection as even a possibility. so when it happened i was caught hella off guard.

and in messy ass me form, i took my embarrassment, my shame, my lack of worthiness out on my partner.. how unfortunate.

this process of learning is consistently messier than i’d like. and more than anything, i don’t want to be the person who takes my pain out on others. and so we practice.

speaking of practice,

i’ve been practicing meditation. 5 minutes at a time, which i feel wholly satisfied with at the moment.

when i first started meditating, i was sober, in AA, and determined to “fix” myself.

ready to jump from beginner to enlightened, i’d attempt meditating 20 to 30 minutes right off the bat.

and for me, this was way too much. or maybe it was more so that i just wasn’t aligned with my intention. i wasn’t doing it from a place of curiosity but perfectionism.

that was back in 2018.

since then, i’ve had multiple iterations of trying meditation, almost always from the perspective of trying to improve myself as a human.

this time around, i’m really just curious. the idea of a pause like that to explore, to feel into my self, to seek some sort of stillness that isn’t passivity per se.

it makes me think of working out, which is relatively new in my life as well. i heard Jessamyn Stanley say about working out that if it’s not fun, she’s not doing it.

i don’t have much interest in forcing myself to do anything. because when i do that, i grow to hate the thing.

i’ve been jogging in the morning (it’s winter in idaho, y’all), and i haven’t been doing it to improve myself but because it’s fun and energizes and empowers me.

i’m not meditating to master my mind but out of curiosity. i love exploration, and my internal being feels like an endless land to trek. (i also wanna learn to fear myself less — my fleeting thoughts, feelings sensations.)

alright y’all, i’m gonna wrap this up.

long story short: i have no idea what i’m doing, but i felt better by the end of this.

love y’all.

❤ ❤ ❤

tracking ideological lineage | an inventory

i spend so much time reading and consuming ideas that i’m curious about what this evolution looks like mapped out.

[note: many of this books i’ve only read part of
F = fiction]

Feb 2021 – Now (oldest to newest)

  • Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
  • Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado F
  • Untamed by Glennon Doyle
  • In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado
  • Quit Like a Woman by Holly Whitaker
  • The Age of Inequality by Jeremy Gantz
  • We Are Never Meeting in Real Life by Samantha Irby
  • Professional Troublemaker by Luvvie Ajayi Jones
  • Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay
  • The Art of Gathering by Priya Parker
  • Wow, No Thank You. by Samantha Irby
  • Women Who Run with the Wolves by Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes
  • The Body Is Not an Apology by Sonya Renee Taylor
  • Dune by Frank Herbert
  • If They Come for Us by Fatimah Asghar
  • I Would Leave Me If I Could. by Halsey
  • How to Do Nothing by Jenny Odell
  • Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur
  • The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin
  • When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron
  • Wintering by Katherine May
  • Hunger by Roxane Gay
  • Radical Compassion by Tara Brach
  • The Four Agreements by don Miguel Ruiz, Janet Mills
  • The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp
  • Taking the Arrow Out of the Heart by Alice Walker
  • My Grandmother’s Hands by Resmaa Menakem
  • Elements of Magic by Jane Meredith, Gede Parma, Starhawk
  • Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg
  • Trick Mirror by Jia Tolentino
  • Come as You Are by Emily Nagoski
  • The Highly Sensitive Person by Elaine Aron
  • Emergent Strategy by adrienne maree brown
  • The Choice by Edith Eva Eger
  • Self-Compassion by Dr. Kristin Neff
  • Daily Rituals & Daily Rituals: Women at Work by Mason Currey
  • The Art of Memoir by Mary Karr
  • The Creative Tarot by Jessa Crispin
  • Queer Sex by Juno Roche
  • Atomic Habits by James Clear
  • Polysecure by Jessica Fern
  • Drug Use for Grown-Ups by Dr. Carl L. Hart
  • The Rules Do Not Apply by Ariel Levy
  • Belonging by Toko-pa Turner
  • Becoming Dangerous – Katie West, Jasmine Elliott
  • Sex for One – Betty Dodson
  • Queering the Tarot – Cassandra Snow
  • Set Boundaries, Find Peace – Nedra Glover Tawwab
  • Yoke – Jessamyn Stanley
  • A Woman’s Guide to Cannabis – Nikki Furrer
  • The Artist’s Way Every Day – Julia Cameron
  • The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin F
  • Talking to Strangers – Malcolm Gladwell
  • The Year of Magical Thinking – Joan Didion
  • Body Work – Melissa Febos
  • Digital Minimalism – Cal Newport
  • The Guest List – Lucy Foley F
  • Atlas of the Heart – Brene Brown
  • Bittersweet – Susan Cain
  • The Ethical Slut – Janet W. Hardy, Dossie Easton
  • Finding Me – Viola Davis
  • The Witches are Coming – Lindy Weast
  • Art & Fear – David Bayles, Ted Orland
  • Not That Bad – Roxane Gay
  • The Smart Girl’s Guide to Polyamory – Dedeker Winston
  • Sacred Instructions – Sherri Mitchell
  • Shrill – Lindy West
  • In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens – Alice Walker
  • Tarot for Change – Jessica Dore
  • Who is Wellness for? – Fariha Roisin
  • Becoming Abolitionist – Derecka Purnell
  • This Here Flesh – Cole Arthur Riley
  • Paganism – River Higginbotham, Joy Higginbotham
  • Finding Your Own North Star – Martha Beck
  • Parable of the Sower – Octavia Butler F
  • Wild Mercy – Mirabai Starr
  • Generation Dread – Britt Wray
  • Make Noise – Eric Nuzum
  • Mother Hunger – Kelly McDaniel
  • The City We Became – N. K. Jemisin F
  • White Magic – Elissa Washuta
  • The Anthroprocene Reviewed – John Green
  • What We Owe the Future – William MacAskill
  • How to Heal Yourself When No One Else Can – Amy B. Scher
  • Queering Anarchism – Deric Shannon, J. Rogue, C. B. Daring, Abbey
  • Towards Collective Liberation – Chris Crass
  • Parable of the Talents – Octavia E. Butler F
  • The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers F
  • Becoming Wise – Krista Tippett
  • Hope in the Dark – Rebecca Solnit
  • American Detox – Kerri Kelly
  • Braiding Sweetgrass for Young Adults – Robin Wall Kimmerer
  • How to Change Everything – Naomi Klein
  • Never Enough – Judith Grisel
  • To Be Taught, If Fortunate – Becky Chambers F
  • The Left Hand of Darkness – Ursula Le Guin F