Portals in the World: Breakthrough Tip for the week of 1/8/2018

There are portals every where – within and without us. This 5-foot long Ponderosa limb has hung from these branches for at least five years – through 50 mph winds, through mountain blizzards, through flash flood monsoon rains. Sometimes I walk under it, reach up and push it so it will sway. I make myself stay put.
Writing hangs above me, above us. To walk under it and touch it can feel dangerous. To push on it even more so. We make ourselves be still with the Writing. We are tiny. Then, something happens.
And you, write us what happens when you imagine this experiment.
Be a Window (Lynette Shepphard on last week’s prompt.)
Windows and doors are portals to me. I’ve long been obsessed with passageways to alternate realities. I photograph them and search for a storyline to beckon me through.
Visual art is my first language. Learning the craft of writing feels like learning a second language. I begin with the language I know and then translate it in my mind. I “see” a character, a scene, a feeling first. Then I try to fit the words to it. Sometimes it loses something in the conversion. Other times, it opens onto a view so expansive and miraculous, I feel awe-stunned and humbled.
Who then is writing? Who is guiding the keyboard or pen? Why am I not able to open myself to this grace more easily?
I get bogged down in trying instead of allowing. I “work” instead of flow.
Each new year, I choose a word to guide me for the coming 365 days. My word for this year is delight. I hope to see with that transparent eyeball. I pray that I may open to the Great Mysterious. I want to focus on the joy of writing rather than the final story-poem-novel-essay-detritus that litters my desktop.
—Lynette Shepphard

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