The Writer Looks for Her Song

This weeks arrivals in the mail!

The highlight of the week was receiving  package of books that I had ordered on line, including my favourite poet, Maya Angelou!

I am busy reading them now.  The Murphy book, Pearl Verses the World, was just lovely~ so looking forward to meeting Sally on the 26th of August and asking her to sign it.

This week I put a notice up on my social media space, ‘Gone Writing’, and then disappeared to write and edit.  It ended up being more editing than new writing, but it was a productive week nevertheless.  I also contemplated singing more, and listened to lots of music, from Enya to Adele, whilst writing, .

I had put my novel away for a while and was ready to come back to it fresh, restructure and then move back into the book and finish that all important first draft. I knew that later in the week I would be at an editing workshop put on by SCWIBI.  I spend a lot of time at my computer so it is always precious to catch up with writing friends, both old and new.

This week I  spent time working with youth.  They always inspire me when they grow in confidence and engage with topics of peace and ending war with optimism.  I have been working with this group for a year and a half now and they are just going from strength to strength.

If I have a chance I will pop back into the blog to say a little about the inspiring Think Like an Editor workshop, where we covered topics like ‘writing from the heart’ and finding our unique ‘voice’,  and ‘writing for the joy of it to practice, with no pressure of publication’ to improve our writing, but this is a quick blog just to say, the less I blog for now, the more I can work hard on those all important writing projects.

Thanks everyone who is a blog follower!

Feel free to look back through old poems and stories, etc in this space. I might even do some reposts of favourite blogs.

June

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Leonie Tyle receiving thank you  gift from Sheryl Gwyther at Think Like an Editor

 

At Learn to Think Like an Editor Workshop with some other  writing participants Charmaine Clancy (organiser of the Rainforest Writing Retreat) and new friend Margaret. Saturday 12th August

Secrets to Living your Best Life

Thank you Maya Angelou
now gone to be universal ancestor
so glad you leave your words to guide
the people’s hearts away
from hate
to the very best they can be
to become empowered social participants
who see ancestors –
who were the rainbows in their clouds
who paved the way for the people
they would become.

They could not see who they would become
the music they would make
the poets they would foster
the roads they would build
the fields they would reap
the rise of their souls beyond –

the slavery that was theirs
and she says we need to name those
who were our origins
who were the rainbows
the foundation of who we would become
and listening to her wisdom
I name them:

she is Paisa in her village
racked with tuberculosis
and she sings of far off grandchild or bubu.
She never sees bubu when
bubu leaves Papua New Guinea’s shores.

He is a miner in England
struggling to make ends meet
I do not know his name
great grandfather striving –

so his children
can escape this life –

and in the future their worlds will join
and their descendants
will lead the world into

-oneness
where rainbow families dance into
the light.


(c) June Perkins

Those who Inspire Me

This Friday Morning I read some Maya Angelou.

I think about what it is to be human and how

to be the best human I can be.

Can we dare?  Can we dream?

And stretch, stretch, stretch!

 

 

How her thoughts spread, spread, spread!

I read them,  internalise them and think

about the rainbows she puts in the clouds.

and how I can be the rainbow in another’s clouds.

 

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Thoughts stretch, stretch, stretch

fingers unfurl

tap, tap, tap

and I dream, dream, dream!

Favourite Christmas Posts

Just sharing my favourite Christmas posts from facebook.

  1.  A reading of Dickens’ Christmas Carol by Neil Gaiman (begins about 12 minutes in, lovely introductory talk about treasures at a museum)

 

2.  Wishing all faiths peace.  I love this image representing many world religions.

Faith
From The Facebook site Faith

 

3. Literary Christmas Quotes from Writers Write – some interesting quotes from writers.

Here are just two, read the rest at the post.

What kind of Christmas present would Jesus ask Santa for? ~Salman Rushdie

Christmas is built upon a beautiful and intentional paradox; that the birth of the homeless should be celebrated in every home. ~G.K. Chesterton

 

4. Maya Angelou – a message from Maya’s family who keep her facebook alive.

“We clap hands and welcome the Peace of Christmas.
We beckon this good season to wait a while with us.
We, Baptist and Buddhist, Methodist and Muslim, say come.
Peace.
Come and fill us and our world with your majesty.
We, the Jew and the Jainist, the Catholic and the Confucian,
Implore you, to stay a while with us.
So we may learn by your shimmering light
How to look beyond complexion and see community.

It is Christmas time, a halting of hate time.”
-Maya Angelou from Amazing Peace
Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays! The Angelou Johnson Family

 

5.  ‘Abdu’l-Baha’s First Christmas by David Langness  A beautiful story of ‘Abdu’l-Baha’s first Christmas.

” Not until 1911, when Abdu’l-Baha initally traveled to the West, did he encounter a modern celebration of Christmas in its Western form. Released from forty years in prison for being a Baha’i, he came to England from the Middle East, and among his hectic schedule of speeches and meetings and public addresses, Abdu’l-Baha:

…witnessed a performance of “Eager Heart,” a Christmas mystery play at the Church House, Westminster, the first dramatic performance He had ever beheld, and which in its graphic depiction of the life and sufferings of Jesus Christ moved Him to tears. – Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, p. 284.

The drama, written by the English poet and playwright Alice Mary Buckton, who later received Abdu’l-Baha at her home in Byfleet Surrey, tells the tragic story of a woman who fervently prepares for the Christmas visit of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, but then vacillates when a homeless refugee family shows up at her door. Read the play in its original form.”

 

For celebration of the ‘glory’ and ‘to make a better world’

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Glory – (c) June Perkins

The realm of glory is not something I can depict in a realist photographic approach. It is something, unknowable, untouchable, and so my focus is more to the essence of the shape of things, the abstract.

“Verily His Call will draw thee nigh unto the realm of glory and will cause thee to extol His praise in such wise that every created thing will be enraptured, and to magnify His glory in such manner as to influence the entire creation. Truly thy Lord is the Protector, the Gracious, the All-Informed.”
-Baha’u’llah, Tablets of Baha’u’llah

This year I’ve joined the wonderful team of photographers over at nineteen months.  Each Baha’i Month, we post a photograph we’ve taken and quote that inspires us.

Check out some of the other inspiring contributions HERE

It’s a super busy time as I’m about to begin tutoring, doing an online course on crowd funding, half way through the first draft of my novel,  have a number of works I am editing and keen to begin writing, as well the usual family joys and challenges. My household has three teenagers all embarking on their dreams (one’s at university) and vision for future life. Sometimes I am not sure how I’m going to balance it all. Reflecting on a spiritual theme each month in this way helps to put it all into perspective.

Why create art?  Why write? Why live?  It all seems to be a process of finding balance and a spiritual centering.

So few writers make it in financial and ‘being known’ terms, but does that mean they should give up working on their craft, telling their stories, polishing, sharing and finding joy in that process?  Of course that was a rhetorical question.

Whilst it is true having a wide audience gives authors and artists a sense of validation, and being listened to, yet it is those who write for the way it allows them to connect with the glory in existence itself and build community that will never ever give it up.

This week I have been particularly inspired by Maya Angelou.  I find myself watching many videos where she tells stories and shares her thoughts.  This one truly sums up why I do art – ‘to satisfy my soul’ and ‘to make a better world.’

Wishing you all the best for your week of creativity, and a special thank you to the team of people mentoring and editing my work at the moment.  Your support means so much.

June Perkins