Word Winding

attempting to spin cacophony into sanity

Archive for the tag “NaBloPoMo”


“As part of the healing process, please talk about how you processed the events of Ferguson.”

Yeah. Um.

No past tense here yet. Definitely still processing living in a world where this shit happens routinely.

Here’s my typical routine, though:

– learn of atrocious event
– turn inward, grapple with initial shock, find time as soon as possible to just feel this terrible sadness
– turn outward, devour and share whatever quality media comes my way
– feel overwhelmed and turn back in
– stumble across new info or insight and turn back out
– perhaps eventually work my way toward expression in words or music

… And repeat as long as necessary.



The American Plague

“… the rate of police killings of black Americans is nearly the same as the rate of lynchings in the early decades of the 20th century.”

There have been a number of insightful, outraged, brilliant articles written in Ferguson’s wake. But when I think back on all I have read recently, the quote above looms ominously out in front.

It is grotesque. Go back and read it again. It doesn’t say total murders of black Americans. Not by a long shot. Just those committed by officers of the peace. Are you horrified enough yet?

Getting there, you say?

Well, don’t get comfortable there just yet. Here’s how often those unfathomable deaths occur:

“About twice a week, or every three or four days.”

What. The. Fuck.

Here’s the article. Well worth reading.

Speak to me only with thine iPhone? Nope.

I have a blog. So obviously I love to write. And I am more at ease writing than speaking. It is not uncommon for me to fail to accurately convey all of what I wish to say to someone in the moment, in conversation, and as a result I will zap a message (perhaps bordering on a treatise) at them later, after the kids are asleep and my synapses regain the will to fire.

But the question my pal NaBloPoMo asks is not where I am cozy and warm and safe and able to edit ad nauseam.

No, the question is stated quite clearly: “How do you communicate best? Speaking or writing?”

The key word is communicate. So key I felt it should be both bold and italic. Huzzah. Communicate, meaning to share thoughts and ideas (thanks, Google).

People are lazy listeners every bit as much as they are lazy readers. And yet there are so many ways of communicating face to face that go beyond the words. Gestures. Tone. Tears and laughter. The impossibly vital role of silence.

Not only am I willing to hang my hat on my being a more effective communicator while speaking than while writing, but I am willing to bet a hefty percentage of beings in this world are, too.

Writing is a tool. A wonderful tool. And if you are trying to, say, schedule an appointment or give directions and are fortunate enough to have delightful but horrendously noisy children in the background, the written word is almost always superior to any attempts at verbal communication.

But every poem, every novel, every textbook and nature guide and blog post I have ever loved is ten times more informative, emotive, and simply more vivid when spoken.

That being said, if the question were simply, “How do you communicate best?” without the focus-narrowing second question, my answer would be prompt and as deeply true as true can be:




The Jaguar, the Worry-Bones, and Me

I am a no stone left unturned kind of person by nature. I do not prefer to leave well enough alone. I am insatiably curious. And if it weren’t for a streak of shyness and some manners, I would be rather irritating in my desire to talk things out all of the time in exhaustive detail.

That said, when mulling over the large (and perhaps unsolvable), there inevitably comes a point in which my words, rather than illuminating new landscapes, begin to orbit frustration, sculpting the dejected path of a penned jaguar.

Time to let the verbal approach quietly rest, then, yes. But the issue at hand, whatever it may be, will continue to leap out in inconvenient moments if I stop grappling with it altogether.

This is when I invite my persnickety problem to make a guest appearance in my garden during my nightly meditation circle.

I keep whatever is bothering me in the wings for a time while I settle my mind, open my heart, and work to connect the simple fact of me sitting there to the unfathomable depths of earth and sky, time and space, truth and mystery.

Once I’ve made a fair attempt at the above, sometimes I find my original concern has grown so small as to be no longer worth my time. Other times I explode with sudden insight, the kind that eats problems like mine for breakfast, leaving a trail of worry-bones in its wake. If that doesn’t happen, I may try to reach a more complete description of what is truly going on, or perhaps let my wild imagination take it on an adventure. And occasionally, for a really, really tough one, I just sit. I just sit there and hold it awhile, not trying to put it down, not trying to engage it, just feeling it deeply, with every ounce of my being, uncomfortable though that may be.


[NaBloPoMo’s question for today was, “Do you find it more helpful to talk things out or to let things quietly rest?” So I guess I’m going with, “yes.”]

September NaBloPoMo: Healing

To be perfectly honest, I usually don’t open the emails I get every month about NaBloPoMo. It’s a really cool idea, but I’m usually both too busy and too drawn toward writing my own unprompted things to give it more than a moment’s thought. But for whatever reason, I opened this month’s call for participation, and it immediately appealed to me.

The topic is “healing,” the writing prompts all speak to ideas I love exploring, and I have been craving a return to writing here since I have spent the past month or more turning more deeply inward than was readily bloggable.

The prompts are given for weekdays. I may take weekends off, I may not. We shall see. I’m not feeling terribly dogmatic about it. But consider this your heads up — brace yourselves, dear readers, for an onslaught of writing!

NaBloPoMo… Woo!


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