#NewThisDay Writing From My Photo Stream
. . . You gave me blue and I gave you yellow.
Together we are simple green. You gave me
What you did not have, and I gave you
What I had to give—together, we made
Something greater from the difference.
Excerpt from “When Giving Is All We Have,” Alberto Rios
A walk is a walk, it’s worth taking, no matter where I am. This morning, I walk cement sidewalks from my hotel in Scottsdale. It’s early, but the sun is bright and hot. There is only a little bit of cars on the road. I am glad to be outdoors. I have woken very early, and it’s Sunday, and I have not yet written and sent out my weekly prompt to my Aim For Astonishing list, and so I get coffee and write in bed for an hour first. It’s a day of presenting a workshop, and then, transition, so I think about this on my walk. I take a lovely picture of a flower whose name I don’t know (but I look it up later and discover it’s the Red Mexican Bird of Paradise being visited by a bee. I think about my workshop, what I want attendees to take away. I want to create an experience, of writing, of beauty, of appreciation, and even healing. The workshop is “How Pictures Heal.” Strangely, I look down and see a pair of jeans in the middle of the sidewalk, as if someone slipped out of them last night and ran away. I like this about walking in cities: just the strangeness of lost objects that must have stories. Who lost their pants last night, and how and why? I think of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. Are these traveling pants? Soon, I happen across a toothbrush in the middle of the sidewalk. Who are these people who cannot keep track of their personal effects? I keep walking in the bright sun, looking for beautiful things, and I appreciate seeing all the unusual cacti and succulents and flora and fauna of desert habitat. It’s so bright out, growing brighter and brighter, and I would put my sunglasses back on except I have lost them. Must have dropped them while I was bending down and taking photos. I backtrack. No luck. Hmmmm. Someone will find them and wonder who lost them and why. I must go to the conference and present my workshop. And I do. And I like how it turns out. I create a dynamic writing experience from photos for healing with the participants who attend and trust their spontaneity and are willing to dive deep and take risks with movement and writing. And the time passes too quickly for all of us. The writing is so strong, so powerful, I am moved, and others as well. Before I leave the conference, I am able to introduce two women to each other whom I know can help each other. These are the kinds of reasons I know it’s important to be at certain conferences. Because quick meetings can have significant, long lasting results. Yesterday, a woman I had met two years ago at this conference told me how what I had said to her two years before had made a difference to her. I don’t remember what I said, but I’m glad I was there to say what she found meaningful, because she acted on it. I opened today’s workshop with the Alberto Rios poem, not just because he was the first Arizona poet laureate. But because his poem about giving says something so profound. Now, I am in bed, about to sleep tonight, not in Arizona, but in Albuquerque. I drove at sunset from the airport toward the home of dear, dear, beloved family friends, friends of my mother and father, friends I met in my childhood. Max shows me pictures of my father. They were soul mates. And I feel I am sleeping in home territory tonight. In the Land of Enchantment.