A Room of One's Own Take Two

There are so many reasons not to write. Harvey Weinstein. Food stamps. Constipation. Fear. But here is the truth, at the end of the day, you have a choice. You can pick up your pen, you can sit at your computer, and you can write.

Or you can just live your life.

It’s a win win. Living a life is a pretty wonderful thing, unless, of course, you feel you carry a story inside that you want or need to tell.

Then you better get to work. Make your space holy: honor your body, its needs. Listen to it. Live in it. Write down your life just because you can.

I'm So High. Goodbye, 2017.

I had a teacher in graduate school, Ehud Havazelet. I can tell you now that I took my camera to the pawn shop and sold it so I could buy pot for Ehud when he asked if I had any—I can tell you because Ehud is dead. I wasn’t a pot smoker, but I was flattered he asked me. As if. As if I could comfortably inhale without coughing. Maybe I could not write as well as Ehud’s beloved Flannery O’Conner, but I sure as hell could get him some weed. It was a nice camera that I sold for a hundred bucks. It was a 35 mm that meant something to me, but it meant more to me to get my teacher some pot.

Adopted People and Their Creative Brains

I could see my liminal living as negative, as something ungrounded and dangerous, or I could see that I live on the knife’s edge all the time between existing and not-existing, living in the moment between mother and no mother and surviving, over and over and over again, knowing that the world is not what it may seem, and so I can make things up and decide for myself how I want this one life to go.

Why Write

Am I a good eater? Am I a good breather? Is that the point? To survive I must eat. I must breathe. I believe the same is true for writing. I would love to write well. I would love to eat well, breathe well, but the fact of the matter is that life moves quickly and sometimes it’s not about how well you do something, but just that you do it. You do it with your heart in your mouth and you pray for beauty and clarity and understanding, but, always, always, you and your life and your writing are a work in progress. You just keep at it. It’s that you are doing it. That’s where the miracle lies. Not in the quality of the work, but in your dedication to the craft of being you.

How Coming Out of the Fog is Like Having A Stroke

I would estimate that coming out of the fog has cost me about $60,000. This accounts for the amount of time I spent grieving instead of working and the amount I spent in desperate measures trying to get pain relief (shopping, acupuncture, travel, food, moving to New York for three months to write a book, etc.). I’m not sure how much Jill Bolte Taylor’s stroke cost her. She didn’t mention that.

Leaning into Community

What I got out of listening to a company vice president and to two realtors was the importance of leaning in, not in the Cheryl Sanberg way, but in the physical, I really want to hear what you are saying way.

The Therapist and The Writer Walk Into a Bar

Being adopted is not for sissies, and most adoptees grow up with little or no guidance of any substantial use. Pam and I have spent our adult lives preparing to help others heal. It is what we do. It is what we love because it is so not one-sided. The healing is about community and relationship. It's about being there for each other. It's about showing up. It's about choosing life. 

Pam Cordano and I Write about the Price of Healing

Healing is being willing to set out into uncharted waters with a glimmer of faith that it will be worth it. That the Right People, a calmer nervous system, and sustainable joy are possible for all of us. If you’re stuck in pain and isolation, I hope you’ll gather your courage and begin. The world needs us.