Saturday, March 6, 2010

Writing Myself Out of a Box

I don't want to write a process-y post.  I don't think that anyone will want to read it.  But nothing else will come out, so here it is.

When I started this blog, I was in conflict.  I think of myself as a writer, dammit.  But I'm also an herbalist.  I wanted felt like I should have an herbal blog on my business website,  But since it seemed to be stuck, I decided I'd just start a 'say anything' blog and see what came of it.

I didn't want to write-- exclusively-- about herbs.  I didn't want to be-- exclusively-- an herbalist.  I was afraid that somehow my artist self was going to be swallowed up by my herbalist self.  I'd started my journey into herbalism when I was pretty creatively blocked.

By the time I wrote my first post here I'd worked my way out of the block, largely thanks to years spent learning about medicinal plants, and through them deepening my relationship to nature and my body.

When you enter into a relationship with a plant, learning all about it firsthand by touch, smell, feel, taste, listening to the sound of its leaves in the wind, and listening to your intuition about its healing medicine-- it changes you.

When you gather its flowers or dig its roots and make herbal preparations that then cure your ailments-- your aches and pains, your grief, your scattered mind, your brokenness; it gives you strength.  Its incredibly empowering.  So then of course you can make your music, or dance like no one is watching or... write a play.  You can speak clearly.  You can step into your power instead of giving it away.   Having a relationship with the medicine plants is a portal into the sacredness of the earth and your own body.

Marsh mallow flower, wild harvested last July, Brooklyn, NY.

So, as you may be able to tell, I'm passionate about this stuff.  And what's been coming up for me lately is that... I have to share it.  More.  Its needed.  What's that line from T.S. Eliot?  'Hurry up now, its time.'

I love lots of things:  Poetry, dogs, dancing-- even dog dancing.  The theater has my heart.  But the sacredness of the earth... that is what I know.  That's the part of me that feels like a clear channel from sky to earth and back again. 

So I'm going to write more about that.  Not exclusively.  Oh no.  (Don't worry scared inner writer--I'm not boxing you in.) I think that I'm just ready to claim something.  Some knowing.  We'll see.

Feedback is good.  Are these topics-- deepening relationship to nature-- sacredness of body and the earth--- hands on herbal medicine-- of interest to you?  If you enjoy this blog, what would you like to read more about?


Stacia said...

Hi! I'm fairly new here, so FWIW I always enjoy reading things that are heartfelt no matter what its about. So my 2 cents--to write whatever you feel, what truly moves you. That's what this is for, right?

julie said...

Kate, I love this post. When you wrote that you' be changed by your clearly deep and loving relationship with the Earth, I could feel it in my body. Powerful. I want to know more. Blessings.

wholly jeanne said...

"But the sacredness of the earth... that is what I know. That's the part of me that feels like a clear channel from sky to earth and back again." then that's what you write about. for now. until something else begs for time on the digital page. i have all these interests, too, and some days i long to have one clear focus. one clearly definable word that encapsulates me, what i know, what i love, what i write about. but that's never gonna' happen - and even if it did, i'd be bored in less than a week, breaking my nails as i scratched my way out of that box into something else. i want to read whatever you have to say, and if you change the topic/thread every day just like you're changing clothes, i want to read that, too. i know precious little about herbs, and they don't energize me the way they obviously do you - but that doesn't mean i don't want to read about them here. it's kinda' like my continuing education, this reading about all the different things others are interested in.

Sara Grace said...

"don't worry scared inner writer, i'm not boxing you in"... i know EXACTLY who you're talking to with that and what you're talking about. so fussy, the inner writer! :-)

Tracy said...

I get thrilled by process--so thanks for writing this one anyway (despite it being "just" process). And I get double-thrilled by hearing about the sensory experience of what connects someone deeply to life and purpose.

ACey said...

actually the things you mentioned are very high on the list of "what gets me out of bed in the morning." I love to read all kinds of blogs - don't like to be boxed in as a reader any more I can handle that in the writerly sense. I love that I can come here and read about topics that interest me in ways that have been inter-woven through the mind and heart experiences of somebody else. This gives me a chance to look at the topics in some fresh light and, it seems, helps to be strengthen my own connection to herbalism, earth sacredness, and so forth.

I'm sorry you think process-writing won't interest others. I, personally, would always favor such posts over something that's quite obviously somebody's ego mugging for the camera (of presumed readers' attention).

Kate T.W. said...

Wow. These comments are all so generous. Thank you. You've given me a lot to think about. I almost deleted the 'I don't want to write about this' part, and then I didn't. I certainly didn't mean to cast aspersions on process writing in general. I love reading it, too.

Looking forward to checking out your blog, Stacia. Thanks for your sense ;-)

Thanks to all of you for the encouragement and for taking the time to write about what moves you as readers as well as writers.

Wholly Jeanne-- 'sometimes I long to have one clear focus'-- yes. And then that longing interferes with my creative process which seems to have a completely different idea... You are so right. My nails are pretty short already, but I'd be right behind you in that box!


Aidan Donnelley Rowley @ Ivy League Insecurities said...

I think you should write what you want. Whatever moves you. Your writing is both accessible and exquisite - a rare combination - and I for one will read anything you cook up. I don't know why it has taken me so long to make myself cozy here, but here I am. Look forward to reading everything you've got.

"You can step into your power instead of giving it away."

I love this. I believe this.

Sandi Longhurst said...

Love it - passion is contagious! You have such a gift to share for greater health and happiness in our world. I would love to hear more about your favorites (the drag queen post was great). Looking forward to more.

Kate T.W. said...

Thanks so much Aidan and Sandi.

I should read these comments whenever I'm feeling the least bit discouraged.