Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Say the secret word

For several weeks I have had a new and regular writing assignment. I get to write the introduction to the Stamp Your Heart Out newsletter. Here is their website where you can, if you wish, access the newsletter and sign up to receive it: http://www.stampyourheart.com/

SYHO is my home store. Located in Claremont, CA, a beautiful, historic town of many prestigious colleges, it is where I first taught stamping, several years before I had the opportunity to work as a stamp designer. The newsletter allows me, as does this blog, to practice what I love. When I began writing a blog, I remember having a vague notion of fame and sufficient income, based on what, I couldn't even guess. Last year I let time, too much time, pass between postings and as 2009 came to an end, I knew that being at least semi-steadfast about entries was essential; it was a soul assignment. I have no idea where such a commitment will take me, perhaps only to this page. In the moment, that feels sufficient for our voices have power. It may not be as important that the words find readers as it is that I write them. I don't believe I'm alone in my state of wandering in the dark. We pick up a clue and it moves us to the next spot - in a former life filled with sports car rallies the rules were the same, the game was played by having directions only to the next rally point. I once heard the path through life described as "doing the next indicated thing" and I have taken that as my only instruction.

But back to the newsletter. Store owner Joan Bunte invited me to create a paragraph a week, based on a word of my choosing which could connect with stamping, creativity and the enormous stock of inspiration her store provides through samples, demos and a very skilled staff. The joy of riffing on one word - I've never played an instrument, I can only guess - leaves everything wide open yet has to, as we hope, make sense in the context of paper crafts. It is a dream assignment and helps fuel my other writing.

Consider yourselves fortunate that Word of the Week was the topic singing to me this afternoon. The other choice was a soon-abandoned mishmash, almost as inconsistent and baffling as my attempts to learn knitting, in which I wanted to pull Holden Caulfield, Don Quixote, my own mental health and teenage emotions into a coherent essay. Can't imagine why it didn't come together. Perhaps, as with the knitting, my casting on either pinched or gapped. Certain times, we are wise to know our limitations.

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