Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Who We Are Now

In preparation for another Karuna Training weekend, and also while preparing for my Mindful Memoir course on Shambhala Online, I found this passage in The Sanity We Are Born With, A Buddhist Approach to Psychology (collected writings/talks by Chogyam Trungpa).

This is exactly what makes memoir so compelling. We write it from now, as it is a part of our now. If we see it as going back into the past, we dissociate from now and lose ourselves in it. 

If we write the past as a part of now,  we can capture a perspective that helps the reader - and us - get the space needed for compassion and understanding.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Learning to Teach Memoir

As a person who teaches memoir, people often think (wish?) I had a higher degree in English,  Literature or Creative Writing. I have had many feelings of inadequacy about my Bachelors in Anthropology and French. But mostly, I have found that my students trust me more based on my energy and the way I hold the space for them rather than on my "qualifications", especially since the focus in my classes is less on writing as product and more as process.

Lately, in the last year or so, I've been stretching my wings more and more in helping students with latter stages of the process, working towards creating product. I've had to plow through much fear about inadequacy and how much can I charge for something I am just starting to do now, etc, etc. But what I find in going further with students' writing - editing, critiquing, guiding larger projects towards finishing - is that I learn as I go along and so do they. Even better, we teach each other.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Dreaming and Memoir

Recently, I had a version of a dream about my parents. In the dream my parents were alive. 
I have had many dreams over the years in which my parents (now deceased for decades) are alive. 
What was unusual in this dream is that we were having a conversation about the fact that neither of them died. It was all a misunderstanding. In the dream I was, like I am in real life now, working on a memoir. I was, as I am, writing about their deaths. 
However, there they were, alive in front of me. That's a bit of a problem, plot-wise.