Monthly Archives: December 2016

Heart of Darfur by Lisa French Blaker

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heart-of-darfur

When days are good in Darfur you relish every one. You never know–it may be your last.

An African mother doesn’t grieve less because she does it often. I’ve heard people say, ‘It’s different there,’ when they hear of death and dying in Africa. They say, ‘Those people are used to death and for them it’s natural.’ Stand listening to a crying mother as she holds her dead child in her arms and tell me if you really believe that. They cry and grieve and ache inside and the aching never goes. The difference is they have no choice without the care we take for granted. Their children die and they can only watch. So they lift the body, tie it to their backs with a colourful sheet and carry another baby home to bury in the sand.

Wild Mind by Natalie Goldberg

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wild-mind

What writing practice, like Zen practice, does is bring you back to the natural state of mind, the wilderness of your mind where there are no refined rows of gladiolas. The mind is raw, full of energy, alive and hungry. It does not think in the way we were brought up to think—well-mannered, congenial.

A book about writing isn’t enough. Being a writer is a whole way of life, a way of seeing, thinking, being. It’s the passing on of a lineage. Writers hand on what they know.

The old essentials are still necessary. Stay with them under all circumstances. It will make you stable—something unusual for a writer.