Living, and Writing, with Spirit

It’s 6:27am at this very moment and I have not added a word to my major writing project. I’ve been up since 5am browsing pages of web crap – who ‘won’ the GOP debate last night (I’m not a Republican btw, neither am I a Democrat); what’s wrong with Mariano Rivera, the Yankee closer; George Lopez joking that he’s going to buy crack now that his show’s been canceled (which I never watched – not once). Basically, I spent 90 minutes, roughly, wasting my nearsighted vision on things I really don’t care about because it’s much easier being distracted than staying on track.

Then, to redeem myself from internet purgatory, I opened up some blog sites of writers I want to emulate for different reasons, reasons that have to do with my desire to pursue writing full time, to finally take writing seriously and myself seriously as a writer. I bookmarked these writers’ sites (Thomas Moore, John Locke, Don Miguel Ruiz, Paulo Coelho, because my mentor, Hillary Rettig (, recommends that I have some models to help me shape my vision and work. Makes sense.

I look to these sites for insight, for things to relate to, for inspiration. And it works. That’s why I’m blogging at this moment, because from what and how they share I distill this message – if they can do it, so can I.

There’s nothing more inspiring than that, at least to me. When we share our foibles, our hopes, our stumbles, and our triumphs we take people along a journey whose spirit can be integrated into their own marrow and resulting narrative. That’s why people volunteer, isn’t it? (Except when you’re facing a year in jail for shoplifting and you’re suddenly struck by the blinding white vision of ending global hunger….it’s called plea bargaining). Volunteering is more than about folding wool blankets for homeless people or teaching prison inmates how to read or singing Christmas songs in nursing homes – more than the activity itself, it is the spirit that enlivens, that comforts, that heals.

The activity enables but it is the spirit that enlivens. Going through the motions, or activity without spirit, is like the difference between having sex and making love. Flesh, sweat, and motion vs. heart, flow, and emotion. Where the former creates moments, the latter creates memories; where the former involves the body and mind, the latter engages the heart and soul.

I think that’s why I want to write…..because, more than the writing itself, it’s about the spirit to spirit connection, the heart to heart bond that gives any meaning whatsoever to the activity. Like Adam in the Creation myth, it would not have been enough to mold some clay – life, spirit, had to be breathed into that clay if the activity was to have any meaning at all.

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