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memoir and healing

Writing and Healing: What a Poet and a Nature Writer Tell Us

by Matilda Butler on September 6, 2016

catnav-interviews-active-3Post #115 – Memoir Writing and Healing – Matilda Butler




memoir and healing

A Concert and a Poem

A few months ago, I attended a concert performed by the Corvallis-OSU Symphony Orchestra called The Final Frontier, which had an emphasis on how music and words both take us to the next frontier…not really a final frontier. The first half of the program included a John Williams’s Star Wars Medley, Alexander Courage and Jerry Goldsmith’s Star Trek Through the Years, John Williams’s Theme from E.T., etc.

An unusual piece was composed by the arranger and guest conductor, Rob Birdwell. The music was backdrop for storyteller Shelley Moon’s reading of Maya Angelou’s “A Brave and Startling Truth”. If you’ve never read that poem, here’s a link to it. The poem begins:

We, this people, on a small and lonely planet
Traveling through casual space
Past aloof stars, across the way of indifferent suns
To a destination where all signs tell us
It is possible and imperative that we learn
A brave and startling truth

I hope you will follow the link to Maya Angelou’s poem and it will give you a great deal to think about in terms of healing. It just may elevate your thinking to consider the larger issues surrounding your writing.

And I especially want to draw your attention to another quote in the program notes. As a writer, you may have heard of Barry Lopez, known as “the nation’s premier nature writer” as stated in the San Francisco Chronicle. In the past, I researched Lopez and read his work specifically because of his focus on the relationship between people and nature. Understanding his work helps a writer. The following quote reminds all of us of the value of stories for life and for healing.

The stories people tell have a way of taking care of them. If stories come to you, care for them. And learn to give them away where they are needed. Sometimes a person needs a story more than food to stay alive. That’s why we put these stories in each other’s memory. This is how people care for themselves. One day you will be good storytellers. Never forget these obligations. — Barry Lopez

Be sure that you write your stories to take care of yourself and to feed others.

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An Interview with Kathleen Pooler, Author of Ever Faithful to His Lead: My Journey Away from Emotional Abuse

by Pamela JaneMarch 22, 2016
An Interview with Kathleen Pooler, Author of Ever Faithful to His Lead:   My Journey Away from Emotional Abuse

Pamela Jane interviews Kathleen Pooler about her memoir, Ever Faithful to His Lead: My Journey Away from Emotional Abuse.

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Memoirist Sheila Collins Discusses Her Experiences

by Matilda ButlerSeptember 13, 2013
Memoirist Sheila Collins Discusses Her Experiences

Women’s Memoirs welcomes memoir author Sheila Collins who responds to questions about her new book.

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Memoir Author Madeline Sharples Returns with More Insights

by Matilda ButlerDecember 17, 2012
Memoir Author Madeline Sharples Returns with More Insights

Women’s Memoirs welcomes memoir author Madeline Sharples as she discusses the impact of her son’s bi-polar disease and suicide on her life, her marriage, and her family. Please join us.

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Memoir Writing Tip: Don’t Let Life Drown Out Your Message

by Kendra BonnettJune 2, 2012
Memoir Writing Tip: Don’t Let Life Drown Out Your Message

If a sad, terrifying or difficult story in your memoir is blocking your forward progress, it’s time to get some perspective that will help both you and your readers.

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Writing and Healing: Revelations of Research

by Pamela JaneMarch 4, 2012
Writing and Healing:  Revelations of Research

Join us for this month’s article by Pamela Jane Bell.

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Transcending Cultural Cliches: 5 Tips on Writing a Compelling Memoir

by Pamela JaneJanuary 8, 2012
Transcending Cultural Cliches:  5 Tips on Writing a Compelling Memoir

Pamela Jane Bell returns with a blog that is bound to make you sit up and take notice. Her insights should be posted by your writing space.

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