Shawn L. Bird

Original poetry, commentary, and fiction. All copyrights reserved.

quote- colo-rectal theology September 20, 2013

Filed under: Quotations — Shawn L. Bird @ 6:36 am
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Most things are not…simple and pure, with so much focus given to each syllable of life as life sings itself.  But that kind of attention is the prize.  To be engrossed by something outside ourselves is a powerful antidote for the rational mind, the mind that so frequently has its head up its own ass–seeing things in such a narrow and darkly narcissistic way that is presents a colo-rectal theology, offering hope to no one.

~ Anne Lamott

Bird by Bird.  p. 102

It is a wonderful goal to see the good in things, to relish moments, to celebrate the daily joys, to dwell on the positive.  It’s not always easy.  Looking closely can also mean seeing more clearly, taking off our rose coloured spectacles and really looking at a situation, searching for a solution or an understanding.  Is micro or macro view the more rational one?  Does it depend on what you’re looking at?


quote- write anyway August 25, 2013

Filed under: Quotations,Writing — Shawn L. Bird @ 11:51 am
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Another quotation from Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird,

I tell my students that the odds of their getting published  and of it bringing them financial security, peace of mind, and even joy are probably not that great.  Ruin, hysteria, bad skin, unsightly tics, ugly financial problems, maybe; but to write anyway.  But I try to make sure they understand that writing and even getting good at it, and having books and stories and articles publishes, will not open the doors that most of them hope for.  It will not make them well.  It will not give them the feeling that the world has finally validated  their parking tickets, that they have in fact finally arrived.  My writer friends, and they are legion, do not go around beaming with quiet feelings of contentment.  Most of them go around with haunted, abused, surprised looks on their faces, like lab dogs on whom very personal deodorant sprays have been tested. (p. xxx)

lol.  This one rings true.  🙂  However, whenever I get a note from someone who has read and loved my novels or a compliment about my poetry, it feels quite marvelous!


quote- the act is the reward August 21, 2013

Filed under: Quotations,Writing — Shawn L. Bird @ 3:57 pm
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Anne Lamott, in the introduction to her book Bird by Bird says,

Writing has so much give, so much to teach, so many surprises.  That thing you had to force yourself to do–the actual act of writing–turns out to be the best part.  It’s like discovering that while you thought you need the tea ceremony for the caffeine, what you really needed was the tea ceremony.  The act of writing turns out to be its own reward.

What do you think about this idea?  I know that I see more clearly when I notice the light playing on the fields when I think about how I can best capture the moment in a poem.  I know that when I create a scene between characters, it feels like my imaginary friends are just telling me about their day.  I know that I see everything as a story or a poem, but I’m not sure that the act of sitting down and typing brings me anything beyond satisfaction.  It’s not stitching together heart break (though it has).  It’s not helping me make sense of a challenging situation (but it has).  I know a supreme satisfaction from enjoying the result, but it’s discovering that result that brings it. Hmm.

How about you?  Is the act of writing its own reward for you?  Why?


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