The Soundtrack of our Lives


What a privilege it is to be here at the Guild.  It has been nearly two weeks now, which is hard to believe… I have resettled into my studio space after a painting project, and I’m writing at my writing desk (whoever would have believed that I would have a desk purely devoted to writing… even if temporarily!?).  

I’m listening to instrumental music–film scores–and at times, allowing myself to move to the music; but mostly it serves as an aid for me to lean into the joy of creativity, the sense that there is a soundtrack–and more, a story–that is ever unfolding in my life and yours. Sometimes the music is palpable; other times, it recedes from my awareness. In either case, it is always present and available if I will have the ears to hear.

And that, that is what I feel I am here at the Guild to do: to slow down enough to pay attention to the life that is always moving, always inviting, always opening before me. Listening for the soundtrack of my life and joining in.

Day 11 (as an Artist-in-Residence

It is Day 11; I know because my girlfriend
tells me so. Sends me a poem a day via
“carrier pigeon” (aka email); the subject line
reads: Day 11.

I have my studio space back, though the
scent of paint remains.
I resettle, stacking books and notebooks,
placing cards and prints along the windowsill,
and then sit back for a moment, to survey
this workspace–

A desk in the quiet shelter of a glass studio
looking out onto pine-filled forest and snow-
covered cabins…in what world am I living?

My beloved companions: David Whyte,
Mary Oliver, John O’Donohue are joined
by newer acquaintances: Jean Vanier,
Anthony de Mello, and Pat Schneider.
Each of them inhabit this space with me,
invoking my imagination, intellect, emotion.

Eventually, I read the daily email.
At the end of today’s poem, The Holy Longing,
it reads:

“And so long as you have not experienced
this: to die and so to grow
you are only a troubled guest
on the dark earth.”

And I think to myself,
What future possibilities exist?
What am I willing to dream?
What will I allow myself to long for?

And, could it come to pass…?

Why yes, I think, yes.
Just as it already has–
I have died and so have grown.

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