Points of Light

Post date: May 03, 2018 1:37:1 AM

When was the last time you watched fireworks? That boom that makes your chest thump while the flash illuminates one side of everything below like a giant flashbulb. My favorite firework is the one that takes off with an audible “pfft” shooting invisibly into the night. Everybody looks up and waits. Then, from one central point, it explodes its beautiful self suddenly bursting and fanning out away from the center. Each point of light races until it can't anymore and each tired streak trails, down to form the branches of a shimmering weeping willow tree floating there in the sky.

That’s what mid-April and May feel like. There is the giant “puff” as we all go shooting out from the winter slow-down, our attention demanded in every direction. We keep it up as long as we can until eventually we sink and sail down onto the sand of some beach to let the waves just lap and cool us down. Despite the frantic energy of fireworks they are beautiful.

During the efforts to work toward providing a physical space and a supportive community for writers I have had the rare privilege of seeing so many points of light up close, six of which sat across from me in a director's seat in the WCAT studios to talk about the journey of their stories. Each writer is so unique and inspiring to me.

I am grateful for the opportunity to do so many different things at one time in my life. The last two weeks found me twice in the wonderful WCAT Studios with two talented writers both of whom work to help build community and truly embrace the idea of collaboration.

PJ Carmichael and Eileen Doyon inhabit quite different genres (PJ is a poet and Eileen writes and compiles personal non-fiction stories) and yet there are so many common themes between the two of them. Poems and personal stories both come from deep inside and the act of expression in either form can have such a healing effect on a person’s mind, body and soul.

I feel nothing but gratitude each time a writer volunteers to participate in The Journey of a Story series—a collaboration between The Room to Write and Wakefield Community Access Television. Tom, Barbara, Ryan, Ian and Adam exude a radiating warmth and a genuine interest in each writer who enters their studio. They help to create an atmosphere where each writer is able to talk so personally about their writing process and how their lives came to include writing so intentionally. Viewers benefit from each writer discussing important details and lessons they have learned about publishing in its variety of ways, how to market their book once it is published and the reality of earning money as a writer.

We have benefited from children's picture book writer, Carol Gordon Ekster; non-fiction essayist and psychologist, Ellen Holtzman; adult fiction novelist Sally Chetwynd and romance novelist, Satin Russell.

The written word will always serve such a powerful role in the lives of humans. How else, but through words, are we able to connect to others so genuinely and to truly process love and loss and life. There is no app for that—but there are words. Words are all the app we need to connect, to bring change and to heal.

The feeling you get when you are able to express yourself genuinely through art is like hearing that puff of air in the dark, seeing that light shining briefly as that shimmering image branches out and breathes its sigh of relief on its way back down to the earth. Energy needs to go somewhere. Choose a healthy way to let it out and let it go in all directions like a hundred points of light to create art and beauty along with a sense of deep satisfaction that often follows closely behind.