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I’m one of those people who’s been interested in meditation for a long time. But I’ve been mostly interested from a distance–because I also find it really, really hard. I find it hard to hold a thought—or my breath—in my mind, to concentrate on that thought, or to try and work with it. I’m one […]

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Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination, calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting over and over announcing your place in the family of things. ——from The Wild Geese by Mary Oliver There are a large number of poems that could be offered as potentially […]

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The writing and healing prompts gathered here have been developed and gathered over the past 10 years or so, and are now numbered—beginning with the earliest prompts posted in 2006. In addition, I’ve started in 2016 posting twice daily writing prompts at Twitter. These prompts are different than the numbered ones below, and you can […]

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So many healing books! So much housekeeping to be done in the library. Meanwhile, here are links to a few of the books I’ve written about. The Cure by Andrea Barrett.  A short story, complete with a cure cottage, set in the Adirondacks. The Magic Land by Julie Moir Messervy.  A small and different kind of guidebook for […]

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WELCOME to One Year of Writing and Healing, a site designed to explore a myriad of connections between writing and healing—and to facilitate your own exploration. The site now has three primary doorways for exploration: Healing poetry Healing and writing ideas—what are sometimes called writing prompts A one-year guide to writing and healing, progressing month […]

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1A. House slide 640

The idea here is to begin the process of writing and healing—to ground the process of writing and healing—in a healing place. But you don’t need to live at the edge of a lake or at the foot of a mountain in order to do this. That’s the beauty of writing: you can begin by […]

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2A. Lake slide 640

The idea here is to begin the process of writing and healing—to ground the process of writing and healing—in a healing place. But you don’t need to live at the edge of a lake or at the foot of a mountain in order to do this. That’s the beauty of writing: you can begin by […]

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3A. carriage slide

One way to think about healing is to think about it as a story, with a beginning and rising conflict and plot twists and with things not always—or even often—going the way we expected, or hoped. But somehow, all the same, working to make a story of it—even perhaps a good story of it. A […]

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There’s a thread you follow. It goes among things that change.  But it doesn’t change. People wonder about what you are pursuing. You have to explain about the thread. But it is hard for others to see. While you hold it you can’t get lost. These lines are from “The Way It Is” by William […]

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This is a task I didn’t have in the original framework of One Year of Writing and Healing, but as I’ve been working on revision I’ve come to think it’s important—finding ways to grow the habit of writing and make it part of one’s practice. Thus, I’ve given this its own room—and not just one […]

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6A. kettle slide 640

This is a task I didn’t have in the original framework of One Year of Writing and Healing, but as I’ve been working on revision I’ve come to think it’s important—finding ways to grow the habit of writing and make it part of one’s practice. Thus, I’ve given this its own room—and not just one […]

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7A. body slide 640

As with the previous task, developing the habit of writing, listening for the voice(s) of the body is a relatively new task I’ve added to the framework of one year of writing and healing. At the core of this task is using a process of writing and imagery to listen more closely to the voice […]

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There’s a story by Anton Chekhov entitled, simply, “Grief”–also sometimes called “Misery”–which speaks beautifully, I think, to what grief may require–and to how the process of writing might contribute to the healing of grief. Not so much the erasure of grief. And not, certainly, the erasure of memories. But the healing of grief. I’ve included […]

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The title for this month springs from an essay, “The Good Part,” written by Dennis Covington and found in the anthology, The Healing Circle. Covington’s essay is such a good essay, funny and sharp. It asks and re-asks what I think are terribly relevant questions to writing and healing: What’s the good part? Have you […]

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10. mountain slide 640

The title for this month springs from an essay, “The Good Part,” written by Dennis Covington and found in the anthology, The Healing Circle. Covington’s essay is such a good essay, funny and sharp. It asks and re-asks what I think are terribly relevant questions to writing and healing: What’s the good part? Have you […]

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  If we’re going to engage in the process of healing for longer than a weekend—or longer than week—or a month—we’re going to need resources. There are so many possibilities here, and this too is a room I have intentions to expand. But meanwhile, here are some places to begin. Words as a resource for […]

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In the fall of 2010, for one week, I made a point of tracking searches to One Year of Writing and Healing recording some of these. During this particular week in early November, a little over 200 people visited the site. Someone in Hanoi got there by searching for the Yeats’s poem, “The Lake Isle […]

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Here are the first twelve lines: This being human is a guest house. Every morning a new arrival. A joy, a depression, a meanness, Some momentary awareness comes As an unexpected visitor. Welcome and entertain them all! Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows, Who violently sweep your house Empty of its furniture, Still, treat […]

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Here are the first twelve lines: This being human is a guest house. Every morning a new arrival. A joy, a depression, a meanness, Some momentary awareness comes As an unexpected visitor. Welcome and entertain them all! Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows, Who violently sweep your house Empty of its furniture, Still, treat […]

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blank slide

Here are the first twelve lines: This being human is a guest house. Every morning a new arrival. A joy, a depression, a meanness, Some momentary awareness comes As an unexpected visitor. Welcome and entertain them all! Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows, Who violently sweep your house Empty of its furniture, Still, treat […]

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blank slide

Here are the first twelve lines: This being human is a guest house. Every morning a new arrival. A joy, a depression, a meanness, Some momentary awareness comes As an unexpected visitor. Welcome and entertain them all! Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows, Who violently sweep your house Empty of its furniture, Still, treat […]

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