Thinking through and writing about issues that rouse
One of the conversations I avoid but would like to be able to handle better is the one about salvation, whether or not I’ve accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. I have close relatives who claim to be saved and have made it their duty to save as many unsaved loved ones as possible so that we will spend eternity in the afterlife. I journaled about a conversation with a very close relative who asked about the state of my spiritual life as she drove me to the airport. I gave this entry the title “An Annoying Conversation.”
Published in Medium, October 13, 2019
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1/25/2020 0 Comments
Posted on Medium on October 5, 2019
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I had been reading Medium articles for a while - 3 articles at a time, which was what you got for free. At some point in 2019, I realized that I enjoyed this platform, and there were many more articles I wanted to read. $5 a month was not too much to pay to read interesting articles and become a member of this writing community. So many of the articles that come through my feed are on writing and how to make a living as a writer ON THIS PLATFORM. I decided to give it a try. The blogs I have written so far, have been rather light, as this first one. I have written 15 pieces on this platform since October 2, 2019 and I have made .21. I have not given up, but I have since realized that I get more reads on my personal werbsite. So I am giving it more attention now. But I haven't given up on Medium. I will try to do both from now on.
Here is my first piece:
And in case you are past your 3 article limit and am not a paying member, here's the text.
Gosh, What a year that was! It's hard to believe I haven't added a post to this blog since my last review of the year a year ago. I did add to my travel section, but not to this page. I recently did some reflection on whether or not to keep this website going, and wrote about it on my Medium page. The conclusion was - I will keep up the website and put more effort into it this year. But regarding my review of 2019: Here goes, in mostly chronological order:
Inspired by Austin Kleon, I thought I would do my list too, but don't think I can get to 100. I am thankful to my iphone and the times that I remember to take photos, which act as memory cues.
My "art" that I have spent decades doing, is playwriting. When I expressed to friends that I was struggling with a new play that I was writing, a question from one made me think. She asked something like, "If it doesn't flow, maybe it's not meant to be. Isn't it about the flow?" I guess there is this romanticized view of creativity and art, that those lucky enough to be gifted with it, can just go with the flow, and there you go.
I recently watched an interview with Deepak Chopra. The interviewer asked him for an exercise, and I don't even remember what the exercise was for specifically, but I wrote down the exercise. Since the exercise is the form of questions, this could be like Jeopardy. I'll figure out what the objective was, based on the questions.
He said ask these questions of yourself:
So because of what I know about Deepak Chopra (mind-body harmony, new age philosopher), I think this must be an exercise in grounding yourself so that you can be lifted up, empowered to live a rich, purposeful life. The questions are very compelling and easy enough.
Though I am many things, I affirm that I am a writer. I think that is my gift. My purpose is to use my gift to make the world a better place. The core example for me is my play Pulani and how that created experiences of collaboration, camaraderie, inspiration, and empowerment. I also know that when I wrote letters to the editor about education, people were always grateful for my ability to communicate the issues.
When I think about the things I "think" I want and don't have, I realize the the Universe's (God's) will is stronger than mine, that I need to see and appreciate what I have been given. I am not compelled to be goal-oriented. I am more inclined to let my passions and the circumstances of my life in the here and now, speak to me.
Tapping into that, drinking it like water, I live my days, and that takes me to the next, and the next. This is a lot, this is a blessing. This is what I am grateful for, that I have a life in which I can do this.
I was going to write something philosophical about creativity today, but got hit hard by the sadness of yet another mass school shooting, in Florida this time. I read the news stories, watched the videos, saw the memes, shared a lot. And it is hard not to be cynical, not to feel like there's nothing we can do about it. Because we've been here before. I thought that Sandy Hook would be a definite turning point. And it wasn't. Could this be? Do I dare hope that at the very least some good will come of it? That the consciences of the powers-that-be will be provoked and they will finally do something? That at least they will put laws in place to prevent mentally ill persons from getting guns? Ban AR-15s?
Diane Aoki is a writer who explores other modes of creativity as her intuition leads her.