Creative Wordshops August 2018 Writing Letter

Creative Wordshops Oct 2018

Writing Letter

re-story, re-create and re-imagine your life and work
See ‘what’s on’ for upcoming wordshops, retreats and ongoing opportunities

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The trouble is not yet ….

Cowards die many times before their deaths; the valiant never taste of death but once.
(Shakespeare Julius Caesar)

In the Russian Fairy Tale, The Firebird and Princess
Vasilisa, Ivan the king’s archer, hunting on his horse in
the royal forest, comes across a firebird’s feather. The
Firebird’s majestic plumage flames like a bonfire. The
feathers still glow if plucked, and a single feather can
light a room. Ivan’s horse warns him not to touch the

The archer ignores the advice and takes it to
the king expecting praise and reward. The king,
presented with the feather, demands the entire firebird
or the death of the archer.

The archer weeps to his
horse who says ‘I told you so. Now the trouble is not
yet, the trouble is to come.’ This becomes a refrain in
the story. So begins the adventure to capture the
firebird and win the princess.

.In A Leg to Stand On Oliver Sacks encounters a bull while hiking alone high on a
Norwegian Mountain. Rushing down the slope to escape, he falls and ends up on a
ledge. His leg is severely damaged. ‘Time abstract, impersonal, chronological had no
relationship to my time which consisted solely of personal moments, life moments,
crucial moments.’

The book is a meditation on the inner nature of illness and health
and how we base our identity on our bodies. ‘To be full of strength and vigor one
moment and virtually helpless next … with all one’s powers and faculties one moment
and without them the next – such a change, such suddenness, is difficult to
comprehend, and the mind casts about for explanations.’

In the midst of the crisis Sacks
seeks to gather his resources:
A magic realm of timelessness had been inserted into time, an
intensity of newness and presentness, of the sort usually
devoured by past and future.

Suddenly, wonderfully, I found
myself exempted from the nagging pressures of past and future
and savoring the infinite gift of a complete and perfect now….I
found the abyss a horror, and recovery a wonder; and I have
since had a deeper sense of the horror and wonder which lurk
behind life and which are concealed, as it were, behind the
usual surface of health.

Ivan and Sacks’ experiences are what we could call before
and after moments. When in an instant we are thrown from
sureness into uncertainty, from joy into possible calamity. The
past and future split in an earthquake and we fall into the abyss. In such moments we
double our agony adding a disastrous outcome to the immediate mental, emotional
and physical pain.

Oct 2018 letter