Writing in Response to Our Times

 
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An Opportunity to Join Me in Port Townsend!

Writing in Response to Our Times
with Sarah Zale and Whidbey author, Gina Marie Mammano
Fridays, 1p.m. – 3 p.m.every other week (8 meeting times)
at The Writers’ Workshoppe located at 820 Water Street, Port Townsend, WA
Feb 10 & 24, March 10, 24, April 7 &21, May 5 & 19
Cost. $200.
Max. 10 participants.

Has the aftermath of the election affected you personally? Are you feeling the need to wrestle and rumble with your thoughts and emotions—as well as connect with others in reflective and transformative ways? In this writing workshop, you will explore your stories and feelings with two facilitators from eclectic backgrounds: poetry, Compassionate Listening ®, social justice theatre, meditation, and spiritual leadership. Participants will be invited to share their writing on a voluntary basis in a supportive environment; no experience is necessary. All writing styles welcome.

Sarah Zale teaches poetry and writing, social justice, and intercultural competence in Seattle. A certified facilitator of Compassionate Listening ® and facilitator of Theatre of the Oppressed and Playback, she brings the skills of deep listening and interactive theatre to her students. Sarah is a passionate believer in the power of poetry and the arts to transform and heal ourselves and the world. She has published two collections of poetry: The Art of Folding (2010), which was inspired by her travels to Israel and Palestine, and Sometimes You Do Things (2013, Aquarius Press, Living Detroit Series) which highlights the history of Detroit and celebrates its rebuilding.

Gina Marie Mammano: Inspired by the ancient spiritual practices of lectio divina and walking meditation, Gina’s book Camino Divina: Walking the Divine Way helps readers explore whole new worlds inside themselves. Gina is an award winning poet whose work has been published in journals and magazines such as the Dos Passos Review, Poetica, Pilgrimage Journal, Bearings, and Crucible. Her training as a spiritual director, work as a retreat leader, and experiences gleaned from the OpeniCng the Book of Nature program have allowed her the ability to create interactive and intuitive listening exercises both in the interior and exterior landscapes.

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A Welcome and Invitation to “Soul Souvenirs” Retreat!

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I come into the peace of wild things . . . .

And I feel above me the day-blind stars waiting with their light. For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

–         Wendell Berry

Welcome! We invite you to join us for a retreat amidst the glistening advent of a new year- and what better place to enter into it than near the rich red roads and yellow sandstone towers of Ghost Ranch, with beautiful Mount Pedernal purpling the background—all possibly glazed with sparkling New Mexico snow! The gathering is called “Soul Souvenirs: Walking the Divine Way in Winter’s New Light” and our focus is on renewal, the beauty of soulscape and landscape, and of course, rest and rejuvenation to prepare for the new year. Our time will include small group interactions, walking meditations based on the practice of Camino Divina, times of reflection, and explorations of our inner and outer landscapes within the beauty of Georgia O’Keefe’s luscious backdrop. Here’s the link for more information- would love to see you there!

Soul Souvenirs: Walking the Divine Way in Winter’s New Light – G17S112X

A Fresh Morning Perspective from a Friend

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I asked the whitebark pine

 

a question, and he said to me,

“aren’t you glad we don’t all talk?”

And in silence he spoke:

a million voices whining, droning in

each other’s ears like a carnival madhouse?

Each leaf, each tendril, each rooty spine spinning

sounds, yabba, yabba, yabba, yabba.

The quiet madness of the mosquito multiplied

more than a million times over?

Aren’t you glad some of us convey

by bark, by bearing, by Being?

Aren’t you glad some of us commune

in the quiet witness of Living?

 

and in Silence, I understood.

 

  • Gina Marie Mammano

A Rite of Passage of My Own

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I’m feeling the anticipation of crossing a midlife threshold. THE midlife threshold. I’m sure in my hopscotch days I imagined this birth year moment to be gilded with starched antique lace, and celebrated with hands that pass around ribbons of candy that stick together, petrified, at the bottom of a glass bowl. 50? That’s sooo old. I know  back then since I even considered 40 nigh to the grave, 50 was for sure beyond the pale.

But here I am. And glad of it! Really. I’ve anticipated this moment for years. Because it’s now time for my rite of passage. The threshold events that I’ve lovingly crafted for the adolescent and the young adult will finally be pivoted in my direction. I’m ready to metaphor and simile my soul into some turning-the-corner memories that hopefully will loving me launch me into elderhood. No, really, it’s a positive thing!

Won’t you come along with me?

3 New Ear Candy Episodes! Come along for the ride . . .

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I’d love to have you join me for my three new Ear Candy podcasts on Whidbey Air. It’s a sweet blend of music, poetry, and essay, curated by me, as your guide. It’s easy to access, and the links and descriptions are below.

Episode 1: Winter’s Cocktail: featuring the music of Fleet Foxes, Belle and Sebastian, Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash, Robin and Linda Williams, Vampire Weekend, and Leonard Cohen. Featuring poetry by Louis Jenkins and Mark Svenvold. Listen now:

>EC1 Debut Show – “Winter Cocktail”

Episode 2: Lost and Found: featuring the music of Josh Garrels, Ray Bonneville, Sufjan Stevens, Sixpence None the Richer, and The Pixies. Featuring poetry by Jeffrey Harrison and Gina Marie Mammano. Listen now:

>EC2 Lost and Found 

Episode 3: Hearty Stew: featuring the music of Aimee Mann and Michael Penn, Deb Talan, Gringo Star, Joni MItchell, and Andrew Austin. Featuring the poetry of Joyce Sutphen, William Shakespeare, Margaret Hasse, and Khalil Gibran. Listen now:

EC3 Hearty Stew

Thanks for supporting the show!

Ear Candy: a sweet piece of sound for your mind to suck on.

– Gina Marie Mammano

Maya Angelou Crosses the Threshold

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Ask Me Who Maya Angelou Is

 

and I’ll tell you.

She is the rich purple plum

in my throat that oozes voice

when silence seeks to silence me.

 

She is the gangly parts of my soul

that don’t quite fit into a room,

and shouldn’t, reminding me

that I am much bigger than I perceive.

 

She is the woman, parceled out

in pieces, all over the world’s hardwood

floors, then somehow strung back together

into a silk significance nobody could

have imagined.

 

She is the poetry of what one life can become.

 

– Gina Marie Mammano, in remembrance of Maya Angelou