the .moon's. quiet. daughter


h.o.m.e ............s.a.r.a.h...e.l.w.e.l.l ............ e.l.s.e.w.h.e.r.e .............s.e.e.d.s...&...s.t.a.r.s ............d r e a m i n g...t.a.l.e.s





May 13, 2017

the wild songs of women





- John Berger


It is my goal to write stories that have the character of a poem. I think it can be done; I think the reason Mr Berger thinks it can't is because we have all decided what a story should be - a procession of angles, a journey, a certain number of acts. What if we listened instead to the way the women tell their private stories about life? The digging in and drawing out and coming about. It is poetry, it is a wild song with all the voices of light and shadow, dirt and dreaming, intertwined.

For that matter, what if we listened to the stories of the sparrow, the willow tree, the river? Each have their own cadence and understanding about how life and change happen. When I have trouble writing, I remember (sometimes very late) to go sit awhile with the woods and the small birds, and hear all the ways they have for saying. It's not that I want to write with their voices, but that they teach me in all their honesty to write with my own. Not a man's voice. Not a battlesong. Simply mine, grown from my own earth-coloured silence.



recommended : music by angus and julia stone


10 comments:

  1. To write from the heart, a woman's heart, with our unique form of thought.. fills the needs, hopes and dreams.
    Your writings do just that. ♥

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  2. i so agree...when i read the above, even though i am more a poet than any other kind of writer, it didn't ring quite true: i do not believe that every story is a sort of battle, as he says. and although i don't think that there is any reason why men couldn't write/tell stories in a poetic way, i do think that, as you point out, the kind of story-telling that women often do together is an example of that! and i agree that stories that come from a non-hierarchical observing of and participating in the natural world are not battle songs either, necessarily.

    tales of simple existence. tales of peace.

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    1. As I wrote to Sue below, I have been thinking a lot lately about how to write a story that is not a sort of battle, either relationship wise or inner self wise. It isn't all that easy, especially for one raised on fantasy literature! The other thing I've been contemplating is how a womanly perspective of some traditional masculine stories might look.

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  3. I am quite tired of battles and constant tension. Perhaps the reason so many people in our culture are medicated or self medicating is due to the constant stream of anxiety that flows from our storytelling across every medium today. (One could argue it has even crept into poetry in it's new form of performance ranting.) Eudora Welty wrote a short story called "A Worn Path" about a woman out walking. The story is memorable because nothing of import seems to be happening in it, yet the woman's purpose for walking becomes clear in the end. It turns out that this is a journey she makes frequently for the sake of love for her grandson. As I recall it now, I didn't much care for the story when I read it. I found it boring, to be honest. But--and I think this is important--I remember that story. I can't say that's true for most stories I read or watch or listen to.

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    1. You make such a good point about the constant stream of anxiety. Even the comedies we have are fraught with tension. And yet, when I have with me my Anne of Gables book, so many people tell me how much they love me, how it is their favourite book ... but once the initial tension is gone from the story, it is generally a peaceful charming tale.

      I noticed yesterday how grim, melancholy, tense, my own stories tend to be. At least, the ones I have been considering writing lately. I start ... and then feel weighed down ... and I wonder if it's because of the cold sad feeling of the plot. I tend to think my writing style = melancholy. And the effort to write something cheerful seems kind of radical to me. (I have even been contemplating writing a futuristic utopia to counter all those bleak visions of the future we have in literature these days, but the mental conditioning that we must have conflict for a story is strong.)

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  4. I have faith in you to write in a way that makes your heart sing.

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  5. I love poetry because it is all about emotions.

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  6. Hi Sarah, I HAD to send you this...
    'With poetry and writing, the question isn't, "Do you know the right words?". The real question is, "Can you make words from the unwordable, chisel blocks of raw silence into shapes, and touch our souls?"' (Blessed Are the Weird, Jacob Nordby, p. 21). Am loving this book!!

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