Category Archives: podcasts

focus on what you love

This has become my new affirmation, thanks to a flier I received in the mail from LensCrafters that has this line as their come-on (focus = get new glasses, get it?). So will I do it?

This morning I am off to a good start. Awoke at 6:00 a.m. and actually got up. Chanted as the sun came up, then meditated. Now I’m at a local coffeehouse before doing a few errands in my neighborhood. Tonight I go to the local Siddha Yoga Meditation Center for satsang.

This week the fall session of Women Writing for (a) Change began. It was good to be back in a class! Being in a small group each week with listeners for my writing pieces really helps with the discipline I need to write regularly. Following class, there was a Women Writing New Media Circle meeting. There are six of us now as we create, organize, host, and record podcasts. It’s always a good sign if there is laughter at a meeting. (We blame it partly on the chocolate)!

Fall is my favorite season. I am glad, and grateful, to be able to go outside when I want. Thirty years of full-time work inside a building took its toll. My dogs are happy they are getting more walks. I am happy I can watch the leaves turn colors, then go out and crunch them under my feet any time of day.

My time is opening up since I quit going to hatha yoga classes. Although I would try for three classes a week, usually I made it to two. Having two mornings open up is a goddess-send. I enjoyed the classes and like the teacher but . . . I now feel free, as a retiree should. I have been too quick to say yes to the Universe, I fear. Now I must prioritize — focus on what I love.

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Being Awake to Changes

Last week, the New Media Circle of Women Writing for (a) Change recorded our own podcast! We shared pieces we had written to the topic “Being Awake to Changes — in our life, at Women Writing for (a) Change, or the world.”

To hear this podcast, visit www.http://podcast.womenwriting.org/

These sort of assignments with deadlines force me to face the laptop screen. I began with an urge to look out the window where I witnessed a squirrel savoring the sweetness of a walnut. S/he had paused from gathering food for the winter to enjoy a taste, take a moment to savor. From the Old French savour, from Latin, saporem “taste, flavor,” savor is a word that transcends literal eating. As examples, I savor my time with this podcasting group and I savor the writing classes I take or teach with this organization that is “so much more than a writing school.”

Something about Fall makes me more reflective than usual. I look at how active my retired life is and have only myself to blame (or credit). Lately I have felt I must take a firm look at all my commitments and set some boundaries. An example: a new friend asking me to go see the film about Amelia Earhart. I didn’t have a time all week that would work. There is something wrong here! (And you might well remark that, if this is my biggest problem late October, my life is good! And you’d be right!)

So I swear I will take the lesson from the squirrel and make time to savor fall, my animal companions, friends, and life in the upcoming months. Perhaps there’s a lesson here for all my readers. Remember the squirrel!

a special hour with 2 young women & poem 97

I spent an hour this afternoon recording a girl and a teenager from summer camps at Women Writing for (a) Change. They were both very special. While the teenager wrote mostly about her parents, with anger and love, the middle school girl wrote more upbeat stuff. Both will be posted on the podcast page of http://www.womenwriting.org. What I came away with is the power of women’s words, regardless of our age. I was especially amazed that these two, so young, knew themselves as well as they did and confidently shared with the world.

poem

you two are braver than you know.
sure, it was scary to see that microphone at first
but you went flying above it, shooting stars that you are.

a podcast with Sylvia, along with Poem #32

I just finished listening to the podcast I hosted with Sylvia Meek, a fellow student in the Tuesday morning class of Women Writing for (a) Change. Sylvia is quite inspiring! She had a career as a speech pathologist; she and her husband Henry had adopted a little girl; and Sylvia is a polio survivor.

When the usual host, Mary Pierce Brosmer, was unavailable, my sister podcaster, Annette Januzzi Wick, suggested in a moment of inspiration that I give it a try. After all, Sylvia and I had a connection:  we had been in class together for several sessions and in the same small group twice in a row. I thought, why not? I’d been the interviewee in the past, why not try the other role?

What made it work was thinking of it as a conversation for it was — a conversation with Sylvia about how she’d found Women Writing for (a) Change, what her life had been about up to now, and a sharing of some of the pieces she had written. I was familiar with most of them so this helped. I tried not to let the microphones and the women recording in the corner of the room distract the two of us from the intimacy we were sharing.

Poem #32

how it feels to be free
sharing in a room filled with women
knowing our words will be heard around the world

http://podcast.womenwriting.org/2009/04/21/how-it-feels-to-be-free-with-sylvia-meek.aspx

spending the day creatively, Poem #27

I spent a working day over at The Writing Hall, as some of us at Women Writing for (a) Change call the school’s building in Silverton. I am a student in the Tuesday morning class, newly into Spring Quarter. The class is largely returning writers interspersed with a handful of new ones.

Today we made altars to share something of ourself. The problem? I forgot. All but C. and I dutifully brought objects meaningful to us to display in whatever corner of the room we could claim as our own. I assured C. (a fellow Aquarian, by the way/did that make us spacier?) that we likely had items with us that could quickly be made into an altar.

So it was. I took my mala, a book on the Divine Mother just given to me by Jenny as I walked into class, took out my library card and PetSmart card (to show I love reading and animals), and borrowed a few stones and a flower from the center cloth of our class circle. I wrote a note saying how I had forgotten about bringing items for my altar but would honor this practice of spontaneity that lay before me. It worked! We left notes, if we chose to, and I got positive feedback on my experiment.

After class, Jenny Stanton and I prepared for the podcast with Dawn, a sister student. We fired up the laptop, brought up Garage Band, plugged in microphones, tested them, and were ready for Mary Pierce Brosmer, founder of the organization, to interview Dawn Diebold about her writing, plus Dawn would read several of her pieces.

I, the one recording (more officially known as ‘technical producer’) have the privilege of a sneak preview of the podcast before it is posted online. Now that I’ve recorded half a dozen times (thanks to my mentor, Annette Januzzi Wick!), I can actually relax enough to enjoy the process — as well as the creativity involved. Yes! to spending my Tuesday doing what I love — creatively so.

Poem #27

creativity is not always words,
it can show itself in the untangling of microphone cords
and the tracking of sound waves on a computer screen.

http://www.womenwriting.org/PODCASTS.html

Remembering India / Poem #11

During meditation this morning, my mind wandered to India. It has been one year and a month since my trip to Varanasi (Banares). I guess it was the tamboura playing in the background that took me there.

Regrets: I wish I could have stayed longer. I wish I hadn’t missed a day being sick. I wish the tour group had all gotten along. I wish I had gone to Sarnath that last day. I wish we had all gone to see that temple with erotic carvings. I wish I could have said goodbye to Raj.

But the trip happened the way it did. I can bring it back any time; it is that real to me. Thus, the context for my three line poem for today, part of my spiritual & literary discipline to write a poem a day for 108 days [see poem #1 below for how it originated, my contact with Puerhan via Twitter].

Varanasi

In the land of Shiva, we visit Durga first.
Floating on the Ganges, we pass the cremation ghat.
Cow grazes calmly in front of the one McDonald’s.

* * * * * * * * * * *  To hear the podcast interview re my trip, go to the Women Writing for (a) Change website:  http://podcast.womenwriting.org/2008/08/12/phebe-2.aspx
08

India is now a part of me

I recently returned from a two week trip to India. Most of the time was spent in Varanasi (Banares), gliding in a boat along the Ganges River or visiting goddess temples.

I am writing up my trip before it fades away. Miraculously, however, India seems to have become a part of me. My stomach calls out for Indian food at least once weekly and I am enjoying listening to various kinds of Indian music. My memories of India are a big part of what I am currently writing about.

* * * * * * * * * * *  To hear the podcast interview re my trip, go to the Women Writing for (a) Change website:  http://podcast.womenwriting.org/2008/08/12/phebe-2.aspx