Thursday, April 26, 2018

Colors of Space

My intention this year was to work with space. Actually, my intention was just the word “space” - no "work with," no "feel more of," no "find more," etc. No direction at all, which is, after all, a bit antithetical to space - direction, that is.

The word arose naturally, intuitively, and would not go away, as my intention word for the year usually does. I was not surprised - I was in the middle of a  teacher training for what is called Maitri Space Awareness. MSA is a program that focuses on using colors and postures to help understand the natural energies that flow through all of us. These parallel the elements - air, earth, fire, wind - and also space. Space, in this case, referred to as Buddha*, is both an element (though not one we commonly think of in modern western society) and also the ground for all the other elements to arise from. Early on, I noticed how pure space, all by itself (symbolized by the color white in this tradition), is quite rare. It is usually colored with something - green, red, blue, yellow - eg one of the other families. And then, as I got closer to Space as an element itself and began to feel out its characteristics, I noticed there’s an uncanny closeness to Space and Whiteness. 

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Audience Versus Critic

"So, I've been thinking lately," a client who is starting her first novel said to me during an appointment the other day. "I need to start thinking about my audience - who they are, what they want to hear, what voice works."

I had just finished Jen Louden's newsletter on realizing her memoir doesn't work, after working on it for 100,000+ words. I understand - you can't just write the whole thing without thinking about audience. But thinking about audience too soon can really cut you off from the actual voice that is still finding its way out.

"Sounds good," I replied. "Any ideas?"

She went on to express that her mind had started offering feedback from a potential audience.
"Oh? What kind of feedback?" I asked.
"No one is going to want to read about this character if she x, y, or z's," she replied.
"Oh honey," I said to the client, "That is NOT thinking about your audience. THAT is your inner critic."

So how do we know the difference?