I began a new writing class last week. I was able to present my work this week. I am grateful that writing classes are beginning to meet in person again. I am grateful that my teacher has a really good command of the class, and is able to get the material across well. I am grateful that the teacher liked my first homework assignment. I am grateful that my class and teacher liked the first work that I presented for class. I am grateful that I like the piece that I’m working on now and I’m grateful that I really look forward to working on it. (on a funny aside, I had crafted a chapter the other morning, and while I was waiting for a friend to join me for lunch, I thought of something I should add, and as my friend approached the table I asked her to let me just finish the sentence I was editing on my phone. I am consumed in a good way)

My prompt for the week is JOURNEY. Here’s how it appeared in the books that I’m reading:

  1. If every pair of shoes tells a story, imagine the journeys had by an entire closetful. Jane L. Rosen
  2. The journey home was long, with another extended wait due to a problem on the line and not a sandwich to be had anywhere. AJ Pearce
  3. As Jarret’s fear of the unfamiliar eased, he’d come to enjoy the journey– the river’s changing vistas by day; the view at night, of other steamboats, passing by like cliffs of radiance. Geraldine Brooks
  4. You were a stranger along my journey who has become family. Javier Zamora
  5. Evening pages record the day’s journey as hit or miss. Julia Cameron
  6. Add the experience of a new place to your journey today. Pedram Shojai
  7. Odysseus’s 10-year journey home and all of the tales of adventure that came after it are, as they say, not about the destination. Jane Mount
  8. Ah, you say, but writing will be a journey of personal discovery…therapy, if you like. Graeme Simsion
  9. Bad days aren’t the end of the world- they’re the beginning of an inward journey, gateways to a stronger, more balanced, braver version of yourself. Eveline Helmink
  10. If you commute the same way every day, you don’t notice anything. In fact, a few minutes after arriving, you have absolutely no recollection of the journey at all. Rob Walker

How I’m going to think about JOURNEY:

  1. In a memoir about going from Central America to the United States, the word journey was never used in the prose of the book, only in the acknowledgements. Wasn’t that a journey? Why did the author choose not to use that word?
  2. Do we live like the journey is the most important thing?
  3. Does every work of fiction need to have a hero’s journey?
  4. How often do we enjoy the journey?
  5. Do we fail to appreciate the journey until it’s too late?

The Journey
Mary Oliver

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice—
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do—
determined to save
the only life you could save.


30 thoughts on “Gratitude and Mindfulness: 10/22/22

  1. A lovely blog to wake up to. Ah the word journey. That’s a powerful word indeed. And one I use frequently these days. If I think of the definition of what that represents..
    the version of the word I am using these days it’s “ a passage from one stage to another”. But in the past I’ve always thought of journey as a the road traveled, however, at this point in life for me what I think of is life’s explorations, adventures, or what is my next task to endure. You see in less than two weeks I go in for yet another surgery in what I call my cancer journey. I’ve chosen to think of my disease as the current journey on my life’s path. It helps me define something I can’t control and turns it into an itinerary or an odyssey. That way my battle becomes an adventure of sorts. A Day to day learning experience rather than the road to the end of my life. We ALL travel on a our own life’s journey. Right now mine is more challenging than I want it to be. But it’s my journey alone to take. And Ive chosen to make it as good a trip as possible.

    I am happy to hear you are in a writing class. Please share some of your experiences. I’d love to join you on those and cruise along with you vicariously.
    We all wander on our own pathways in this life. Our journeys take us to unknown places. Some of those are good, some profoundly beautiful. And others extremely difficult. But that’s part of the voyage. BTW, i Loved the poem. Thank you for sharing. ❤️✌️

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I can totally send you my homework exercise if you want to read, or play with them yourself!! Thinking of you as you prepare!! 💗💗💗


      1. Thank you! I have no idea what shape I’ll be in physically, but if I can be Ok mentally then I think it might be fun to try my hand at some of your homework assignments. I’m very excited that you are taking the class. ❤️ Plus, I love how you continue to challenge yourself.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Here’s another coincidence?

      I’ve also been thinking about some painful stuff. As I was in the shower, where I do my best thinking, it occurred to me that in this case, as may be in SO MANY others, I’d rather just forget the whole painful journey and just get to the end of it already!

      And yet another coincidence?

      I still have a goal/dream/quest of submitting an entry to a writing contest. The one I had kind of settled on has the theme for this year of Adventure. So…my lightbulb in the shower moment in this regard was that my painful journey was an adventure. The contest is sponsored by a person/group who publishes inspiring stories so basically getting to the end of this journey/adventure, relatively unscathed (though I’m still working on that part) might be an inspiration to some.

      Fortunately, the entry deadline is not till next April which brings me coincidentally back full circle, I think. My thought, then, is it’s not the journey that counts, it’s just getting to the end of it! That’s my story and I’m sticking to it, for now.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. You know…one of my favorite groups and I missed that! Odd
      Y, my daughter is taking a rock history class, and her prof explained how journey was a great segue between two types of 70s music. I know Journey has a lot of detractors, but now I’m armed with phd knowledge as to why they belong in the hall of fame next time someone disses them

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks to Mark we got a little off-track but what a great post! I think of a journey as a positive thing, even if parts of it are challenging. No matter if we associate the physical or mental journey, or both I guess, to where we are in life, I see a journey as a progression with ups and downs but always growth. Didn’t someone say “life is a journey”? I 100% buy into that.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I tend to be a solitary person, and writing is solitary, so I really like the camaraderie and feedback that a class provides. I like being in person


  3. Yay on the writing classes! Good luck with the journey. 🙂
    OH, I can’t tell you the number of times I have told my children, “just not me type this one line…” LOL! The other thing my kids have got used to is me staring off into space. They are were like, “Mom are you Ok ?” Until they learned that I have a story idea that is going through my head! And yes it can happen at the strangest times.

    The word journey is a wonderful one. No, we don’t always appreciate the journey like we should. Sometimes we are too focused on the goal, and don’t realize that a lot of the joy is in the journey itself!
    No, I don’t think every work of fiction needs to have a hero’s journey.
    And yes, failing to appreciate the journey before its too late can easily happen if you aren’t paying attention.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I agree that journey is a word that can have so much meaning–our life is a journey, each day is a journey, our goals set us on journeys and we don’t always know the destination for any of these when we set out. You would think you would know the destination for a goal, but how often do we get sidetracked in our journey? My favorite related saying is one motorcyclists love–“it’s not the destination, it’s the journey.”

    Liked by 1 person

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