Dawn Wink: Dewdrops

Writing, Teaching, Language, Landscape, Life

A Blessed Busy

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First page of Meadowlark

First page of Meadowlark

We read to know we are not alone. —C.S. Lewis

Wild prairie rose.

Wild prairie rose.

The past few weeks have been a swirl of blessings. I read one time that Barbara Kingsolver said,  “To have my first novel published was like singing in the shower alone, only to realize after that there was a room full of people listening to me.”  Meadowlark’s release, has thrown all windows and doors open on my intensely private journey of the last decade. The journey is richer shared. 

Story connects us to one another and to the world. Christina Baldwin describes this journey beautifully in Storycatcher: “Story—the abundance of it, and the lack of it—shapes us. Story—the abundance of it, and the lack of it—gives us place, lineage, history, a sense of self. Story—the abundance of it, and the lack of it—breaks us into pieces, shatters our understanding, and gives it back over and over again, the story different everytime. Story—the abundance of it, and the lack of it—connects us with the world and outlines ourrelationship with everything. When the power of story comes into the room, an alchemical reaction occurs that is unique to our kind: love or hate, identification or isolation, war or peace, good or evil can be stirred in us by words alone. The power of story is understood by the powerful, yet the power of story belongs toall of us, especially the least powerful. History is what scholars and conquerors say happened; story it what it was like to live on the ground.” 

I received a note from one of our dear family friends, with this photo from around 1975. I treasure this. I remember the moment vividly, as we kids listened to a rousing rendition of “Jack of the Beanstalk,” by one of the dads, Frank Lunetta. Mary Main wrote, “From listening to the story, to telling the story.”

Listening to story.

Listening to story.

This intensely private journey that is now out in the world, I’ve discovered, gives voice to others’ own intensively private journeys in ways that I could never have imagined those years that I spent writing alone. This has been the greatest gift—to share the journey of ‘what it was like to live on the ground.’ 

Here, some images of this shared journey:

The day that for so many years I thought might never happen. The first time I touched Meadowlark

First touch

First touch

Noé arriving home to celebrate after our first copy of Meadowlark arrived.

Noé arriving home.

Noé arriving home.

Books to personalize and mail. As I do this, my mind returns again and again to all of the moments of the past years when I doubted this moment would ever happen. Then, I pinch myself, give a prayer of gratitude, and I reach for another book. Each book I sign, a private letter between the two of us.

Books to personalize.

Books to personalize.

Meadowlark’s first public reading, hosted by Heidi Chase.

Meadowlark's first reading.

Meadowlark’s first reading.

Heidi surprised me with the world’s best cake. I had no idea this was even possible!

Surprise cake

Surprise cake

I marvel at the blessings that have come from a time of deep crisis. Two worn and tattered quotes were taped to my refrigerator during this time, “When you’re going through hell, keep on going,” and “I may be changed by what happens to me. I refuse to be reduced by it,” by Maya Angelou.

This is what I’ve learned from this experience, not only for myself, but the potential this holds for each of us. It is a time now of a blessed busy. There are not nearly enough hours in the day. The kids are back in school, the new semester ready to begin, and all that goes with each. 

Flying with Ravens, Carey Moore

Flying with Ravens, Carey Moore

The “Raven’s Time: Wildness and Beauty” online class through Story Circle Network started last week. Oh, what a gift to share this time with incredible, thoughtful, wild and beautiful people sinking into these ideas!

This first week, we’re exploring the ideas of water, language, and story. It has been a time of deep learning for me, as well, as I try to texturize the online environment. I’ve learned how to post videos within the course. Somehow, this makes me feel as if my students and I are all together.

Early-morning composing of Raven's Time class.

Early-morning composing of Raven’s Time class.

Here are a few videos, of Introduction and of the writing process of clustering and reading from Anne Lamott’s brilliant essay, “Shitty First Drafts.” 

Water, Language and Story: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=yeq7VCSnyFo

Clustering and Shitty First Drafts (Part 1): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d1J1fBVzlSU

Clustering and Shitty First Drafts (Part 2): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yRgNyCj8yp4

As I write this morning, I prepare to leave tomorrow to give a workshop on Cultural Diversity and Awareness to people in the construction industry in Seattle. Yes, it is indeed a chapter of blessed busy, with the focus on blessed. Wynn Elizabeth turned 14 on August 14th. When Wynn was a little girl, she loved tiaras, which she pronounced to rhyme with Chihuahua. Clearly, she needed one for her party for old time’s sake.

Wynn, 14 years old

Wynn, 14 years old

Wynn's party

Wynn’s party

Rain on morning glories and black hollyhocks.

Rain on morning glories and black hollyhocks.

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Author: Dawn Wink

Dawn Wink is a writer and educator whose work explores the beauty and tensions of language, culture, and place.

15 thoughts on “A Blessed Busy

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  4. Winkie, I love reading this and am so happy for you! I plan to come up on the 14th, but will be there before on the 10th and 11th. Will actually call before than and hope to see you, Noe’ and any kids available. Love and hugs, Nancy ‘Yates’

    Sent from my iPad

  5. Thanks for reminding me about shitty first drafts. Marsha Scarbrough

    505 795-1467_ http://www.marshascarbrough.com_ (http://www.marshascarbrough.com/)

    Author of Medicine Dance First Runner up 2009 Zia Award from New Mexico Press Women Finalist in USA Books News Best Books Awards 2007/2008 Finalist in New Mexico Book Awards 2008

  6. Dawn, How exciting for you and how fun it is to share in your blessings. I do have Meadowlark on my list. It sounds like a winner. Don’t forget to enter it in the 2014 Willa contest. Interesting to me that you are taking an on line class by Story Circles. I’ll have to look into that. I think I could use some extra knowledge. 🙂

    • Dear Eunice, Oh, thank you so much. I look forward to sharing the journey of Meadowlark. Yes, the Willa award is definitely on The List. 🙂 I am teaching the online class through Story Circle and it is such a gift to experience. The ideas, “Raven’s Time: Wildness and Beauty” are the next book. What a gift to share these ideas in community. What am amazing group! I encourage you to look into the classes. They draw from a pool of deep creatives. Enjoy!

  7. Dawn you are so truly blessed, and even more of a superwoman than I’d imagined. I’m so happy for you. I’d like to order a signed copy please. Much love, barbara z

    • Dear Barbara Z., Hello! So wonderful to hear from you! A signed copy, of course. Another idea is to come to the book launch at Collected Works on Sept. 14th, 4:00 pm to share in the celebration. Whichever works best for you. xoxo Dawn

  8. Dear Dawn, WE are the ones who are blessed just by knowing you! Thank you for sharing yourself with us. Meadowlark sings a song for all of us, helping us reclaim those parts of ourselves we’ve allowed others to take. We all have that story, in various ways. There is a little bit of Grace in all of us.

    • Dear Kenna, This is so beautiful, “Meadowlark sings a song for all of us, helping us reclaim those parts of ourselves we’ve allowed others to take. We all have that story, in various ways. There is a little bit of Grace in all of us.” Thank you and thank you for this gift, and for the gift of YOU and your way of walking through the world.

  9. As I read this post about your marvelous book, “Meadowlark” and I see the comments I can’t help but make a connection between language and Internet. It is through language which flows through the Internet that we have been able to connect. “We” meaning: Meadlowlark traveling the world over to people far and wide, our class, Raven’s Time, comments that are able to flow back to you and then back to all who post comments. I hope you will have time, Dawn, to enjoy your visit to Seattle as you continue down the pathway of language and culture.

    • Dear Lindy, I, too, have thought about this so much. Yes, it is that language flowing via the internet that we met and now connect. It has been such a paradigm shift for me, and one for which I am so very grateful. Thank you for your wishes for Seattle. It will be a rich, full experience – and a dear friend from high school and college lives there. She and I haven’t seen each other for years. She is picking me up at the airport and then to dinner with just the two of us. The focus of the talk is language and culture – I know I will learn much and look forward to our conversations about this in Raven’s Time!

  10. Dear Susan, Your recent writings have so touched me deeply, with “Peonies and Passages” as one I will always remember. Thank you for sharing photos of Tree House, so I can visualize you in your new home. I love visualizing Meadowlark there in your new sacred space. Thank you for the reminder about “Journeywoman!” I’m wondering if I might even find some passages online today to weave into the workshop. Thank you and thank you. Much love to you! Dawn

  11. And may the blessings continue! I can’t wait to see Meadowlark. It’s one book I will keep, even as I downsize and prepare to move (in three weeks–ay!) with my new house still under construction and closing on September 13th. Oh, yes, life is blessed busy. In your time in Seattle at the Cultural and Diversity Awareness workshop, look for a copy of Kate Braid’s memoir, Journeywoman, about being the first woman to become a journeywoman as a framing carpenter in BC. I reviewed it for Story Circle Book Reviews and I know it would be illuminating in your work with the construction industry. More blessings and much love to you!

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