Dawn Wink: Dewdrops

Landscape, Language, Teaching, Wildness, Beauty, Imagination


A Blessed Busy

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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“Raven’s Time: Wildness and Beauty” Online Class

Raven, Chimayó, NM, Dawn Wink

Raven, Chimayó, NM, Dawn Wink

Hello dear ones!

I am thrilled to be teaching “Raven’s Time: Wildness and Beauty” online this summer through Story Circle Network. I’ve written and presented quite a bit about these ideas in the past few years, and this is the first time they’ve been offered online.

I love these ideas. I love talking about these ideas. I love the conversations and connections that come from talking about these ideas. 

Through readings, poetry, music, photography, and textures, this class is designed for any who want to swim in these ideas, ponder what they might mean, and if you’re a writer or artist, how they might enrich your own life and/or writing. If you are a lover of life and ideas, please join us! My hope is to create an experience rich in ideas, images, and experiences for all. I’d love to share this time together.

Story Circle Network just posted this piece about the class. It is my pleasure to share with you.



Class Title: Raven’s Time: Wildness and Beauty

Instructor: Dawn Wink

Class Term: August 12-September 9, 2013 enroll in this class

This class explores the beauty and wildness of place through the symbolism of natural elements: including ravens, water, skulls, turquoise, textures, beauty, and wildness. This course reveals these dynamics and seeks to bring understanding through wisdom from the landscape and natural elements. Will focus on content and the craft of writing.

Class Description

Rio Grande, near Taos, NM, Dawn Wink

Rio Grande, near Taos, NM, Dawn Wink

This class explores the beauty and wildness of place (cultural, linguistic, political) through the symbolism of natural elements: including ravens, water, skulls, turquoise, textures, beauty, and wildness. Raven’s Time is grounded in the understandings of beauty as social justice and wildness as freedom. This course reveals these dynamics and seeks to bring understanding through wisdom from the landscape and natural elements. Will focus focus on both content and the writer’s craft, through interactive and engaged writing prompts and activities. At the end of this class, students will be able to: bring improved writing skills to their own writing projects; address how the landscape can inform our understandings about contemporary events (cultural, linguistic, political) with informed and profound understandings; move forward with their own writing projects with renewed energy and craft. Instruction/communication will take place through email and the course shell. All reading materials for the course will be provided by the instructor through the format of the course.


Throughout this student-centered course, participates are expected to participate fully in all readings and discussions. This is a brief, intensive course and we’ll make the most of it. This course is taught in an interactive, engaged, and critically-reflective perspective. Student participation is essential for all participants to learn not only from the instructor, but also from each other. Students are expected to post in the discussions a minimum of 3 times/week—more is encouraged. Written assignments will include weekly written assignments and a final written portfolio, based on the specific writing goals of the student.

  • water-flowing-over-rocksUnit 1: Voice of Life: Reflections on Water, Language, and Story. Flexibility. Destruction. Strength. Nourishment. Gives or takes away life. All are commonalities that language and culture share with water. The power of water underlies all. Agua es vida. This week explores the unique dynamics of language, the intimate relationship of language and culture, and how the properties of water and the southwestern landscape can inform our understandings about language and linguistic human rights.
  • Veins of Turquoise, photo by R. Weller

    Veins of Turquoise, photo by R. Weller

    Unit 2: Veins of Turquoise: Migration and Immigration This week explores historical and contemporary migration and immigration in the Southwest through the lens of turquoise. For thousands of years, turquoise traveled the vein connecting the Mayans and Aztecs with the people of the Southwest. The Pueblo people say turquoise steals its color from the sky—the stone has been spiritually, economically, and aesthetically significant to indigenous people since A.D. 300. What can we learn from the historic role of turquoise in the Southwest, nepantla pedagogy, and how can this inform our understandings of current immigration policies?

  • Sugar skull, photo by Wynn Wink-Moran

    Sugar skull, photo by Wynn Wink-Moran

    Unit 3: Skulls and Textures: This week explores the symbolism of skulls and textures of language through historical and contemporary lenses. From Mayan crystal skulls, the skull mountains of the Aztects, the scattered bones of livestock herds, the sugar skulls of Día de los Muertos, to the human skulls of immigrants under the desert sun, we’ll explore how skulls reflect culture. This week also poses questions about the hierarchy of languages around the world, linguistic human rights, and the global role of english. What can we learn from the symbolism of skulls and rich textures of the land to inform our understandings of culture and language?

  • Unit 4: Wildness and Beauty Altars create a reciprocal relationship with the mystery and the Divine. In this class, we’ll explore living as if the world, its landscape and people, are a living altar. What are the roles of Beauty and Wildness within our living altar—and how do we create and honor these in our lives?

Student Skills, Equipment, and Time Required

Intermediate/Advanced writing and computer skills. All documents submitted in Microsoft Word. Internet and email necessary. Time Commitment: 3 hrs/week

Tuition/Fees for this course

SCN members: $128. Non-SCN members: $160.

Instructor Bio

Dawn WinkDawn Wink is a writer and educator whose work explores the tensions and beauty of language, culture, and place. Her first book, Teaching Passionately: What’s Love Got To Do With It?, co-written with Joan Wink, was published in 2004 by Pearson. Dawn is an Associate Professor at Santa Fe Community College, her essays and articles have appeared in journals and magazines. Dawn started a literary, educational, and artistic blog community, Dewdrops, in 2011. Her novel, Meadowlark, published by Pronghorn Press, will be released in July 2013. Dawn lives with her family in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Visit her website & blog.

Rio Grande, near Taos, NM, Dawn Wink

Rio Grande, near Taos, NM, Dawn Wink

Please come and dip your feet into the waters of these ideas.