Lately I’ve been thinking about vulnerability. 

Said Mother Theresa, “Honesty and transparency make you vulnerable. Be honest and transparent anyway.” What happens if we take her words to heart? I don’t think she means we walk around confessing our sins to anyone who will listen. I believe she’s suggesting a more internal practice—a practice of noticing what we hide and having the courage to meet it ourselves.

Books and Recordings by Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer

One of my favorite prompts for writing into vulnerable spaces is to use the first line from a poem by Pablo Neruda, “Tonight I can write the saddest lines.” What a great invitation to notice what we are hiding, even from ourselves. When he invites himself to write the saddest lines, I think he’s summoning his courage to write what he knows is true—even if he wishes it weren’t. And almost every truth he arrives at is paradox.  

When I dare to write with such honesty and transparency, I am astonished by how healing it can be, how illuminating, how freeing. These are not always poems to share—but the process itself allows for curiosity and even a radical compassion.

When we can find this expansiveness in ourselves, what a gift! And from this place, we can honor and bring out that expansiveness in each other, too. We do it simply by showing up and being available to however others show up. It’s a willingness to see through their walls and masks and see them as they are, as we all are, slivers of divinity.
 


photo: Ben Lehman www.lehmanimages.com

Slipping Into Something a Little Less Comfortable: The art of changing metaphors: That was the theme of my TEDx talk in Paonia, Colorado, in February. As soon as the talk is available on You Tube, I will post it here … how might you change your life (and the world!) if you could identify and change just one of the metaphors framing your thoughts?

Watch the TEDx talk HERE—and share it with your friends!


NEWS:

What Do You Call A Group of Poets? A Heard! I’ve partnered with the San Juan Independent to launch an interactive poetry map, Heard of Poets: Poems from Colorado’s Western Slope. Each week we feature a new poet. Find it here.

You know when you have a dream, and then it comes true? For years I have been submitting to Rattle (www.rattle.com), one of my favorite poetry journals, and I have received many lovely rejection letters. But in the last couple months, I’ve been lucky enough to win their Ekphrastic Challenge, twice! And another poem of mine was chosen for their Poets Respond feature. Here are links to three poems featured by this fabulous journal.

“Divining” (link)

“After My Friend Phyllis Shows Me the New York Times Obituary Headline” (link)

“It Won’t Make the News” (link)

Two More-than-Writing Retreats: Want to immerse yourself in creativity? I will be co-leading two retreats this summer and fall—the first is with painter Brucie Holler, a retreat just for women in Telluride, Colorado, and the second is a meditation and poetry retreat with dharma teacher Susie Harrington in La Sal, Utah. You can find both of these events, and more, in my schedule here

Upcoming Book and Art Show! Lithic Press will be publishing a collection of three-line poems and three-line illustrations I’ve done in collaboration with artist Jill Sabella. Look for the collection by November 2016, plus a gallery show at 81430 in Telluride in October and November. More on that soon!

A Little More on Yes: A fabulous poet, Drew Myron, recently contacted me—what a gift! Like me, she loves the word “yes” and asked me to contribute to her site, 3 Good Books (link), by writing a bit about my three favorite books on the subject “yes.” There are many great books recommendations on this site. Plus, Drew has a cool blog and website here.

Tethered by Letters—This wonderful resource for writers recently invited me to do a Q & A. Read it here. 

 A Daily Dose of Poetry:
To read my daily poems, check out my blog