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golden threads

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“I want to free what waits within me, so that what no one has dared to wish for, may for once spring clear, without my contriving.  If this is arrogant, God, forgive me, but this is what I need to say.  May what I do flow from me like a river, no forcing, and no holding back, the way it is with children.”  Rilke

Golden threads is the name I give to writing prompts which inspire me to grab a pen and piece of paper, and free write.  Free writing is the practice of writing spontaneously and continuously for a set period of time (usually 5, 10 or 15 minutes), without any concern for ‘correctness’ or ‘getting things right.’   It is a simple and powerful way to free creativity by sending the inner critic on vacation, and giving oneself permission to allow whatever comes to awareness to finds its way to the page, without censuring or controlling self-expression in any way.   My friend and fellow nomad Jane Brunette who facilitates writing circles all around the world calls this liberating process writing from the soul.

A prompt is anything that will initially focus the attention and move us into creative written expression.  It can be a single word (like “Bali” or “Begin”), the first part of a sentence (“When I lie belly down on the earth…”), a complete paragraph or a visual picture.  Anyone who free writes appreciates the power of a great writing prompt.   A few evocative words can free rivers of images, insights and ideas to spring from deep within our psyche, and flow effortlessly onto the page.

Unedited free writes are often treasure chests filled with seeds of poems, stories, new possibilities, and… more writing prompts.   Several of my poems came out of free writes prompted by Jane, other kindred spirits, or random words that arise in meditation, or catch my attention in conversations.   Here are several free writes, as well as a Jane’s beautiful little primer about how to get started, in case you feel drawn to dip a toe in these creative waters, and join her global circle of free writers!