I sold my first article in 1979—a reflection about moving through the final year of one decade and preparing to move into the first year of a new one. I used James Thurber’s words as a springboard for that piece: Let us not look back in anger, nor forward in fear, but around in awareness. For me, the key phrase of that quote is look around in awareness. It’s my inner mantra.

Looking around in awareness I feel more like a witness than a writer. It’s a practice that often provides a window on the world that deepens my understanding of things outside my experience. Other times I witness something that mirrors my own experience, confronting and surprising me with what I overlook sometimes.
this woman’s ragged gospel is what I witness when I practice:
  • paying attention
  • looking around in awareness
  • taking what I see and making something out of it
  • living and writing in the present moment


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