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Ellen Blum Barish

Ellen Blum Barish

In Separation, one of my favorite poems that contains essay elements, W.S. Merwin writes,

Your absence has gone through me

Like thread through a needle

Everything I do is stitched with its color.”

The “your” in the first line could be applied to almost anything; a thing, a feeling, something we do.

This time of year, with its concentration on celebration and roving routines, I notice who I am without writing. Turns out, even when I’m not writing or thinking about writing or focused

on editing or publishing, everything I do is still stitched with its sensibility. At its heart, writing wants to communicate, to connect, to unearth meaning.  I find that even when I’m not tap-tapping keys with my fingertips or scratching on paper with a pen, I still want those things. I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who feels this way.

Writers and artists may be closer to all of this or perhaps more inclined to articulate it since expression is what we do. But dissecting our creative process doesn’t only give us a huge boost in our creative endeavors, there’s application for daily life. This seems to be a good time of year to ask:

Who are you without your routine? 

What are your threads made of? 

Is there something that you want – or need – to be stitching?

I offer these as end-of-the-year questions to ponder what you’d like to weave into the coming as you hug your houseguests and sing your holiday songs, and what you might like to leave behind. Hoping that whatever you choose will allow our paths to connect.

P.S. Looking for a last minute holiday gift? What about a gift certificate for a coaching session or manuscript review? For more info, email me at ellen@ellenblumbarish.com.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema. Courtesy of Unsplash.

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