On courage

Today is a good day to spend some time with the question, “What healing do I need to gather courage to undertake?”

The truth is that all healing takes courage. Some more than others. But it’s hard to really look at your own wounds. We’re taught to hide them, avoid them, run far and fast from them.

You can’t heal what you don’t examine.

It takes a hell of a lot of courage to even admit to the wound sometimes. And if you’re struggling with this, with naming the wound, with pulling back the years-old bandage, go gently with yourself.

Having a hard time facing the wound does not mean you’re a coward. It only means you are in tremendous pain.

Don’t discount your pain. It won’t be healed by trying to dismiss or minimize it. Maybe try, instead, to reach out to it. Write it a letter. Ask it what it wants to say to you. What it wants to teach you. What it needs to be healed. What kind of love it needs. Write it a poem. Or write a poem from the point of view of your pain personified.

Something to remember:

Your pain is not your fault. But you are the one who will need to do the healing work. If it feels like too much to do alone, please don’t do it alone. Call a trusted friend who will hold your heart with tenderness and care. Call a mental health counselor – many, if not all, offer phone or video chat sessions. If you can’t afford counseling, call a crisis line – each state has one – here in Colorado it’s 1-844-493-8255, but elsewhere, do a quick search on “crisis line.” We all have burdens that are too big to carry by ourselves. All of us. You deserve support. 💜🌱

Writing in the Time of Coronavirus

Photo taken on the fourth night of our quarantine, March 17, 2020, when the weather felt in sync with our inner landscape. (c) Ann Hagerty Davenport

In this time of coronavirus, life has been turned upside down for virtually everyone on Earth. Now is a time when we need our writing and art, when our instinct to create is tantamount and in tandem with to our instincts to survive and thrive. Worth noting: this is different from the capitalist-induced worry, “Oh shit, I’m stuck at home for two weeks and if I don’t write that book and reorganize my entire house while homeschooling my children I will be a total failure.” Darlings, tear up that script and throw it in the trash-heap right now. Write a poem about what bullshit that is, and how and why we do this to ourselves so often, and let the false construct go. The more compassion we can give ourselves and each other, the better we’ll all be able to weather this storm. And the more we can turn to our art as a pressure release valve, instead of coming to it from a sense of pressure, the more it will nourish us.

In that spirit, we are thrilled to partner with our beloved friends at Fierce Womxn Writing in response to the pandemic. We’re now accepting submissions for an Anthology of Pandemic Creativity. We’re still taking submissions to Terra Preta Review, as well, and are curating an amazing next issue to share with you all.

We’ll also be using our blog more often to post prompts, comfort, and inspiration, in case you need some. We’ll be sharing things we find inspiring or helpful, as well as posting our own thoughts. You can also follow us on Instagram where we’ll be sharing a lot of content too. In the spirit of terra preta, now is the time to dig deep, reconnect to the richness of our own soul’s earth. We will make art that speaks to the breaking-down and supports the building anew, as our own ways of making peace with this totally surreal transition to a new reality. We hope you will too. And we hope you’ll share it with us. In years to come, this anthology will speak to the realities and surrealities of this time in ways that only great writing and art can. The world needs your voice, our voices. Speak your truths (since truth is never a monolith, it’s messy and multifaceted). Make your art. Release your pressure valve. We’re here to support you through this. We feel like our mission as a literary journal speaks to this time directly, even though we never anticipated this happening…