Writing From Our Lives: A Spiritual Perspective

I took a 6 week writing class at Santa Monica Community College and enjoyed it tremendously. This is what the course description says:

“Author Alice Walker (The Color Purple) said, ‘I think I’m creating a story, but I’m really creating myself.’ Writing is a gateway to our deeper identity, and a spiritual practice that helps us, as writers, transform. As we deepen and illuminate our selves, our lives, and our writings, we capture sparkling insights and revelations on paper, and are able to provide inspiration for everyone who longs for a richer experience of life. In a supportive and encouraging class for new and experienced writers of all levels, come learn how to use the elements of fiction, prose, and poetry as tools to discover and reveal your own authentic voice, the key to powerful and creative self-expression.

Instructor Biography: Rachelle Benveniste is a widely published writer and poet and is the recipient of several national writing awards. She has taught creative writing for over 20 years, is a member of PEN, has been featured on KPFK’s Poetry Connexion radio program, has given readings of her work throughout California and has facilitated writing workshops through numerous writing conferences. Many of her students have published books as well stories, poems, and essays that were written in her classes.”

The highlight was the group itself, which consisted of Sharon #1, the writer of devotionals, two friends Lillian and Jane, who have vivid memories and very different writing styles; Sharon #2, who writes about her youth in Greenwich village, and Alfred the Great Appreciator and me. We shared a lot of stories with each other and commented on them. We learned from each other and supported each other in writing. Rachelle led the way like the captain leads its crew over treacherous waters in foreign seas. That was quiet a journey! Thank you, my dear friends! In our last class, March 31, Alfred read several beautiful poems that gave a closure to our course, called Writing from our lives: a Spiritual perspective. Here is one of them. Enjoy!

Life’s Mirror

There are loyal hearts, there are spirits brave,

There are souls that are pure and true,

Then give the world the best you have,

And the best will come back to you.

Give love, and love to your life will flow,

A strength in your utmost need,

Have faith, and a score of hearts will show

Their faith in your word and deed.

Give truth, and your gift will be paid in kind;

And honor will honor meet;

And a smile that is sweet will surely find

A smile that is just as sweet.

Give pity and sorrow to those who mourn,

You will gather in flowers again

The scattered seeds from your thoughts outborne

Though the sowing seemed but vain.

For life is the mirror of king and slave,

‘Tis just what we are and do;

Then give to the world the best you have,

And the best will come back to you.

~ Madeline Bridges, American poet (1844-1920)

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