Fine Lines is, of course, focused on the written word, but there is an increasing amount of art and photography in the journal. Below is a sample from the most recent issue (available at this link.) The artwork, “Style,” is by Kathy Ann Thompson.
Let’s keep in mind that this year’s writing camp is only about a month off. Camp runs from June 20 to 24 and all the details are found here — Summer Camp homepage.
Today’s Mondays with Martin essay is one that focuses on the need to write, journaling, and the discovery of self. Although this short piece dates back to 1992, the message in timeless.
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Someone once said they read books to discover the souls of others. I write to discover my own. I want to discover who I am. Few things in life teach me who I am more than writing in my journal does. This desire for self-knowledge inspires me to write almost every day.
I seldom lack inspiration to write, but I often lose my focus. I spend too much time doing many things other than writing. Earning money, pursuing life’s pleasures, and trying to please others causes me to get lost in the fog of daily existence. I get tired making a living in a stressful environment. I feel waves of people, emotions, and work wash over me and knock me off my feet.
I search for my footing in my journal. I look for meaningful reflections in my sentences and metaphors, and my journal becomes a symbol revealing my true self.
I want to be good at a few things in life. Conveying accurate images through my choice of words is one of them. I want to use my gifts well.
Simple things in life inspire me to write. My heart lifts when I see a male cardinal in a bare tree above the mounds of white snow. My soul warms when I see a strong, male hand hold a tiny child’s little fingers. Fathers teaching sons and daughters the sacrifices needed to reach maturity turn my pages. Lovers look into each other’s eyes and inspire me to paint the scene with words. Close friends sitting together, silently drinking coffee, as they watch moisture form on a window while the cold, Nebraska wind howls outside makes me warm to the possibilities.
I am urged to write when I feel friendly eyes locate me in a crowded room; when loved ones bare their souls to me; when a student comes to class with the attitude, “I am ready to learn today, and you can teach me.”
I write eating gumbo, listening to Cajun music. I look for pen and paper when I hear the carol, “Silent Night,” pierce the air on Christmas Eve. I sit down under a tree to record my emotions when my daughter chooses on her own to take the training wheels off and ride her bicycle solo for the first time. Ray Charles’ “Georgia,” Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata,” and the children’s story, “The Little Engine That Could” all speak to me in the same way. I can not pass up these opportunities.
When my work captivates me, when I hear, “Daddy, I love you!” when I see outstretched hands reaching for a baby’s face, when I feel soft fingers on my shoulder, when I hear the words, “Everything will be all right, now. I am here with you!” I feel fortunate if I can put half of what I feel onto paper.
When I remember my writing passions, I stay on the path meant for me. These times inspire me to write. I am content in my bliss.
The beautiful days of May call for a poem about new life. Spring in Nebraska is pretty, after all. With that in mind, today’s From the Journal is “New Life” by Kathie Haskins. Haskins lives in Millard with her husband and two children.
Want to read more poetry? The latest issue of Fine Lines is available at this link — Spring issue 2016.
Dr. Jimmy Salhany is absolutely a renaissance man. He’s a man of science and the arts in a big way. He composed, produced, and performed a song in honor of upcoming the 2016 Fine Lines summer camp. Want to hear “Write On”? Well, of course you do. Click on the link below, listen, and enjoy.
“Write On” by Jimmy Salhany
Performed by “Dr. Jimmy” with Christine Salhany and Tim Kasl.
Below is the beginning of an essay about sign language and the deaf community by Abby Giambattista. It appears in the current issue of Fine Lines, which can be found by following this link.