Letter Box -- Newsletter #25
On the second full moon in July this poem came.
ONCE IN A BLUE MOON!
North Olmsted, OH
I am working the night shift tonight and had a chance to read Newsletter #24. I was quite touched by Skip Kadish's letter, especially the line:
"...for that matter when will the turning point come when one needs less and less food sustenance and compensate with more and more spiritual sustenance."
You see I struggle daily with an eating disorder and am having a particularly hard time tonight. Consuming too much food is a problem for me. Skip's words really hit home, so much so that I wonder if his words will become a turning point for me toward more sane food consumption and more spiritual sustenance? How I hope and pray this is so.
I would love to visit California again. I dream of returning, of walking barefoot in the sand near the ocean. And, of course, then I could attend a Creative Edge workshop!!
In so many ways a trip to California is impossible but dreams have been known to come true and I will dare to dream. Perhaps, "The time has come the walrus said..."
I enjoy receiving your Newsletter and the poetry from people's souls. In my critique groups I find other's quick to find errors, before absorbing the nuances of my inner life. Hence this offering.
Newbury Park, CA
I would like to share this with you... The design evolved out of many things -- I had been fooling around with wish-bones and their shape and whalla; there she was the universal connection... love... the common denominator.
Salt Lake City, UT
Ingrid Maria Middleton
Carmel Valley, CA
Robin Heerens Lysne
(July) The world turns, seasons change, life goes on. I've been transported to a new prison, lower in security. I had to relinquish my musical equipment. Due to strange concerns they are not allowed here. At first this was unsettling. But, now I am finding myself almost driven to draw. I guess once you find the autonomous pleasure of being creative, and expressing yourself in a tangible means, there is no stifling the urge... is there?... Sure, I will miss my guitar, but my creativity has lots of outlets. That was my favorite, but now maybe I'll just venture into a new area I haven't been into before. Who knows? Can't control what's outside of our grasp.
(October) The greatest tragedy of prisons is their senseless debasing, debilitating operational structure. Programs offered are nothing but placating ones, generally conducted by persons' without skills... A very good book on this problem is Criminal Justice, A Community Approach by Dr. Charles P. McDowell. Rather amazing is his perceptions as they are right on the mark.
Do not be too saddened by my situation. I am fortunate enough to possess skills (meditation, eloquence, tenacity) which allow me to cope. Doing the time does not scare me -- it's nothing but a word. What's terrifying is the prospect of release. If my musical skills are in top form I can easily eke out a living. But six years without adequate practice? I'll be lucky to make pocket change on street corners...
Bottom line -- I'm an extremely well-read 35 year old guy with no formal education beyond the High School level. At age 41 on my release, I will have no credible work references and a record of 14 years of incarceration. I am not eligible for any assistance from Social Security nor Unemployment, though I work everyday. I'm completely uninterested in Welfare. I refuse to do crime, I will not beg. My prospects seem pretty damm dim to me...
I don't fit in here either. I get piles of letters from all kinds of people like you, doctors, lawyers, musicians, corporate executives, house wives, college students... I stay alive by reaching outside the walls (fences now). Finding meaningful conversation is difficult at best...
Spiritually we only "evolve" by consciously striving to do the right things and continually correcting behaviors which are less than our potential (again by careful introspection). For now, I cannot worry about tomorrow too much, yet I still think the system is overdue for change.
Jeffrey (Levi ) Ford
Michigan City, IN
(July) Exciting things are happening all over this country. There are institutes for the development of the human person. But then there's the Creative Edge... You're not trying to put forth a product that will turn our hair green on the first rinse, or fit any bolt only to realize it doesn't work on the metric scale, or even an object you wear over your heart that will help you win the lottery.
For some reason as human beings we are apt to look outside of ourselves for our answers. I think what you are trying to say to us... is "let's go back to us." That we have so much potential as human beings, to see, and to feel, and to touch, and to smell, in a way that we've never dreamed of. You are trying to show us what we already have within ourselves (internally) but we've forgotten how to do it, (tap the creative nature). These are things we want to be doing, if we care about ourselves and love ourselves.
I learned something really unique when Levi (Ford) was around me here. We think to be a grown-up we must be independent and not need anyone, and that's why we're all dying of loneliness. But the greatest experiences in my life, (I'm learning) are when lives intersect and two human beings are able to really communicate as Levi and myself did...
I am blessed with a loving family committed to caring, sharing and understanding for which I'm grateful. I believe sincerely that if there is at least one person in this world whom we can touch, totally unabashedly and unashamedly, we will never die of loneliness. It doesn't matter who it is, woman to man, woman to woman, man to man, just someone you can go to and lay it on the line with who will listen. Someone you don't have to hide from. someone to whom you can say "these are my feelings" and they say "good, It's all right." "This is me" and That's OK...
In closing, I believe your message is clear. My personal creativity, which is change and growth, is available and all I have to do is take the responsibility and grasp it.
(August) I just can't seem to find the words to express how WONDERFUL it was for me to hear you say that I have it right re: my last letter to you. I just don't know why people in here want to stop growing just because they are incarcerated, like you said "fear" is indeed "THE BIG KILLER" and for a lot of people it stops the growth process that is essential to maintain a constant forward upgrading of ourselves. I do think that our survival as human beings demands our attention "of ourselves individually"... and when our creative side that is in all of us has been confronted it would not be a surprise to me that a familiar phrase you hear a lot in doing what you do would be, "Wow, I didn't know I had it in me." The product of that is that the individual relationship with themselves is nurtured and begins to grow. Once that happens, the ball will roll and it is the most wonderful journey ever imagined. It takes a process that will get us close to ourselves (such as the Creative Edge) so that the fusing will take place. I sure do hope that people see what is before them and what is in their grasp (with work).
Daytona Beach, FL
Thanks so much for the newsletter and for including my poem in it! Enclosed is another poem. It's a little strange but I was undergoing a strange period of events here when I wrote it.
HALLOWED ALLEGORY 6/25/96
And the majestic trees bowed to an irate wind force.
To reap what one sows was a grim shadow of cause and effect.
But alas, a whisper turned force of an ultimate host,
I owe the Creative Edge much gratitude for instilling a greater sense of inspiration and self esteem for me. After a lull of creativity over many weeks gone by, I'm now drawing and doodling little fantasy images for my nieces and nephews and it helps me recover from my woes.
I have this little vision of going to hospitals, etc., some day , to draw and create little healing renderings for sickly or terminally ill children. I get the idea while drawing for some children at the visiting park here. They were absolutely enthralled by the act and we all shared the love of and the power of creativity in progress.
Tonka Work Camp
Fort Wayne, IN
When we were at Hawkshead with David Whyte, I was the "elder" of the group. As we were walking to the last "circle of stones" you asked me some questions about my husband and his death. It made me aware of some "unhealed" spots. so when we got there, as I sat and lay on the ground I opened my heart and asked the Creator to do the needed healing -- I needed more help -- I didn't know how. We were there a long time meditating. When we left as I walked back to the van, my body felt so light. I felt my legs could carry me anywhere and I strode back as fast as anyone else! It felt wonderful. I couldn't have done it without your questions to make me aware of unresolved pain.
Red Feather Lakes, CO
Being dangerous, i.e., creative, is of necessity and by definition destructive. There is nothing creative that is not destructive to someone. In the spiritual and psychological realms, this is especially so. No new perspective comes without the loss of a previous one and in that loss is the destruction of some portion of one's views of the world and place in that world. It won't ever happen any other way.
I enjoy getting your newsletter and am always looking for the dangerous edge that poetry contains. No two people ever hear the same phrase or melody in the same manner and that is to me one of poetry's most valuable presents, i.e., it offers each of us the opportunity to realize our separateness. And that is a very dangerous and, potentially, highly creative place.
Pacific Grove, CA
Your newsletter means a great deal to me -- a wonderful antidote to all the "getting and spending" of our world. A great reminder of things beyond the material aspects of our existence.
Thank you for your creative offerings!
Submit your name, city and state with your works to Donald@creative-edge.org for publication. I also encourage you to approve adding your E-mail address. Submit images in 72dpi GIF or TIFF format.