Lisa at That's Why recommended Natalie Goldberg's latest book, "Old Friend from Far Away." I've always liked Goldberg's exercises; Writing Down the Bones is a get off your butt and get your pen moving Bible.
In this latest book Goldberg reminds us of the "Here's what I do/don't want to say" prompt.
Here is what I don't want to write about:
I don't want to write about health insurance reform, healthcare, Obama, public option, Medicare, or any of it. If the opponents of reform had any ideas beyond the selfish greedy interests of the status quo, if they were unwilling to lie and fear monger in order to accomplish their goals, if their goals were in the best interest of any segment of the American population rather than their own party's soulless ambition, I would debate the facts and make a case. No one opposed to reform is interested in debate. They don't have a plan.
I don't want to write about Republicans. It must be awful to have nothing to base your politics upon except the failure of the current President. What is more awful is that so many Americans go along, squeeze their eyes shut to that which is in their own interest, in order to retain their prejudices.
I don't want to write about fake Christianists who drive so much of the "debate": those who scream god-talk the loudest are the most embarrassing. If the only words allowed in this debate or any other were truth, there would be silence for three solid days, at least. And Newt Gingrich would not open his silver-tongued mouth for a decade.
I don't want to write about him.
I want to write about Life. The culture of life that so many say we're lacking in this country, well yes, if we're willing to believe and promulgate the belief as a US Senator, that safety is in carrying a gun so that the Black president will not euthanize your mother?
The culture of life? Really. And we as a nation have this huge generation facing retirement and aging and they have health insurance, believe it or not, and all you have to do is say "death panel" and "grandma" and "abortion" and the collective freak out from people who HAVE... I just want to scream to them, you are MORTAL and your time on this earth is ticking away and you scream about it but what you really truly want is for a white leader to tell you you don't have to worry about sickness and death forever because he will keep you safe to the point of starting fake wars and torturing the brown people and paying off the insurance people with your money, and the white guy is, guess what, not Jesus Christ. Jesus was born to an unwed mother in Egypt. He didn't have a birth certificate. And his skin? You'd grab your gun if Jesus knocked on your door, asshole.