Tag Archives: reinvention

Make a little birdhouse in your soul

My newest essay, “Make a Little Birdhouse in Your Soul” was published today in my monthly column, Secret Circus, at Corporeal Writing. I was invited to create a featured column at Corporeal Writing, a writing website run by bestselling-author Lidia Yuknavitch. Lidia’s newest release, The Book of Joan, was recently featured on the cover of the New York Times Book Review and it’s getting rave reviews. This is my second piece for Secret Circus.

The starlings are back. For each of the past three years, they have returned to gather a chaotic pile of damp grass, peeled bark, and matted bits of twine, threads still unraveling even as they are tucked away. One day a silky puff of cream-colored fur appears, the next, a waxy red leaf. I marvel at their ability to make do with such a seemingly uninhabitable place, an old crook of drainpipe beneath the roof of my apartment building, but this is what starlings do. I watch them, thinking of home.

Twenty-nine places in twenty-seven years. Never allowing myself to need anywhere or anything or anyone long enough to stay.

I think this is not true.

(Maybe it is partly true.)

Starlings are “egg droppers.” When they’re feeling competitive, they swoop into unattended nests and steal eggs, dropping them from great heights. Glossy and pale blue… [read more]

Publications

You Can Do Anything, Corporeal Writing.

The Right to Bare Arms, ENTROPY Magazine.

Still Gonna Do (#ShePersisted), The Manifest-Station.

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LeighHereNow
PO Box 27771
Philadelphia, PA
19118, USA

Still Gonna Do (#ShePersisted)

My most recent essay, Still Gonna Do (#She Persisted) was just published at The Manifest-Station. Here’s an excerpt:

“White House staff visited our programs and invited us to Washington. When it came time for the final interview that we hoped would lead to funding, I spouted literacy and poverty statistics while stressing the need for the separation of church and state. I emphasized the importance of program quality, replicability and scale. After two hours of questioning, they began to wrap things up.

“One last question,” said the man from the White House. “Is there anything about you that could be potentially embarrassing to the President?”

I squinched my eyebrows. Refocused my attention on the American flag waving at me from his lapel. “Other than being a lesbian Democrat running a faith-based initiative for the Bush White House, I can’t think of anything…” [read the full essay on The Manifest-Station]

Publications

The Right to Bare Arms, ENTROPY Magazine.

Still Gonna Do (#ShePersisted), The Manifest-Station.

COMING FRIDAY! My new monthly column “Secret Circus” will be published on 2nd Fridays at author Lidia Yuknavitch’s Corporeal Writing.

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LeighHereNow
PO Box 27771
Philadelphia, PA
19118, USA

Postage from Courtney

Courtney, whenever I think of you, I think of your adventures. You seem to be everywhere at once! You don’t know this, but not long after you told me you were training for a marathon, I decided to take up running.

I HATE running.

I hate everything about it  –  the mind-over-matter, all the jostling of the wobbly bits, I mean, the pavement pounding is just hellish  –  but most of all, I was irritated by what I perceived to the overly zealous nature of all the runners I know.

I’m not proud to admit this, but there it is.

(I’m sure you’re not one of them.)

Here’s the rub:  I am a survivor, and yes, like you wrote in your postcard, I AM a dreamer! I do love a good challenge. So at 46, I decided to try running. At first, it was only a few minutes at a time. I thought I’d never make it past 90 seconds. Then a quarter of a mile, then a half. I went along like this, mile by mile, mostly hating it, occasionally liking it, one day even loving it a little, until I did my first 5K.

There is a photo of me smiling at the end of that race, and while I don’t look particularly zealous (in fact, I look very red-faced and exhausted), I do look HAPPY.

It’s been raining all day in Philadelphia, and look – there’s the sun! and whoa, the dog needs some fun, and hey, there are my running shoes by the door…

“Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” — Helen Keller


Publications

Read my latest essay in ENTROPY Magazine.

Postage

LeighHereNow
PO Box 27771
Philadelphia, PA
19118, USA

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Would you like to make a comment?

Every woman I’ve met carries a story inside her. Stories about loss and love, of adventure in far-flung places or the longing to create new ones, of the ache to return home or to make a new one. Stories of shame and rage and desire – the kinds of stories that climb the walls just to make themselves heard.

Stories that carry whole worlds.

I carry them, too.

I’m a woman who has to sit on her hands to keep the stories in, because that’s where I carry them. In my hands.

Sometimes our words don’t know the stories they’ll tell until our hands let them speak.

Put them on the page. Speak them or sing them just to find a place of truth outside yourself. Loose them to the wind.

Sometimes the very brave act of telling gives a thing new meaning.

Make a new story.

Words welcome change.

Writing Workshop: Transformative Storytelling – begins March 20, 2017.

Would you like to make a comment? Write to me or make your mark below.

Postage from Shona

postage-2016-04-25-shona-marie
Shona, I love that the Sedona workshop set you on such a powerful course. In the name of badass traveling women and kindred spirits, sending you a big “Aho!” from Philadelphia … xo.
 

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LeighHereNow
PO Box 27771
Philadelphia, PA
19118, USA

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explaining pussyhats to my mother

The morning after the Women’s March on Washington, Mom and I set up a date to talk over our experiences – mine in Philadelphia, and her march of 200 people in her rural Arizona town 40 minutes north of the wall in Mexico.

“So can we talk about the hats?” Mom asked over Skype. “My friends and I are trying to understand, but can you explain? In my generation – that word – I don’t think I even knew that word, I mean,well, it’s just so … it’s not a word I would ever say in that way. My friends agree that none of us would ever use it.” She looked at her hands. “That word makes me so uncomfortable.”

We went on to talk about the message behind the sea of pink. What it means to reclaim power over the things that make us angry and uncomfortable. What it means to feel like our bodies and even language are being used against us. The importance of creating community and the power of speaking up.

During the week after the election, I wrote three poems. Many of you wrote to thank me or to share your own stories. Thank you – I love hearing from you. Only one of my longtime subscribers unsubscribed from this blog with the message:

“I’m sad to see that this space has gotten political.”

Since when are heartbreak, sadness, and anger political? Always.

If you’re looking for dependably uplifting content, I invite you to subscribe to Viva Institute. Over the next few weeks, you’ll receive recordings of the words of writers who remind you about all that’s good in the world. There’s so much to celebrate.

LeighHereNow is me, unfiltered. Here. Now. In the spirit of connection, please do send me some Postage. I love knowing what’s in your heart.

Together.

xo

P.S. Over the holidays, surprise! I found this gorgeous stack of your letters lost behind a pile of New Yorker mags. (((Forgive me?))) I’ll be posting them soon.

postage-montage

Postage from Kelley

This is the true story
of a glorious woman
who breathes through her heart
lights up the world with her truth
who dares to find out what happens
when you stop being afraid
and start living love.

Happy Birthday, Kelley!

Send YOUR Postage to:

LeighHereNow
PO Box 27771
Philadelphia, PA
19118, USA

What is Postage?