Subject: Clarity in the Fog

Everywhere you look is gray mist which seeps into your skin and chills your bones. The lookout is blurred and one-dimensional, where once rose evergreens, towers, skyscrapers, looping highways, and far-off mountains. You will never again see your way clear. Or so you believe.

Giving in to brain fog, we lose the solid, beautifully laid brick at our feet. We numb to the tang of wintergreen riding the breeze. We ignore the bronze woman sculpture, her arms slick with rain. We no longer notice the trees encircling us, and we don't touch their gnarled trunks.

You see, even caught in a fog, there is much to experience. It was a misty day when I snapped this photo at Council Crest in Portland. The long-distance view had vanished. But footsteps away, glossy leaves beckoned like hands. There was a rich green carpet underfoot. I could have knelt to examine the droplets that pearled on each blade of grass.
When we let fog rule, we forget things will change. We stop experiencing the beauty near to us.
Writing lets us know these immediate spaces. It is the power of specific, in-the-moment writing that brings a story or essay or poem to life. And it is seeing this moment, with all its rich sensory experience, that awakens us to the life we're living.

This is more than a creative gift: it's a healing, restoring, empowering energy.

I like using different lenses for in-the-moment writing. In Story Camp (for kids 11 and up), we play with the "Specific-O-Meter," which charges words with specificity.  
Once I get specific, I have a story. It's effortless. Can you see how fog must surrender to the creative, playful mind? How stories and possibilities emerge?

If you find yourself in the fog, you are not alone. So many of us are feeling that damp, encroaching dread in these times of quarantine. My heart goes out to you. And I whisper, look at your feet. Feel the trunks of the trees. Smell the air and let the breeze play with your collar.

Receive the gifts offered by the moment, as well as the pen in your hand. They are waiting for you.


P.S. Story Camp has sprung out of quarantine and I'm so, so proud of these creative and playful kids. They have inspired videos and my own silly "staff members" (below). We play with words, make up stories, and invent characters. If you know a potential camper, please share this email.

S T O R Y   C A M P
Ages 11+
Friday, 3 - 4:30 PM     
June 5, 12, 19, 26
The Specific-O-Meter

Here is the word "vehicle" run through the Specific-O-Meter:

vehicle > car > orange car > orange pickup truck 
> 1998 pumpkin Toyota pickup truck with mismatched tires 
and a pink plastic lei hanging from the rear view mirror

Presto: you've got a story!
, 2535 SW Sherwood Drive, Portland, OR 97201, United States
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