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Showing posts from September, 2012

Turning Stories into Snake Medicine

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WRITERS ARE BRAVE.  It’s what we do best.  We cast aside our fear of the blank page, of the unknown, dip our proverbial pen into the ink, and commit word to paper—one stark letter after another.  We leave the safety of “out there” and enter the unchartered landscape of “in here.”  Fear takes many shapes.  Sometimes it’s a young river guide who, after bravely rowing some of the biggest drops in North America, quakes in her river sandals when reading from her private journal around the evening campfire.  Sometimes it’s a writer, entering the war-torn landscape of an interior life, trying to make sense of it all.  
In the summer of 2003, I left to do just that—pick up the strands of an unraveling life and try to recreate the fabric of my life.  I spent a month in seclusion at a cabin on the edge of the Cloud Peak Wilderness area in the Bighorn Mountains of Wyoming—no phone, no computer, no electricity, no car, no television, no running water.  I had been to these mountains before—on summe…