Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Ensouling Language

My good friend, Dr. Jennifer Botham, introduced me to the author Stehpen Harrod Buhner. She recommended, The Lost Language of Plants: The Ecological Importance of Plant Medicines for Life on Earth and Ensouling Language. I devoured both, reading Ensouling Language: On the Art of Nonfiction and the Writer’s Life first because of my passion for writing. Good thing I had not read Ensouling before writing my book, which I just finished. Buhner gave me courage to be bolder in my editor struggles. On second thought, I wish I had read this wonderful book years ago. Reading Buhner’s book surely must be like sitting in on one of his writing workshops, or better yet, having him as a personal mentor. Most every chapter is designed to inspire the nonfiction writer to embrace their work as if they were creating poetic fiction birthed from the recesses of the heart. Imagination, creativity, soul—these are the forces of Buhner’s writing life. And he yearns for those of us who weep to write to feel his presence of blessing; keep writing in the face of rejection. Buhner encourages, no demands, all those brave enough to write to breathe out the words emerging from their soul, feeling for the “Golden Thread,” that which knits every image and thought together in their work. He implores the writer to dream the story, to be the story, to become the conscious unconsciousness of what is being released from the inner self to the outer page. Buhner pulls back the curtain between writing for the sake of telling a story or writing non-fiction to show the reader “how to.” He fetches us to ensoul the language in order to bring joy the readers heart. Writing is an art. Writing is also a craft, requiring hours and days sitting in front of a journal, notebook, and computer. The writer cannot escape the haunting whispers emanating forth from the simple tools of pencil and paper, blank page. She who dares pretend to write, must write in order to breathe, ditching all other endeavors to pour over the page that begs its own life. Write until fingers bleed. Then write some more. I strongly encourage all my writer friends to immerse themselves in Buhner’s work. For those that don’t write, but love to read, I venture you will find his writing refreshing and worth your money and time.

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