Authenticity, Ming Sha Shan, Mountains of Singing Sands, Dunhuang, Gansu, China


Quiet mind

If nothing comes
Find a prompt
(Photographs usually work.)
Start again

Quiet mind

Write what comes
Don’t argue with the words

It’s OK to not like what they say
Write them anyway

It’s OK to not have the right words

Write down the wrong words
The right ones can be found later

Wait or pause whenever it feels
Like the words aren’t coming… yet
Or the meaning isn’t right… yet
And the right way isn’t present… yet

Quiet mind

Take the time
To let them come
To let them flow

When they flow
Don’t stop

Stop, when it feels OK to stop
Stop, when the words feel true

If the words feel true
They are authentic

Whether or not they seem beautiful
Whether or not they seem important
Whether or not they seem angry
Whether or not they seem loving
Whether or not they seem … whatever

This is the hard part

Whether or not they hurt a little to read
Or hurt a lot

It seems, though
Authentic words are never hurtful
Nor bitter
Nor righteous
There is no deceit in them
Nor guile

The ego is not authentic

Not all words which come
Need to be shared
Even authentic ones
Some words were only ever intended
To speak truly to a readership of one

But, consider sharing them anyway
The word could use a little more

Shadow Selfie
Ming Sha Shan
(The Mountains of Singing Sands)
Gansu Province, China

Taken during travels, 1998

In the comments of yesterday’s Pic and a Word Challenge post, Clouds, Suzanne of “Being in Nature” asked, “Just how do you express yourself authentically?”

I can never resist a question, rhetorical or otherwise, in its intended context or the one one I prefer. So, I roughed out this post in a reply there.