COLLECTIVE BREATH – Episode: 42
Week of Sunday, April 25th, 2021
Number of people attending Facebook (personal portion):
Number of people attending Zoom Meet (group portion):
“I’ve begun to realize that you can listen to silence and learn from it. It has a quality and a dimension all its own.”
— Chaim Potok, The Chosen
A transcript of this segment and each subsequent session will be posted (for anyone interested) at http://www.sidewayseight.co which is my main outlet for personal poetry and photography: Sideways Eight Projects.
“We went down into the silent garden. Dawn is the time when nothing breathes, the hour of silence. Everything is transfixed, only the light moves.”
— Leonora Carrington
As we sit at the dawn of a new week, contemplating the silence we are given, learning from what it has to offer, we have the opportunity to come together again, breathing new life into each other, building community, loving the day, learning from the night, focusing on the light we find guiding us in the darkness of the desert.
Hello fantastic people! My name is Jesse James Ziegler. I am the current Poet in Residence for the Bruka Theatre of the Sierra in Reno, Nevada. I’m a member of the Sierra Literary Cooperative and the spoken word/poetry contributor to Reno Arts News. I am an active poet, special event MC, principle photographer, special event series host, and now weekly wellness writing workshop host in collaboration with Spoken Views Collective of which I am also a Board Member.
This Weeks Writing Prompt:
Co-created with this week’s special guest, Tahoe’s own spoken word artist and musician, Victor Uriz.
Respond to the question ‘What do you think about feeling and filling the SILENCE?
I want for this podcast style personal portion to contain information about famous writers and their quotes as well as, today, a local guest to this program who will help everyone involved gain a diversity of perspective and positively impact our individual creative processes.
Quote(s) of the Week:(4)
“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
and rightdoing there is a field.
I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass
the world is too full to talk about.”
“Your silence will not protect you.”
— Audre Lorde
“We sit silently and watch the world around us. This has taken a lifetime to learn. It seems only the old are able to sit next to one another and not say anything and still feel content. The young, brash and impatient, must always break the silence. It is a waste, for silence is pure. Silence is holy. It draws people together because only those who are comfortable with each other can sit without speaking. This is the great paradox.”
— Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook
“The monotony and solitude of a quiet life stimulates the creative mind.”
— Albert Einstein
I’m hoping this sharing and vulnerability I’m demonstrating will encourage others who love creative writing as well to open up, by sharing from their innermost, related to the topic provided. I’m hoping we all gain perspective, compassion, hope, and discipline through such organized sharing.
Piece(s) of the Week: (2)
A bridge over a barren river bed
Guest Interview – Victor Uriz
1. Who are some of your most influential/inspirational writers? (Can include songwriters)
A: My influences include Jack Kerouac, Charles Bukowski and Shane Koyzan. These guys had their own unique style. They had their own authentic voice. They didn’t care what the critic’s said or what the current trend in “literature” might have been. They took risks and preserved their artistic integrity.
2. What are some of your favorite/most influential/ most inspirational pieces? (Individual songs, poems, short stories, novels, etc.)
A: What I respect in these writers is how they were able to take the same old stories-lines and give them a new and fresh treatment. These writers were willing to go beyond the perfunctory, or pedestrian and break ground on a new way to telling a stories. They explore the emotions and frailties that come with being a flawed human.
I’ll share with you a short quote by Kerouac that illustrates his style of writing.
“[…]the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes “Awww!”
That’s all one long sentence. He created prose that resemble jazz solos. He’s known for utilizing a style of writing that incorporated the method known as stream of consciousness. It’s spontaneous writing just like a jazz solo is spontaneous. His writing has tempo, dynamic’s and a musical phrasing similar to the improvisation of a tenor sax solo.
Bukowski is a raw, and unfiltered writer. His style is stark and has a street wisdom. He was a drunk, but a genus drunk. To get a feel for his style of writing let me read one of his more famous quotes.
We are here to unlearn the teachings of the church, state, and our educational system. We are here to drink beer. We are here to kill war. We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that Death will tremble to take us.
Two of his most famous quote is “Find what you love and let it kill you.” ——-And——-“What matters most is how well you walk through the fire.”
My third most influential writers is Shan Koyczan. He performs spoken word projects. He’s best known for a piece entitled “To This Day”. A Piece about being bullied. It’s played in schools to create conversations about the effects of bullying on students. If you haven’t already, I strongly recommend you listen to the piece on youtube.
3. What are your creative goals for the next five years or so in this region?
A: I have no specific goals other than to keep evolving and growing and refining my writing style.
4.Why and how did you choose this week’s writing prompt?
A: (Paired discussion of the co-created prompt.)
5. What sorts or thoughts or ideas first come to mind for you when you read/see/hear the writing prompt?
A: (Victor’s authentic responses on an impromptu level)
For further personal reading/listening/viewing
Victor Uriz – Crossed Roads
Victor Uriz – Briar Lane
Victor Uriz – Second to Silence
Victor graduated from Sacramento State with a degree in Psychology and did graduate work at Cal Poly San Louis Obispo. He’s been playing and writing music for as long as he can remember. His music projects are available at victoruriz.hearnow.com and his spoken word projects are available at victoruriz.hearnow.com/jazzoretry. He has a blog at captsabino.com.
Next Week’s Writing Prompt:
Which will also be posted across Collective Breath and Bruka Theatre’s social media platforms: Taking shots at someone versus taking shots with someone
Thursday, April 29th, 2021
Spoken Views Collective
benefitting Safe Embrace
Closing Sentiments and an Invitation
“Ships that pass in the night, and speak each other in passing, only a signal shown, and a distant voice in the darkness; So on the ocean of life, we pass and speak one another, only a look and a voice, then darkness again and a silence.”
That’s it for my personal portion. If this is where you get off this train of thought, because you checked in to listen, thank you for tuning in and absorbing. I appreciate your time and consideration. If you are here for the Weekly Wellness Writing Workshop group portion via Zoom Meeting, please transition to that application now using the link provided in the details/description section of the Bruka Theatre Facebook Event Page for ‘Collective Breath’. The link to watch previous episodes is in the bio section of the Collective Breath Instagram page @biggestlittlecollectivebreath
“Speak only if it improves upon the silence.”
— Mahatma Gandhi
Be present with each other this week. See through the restlessness in silence to the root of what’s really going on. Address the issues that need to be addressed and fight the battles that need to be fought. Try to let the rest go.
‘Keep’ (my frictionless benediction)
Keep writing. Keep your heart open and your mind aware. Keep coming back for more. Keep going. Keep giving. Keep doing. Keep daring to believe in a better way of living. Keep loving and creating. Keep each other safe and sound. Keep it real, and keep the faith. I love you. Goodbye for now.
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