As you may know, one of my favorite year-end rituals is harvesting the best of the year that will soon be placed in the archive of history. Thus, the remaining 2017 blogs will be devoted to (some of) the very best of what the Journalverse had to offer this year. This week we’ll tackle the Best of LIVE! with Kay. I’ve included direct links to each of the audio downloads; you can also go to The Vault (audio archives) and search on Sibyl Dana Reynolds, Christina Baldwin or Jane Pace to access other talks they’ve done with us.
Holy Outrage, Sibyl Dana Reynolds, January (LK1046). Just days after the inauguration of President Donald J. Trump, I sat down with my old friend Sibyl Dana Reynolds for one of the deepest, most honest and provocative conversations in Journalverse’s history. Sibyl Dana is a contemporary mystic who is no stranger to holy wars; that’s a different and equally fascinating story, a piece of which she tells here. In the most embryonic days of the Trump administration we had a stripped-down conversation about spiritual activism in dark times. This hour still lives in my gut. CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD.
Pioneer Conversations/Apprenticed to Venus, Tristine Rainer, March (LK1049) and July (LK1057). In 1991 I threw a 40th birthday party for myself: the very first Journal Conference, with a faculty of four, including Christina Baldwin, and 125 participants from the US and Canada. The following year some of the San Diego participants took the baton and held a second conference (Judy Reeves, “the Lively Muse,” produced that one!), where I was invited faculty, along with Tristine Rainer. In the space of one 15-month period, I, a neophyte with just 6 and 7 years in the field, was not only meeting but teaching on the same stage as the two people who resided on my tallest pedestals. Tristine and Christina’s friendship went back to the late 1970s, when both of their pioneering books were published.
With that historical perspective, the first of this double-header goes all the way back to the very roots of this movement that I call journal therapy, Tristine calls “the new diary,” and Christina calls “the renaissance of personal writing” — back to the days when Tristine and the legendary writer and diarist Anais Nin were fast friends and colleagues in Los Angeles, and Tristine was living into the wisdom that led to her groundbreaking work, The New Diary, published when she was not yet 30. CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD.
Tristine’s newest book, Apprenticed to Venus: My Secret Life with Anais Nin, was released in July, and we had her back to talk more deeply about the process of writing a complex story of intimacy, betrayal, unbreakable vows and the bearing of silence for 40 years. Tristine is a marvelous, insightful, intelligent conversationalist, and these two interviews are now inseparable in my mind. CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD.
From Anguish to Action, Christina Baldwin, May (LK1053). Although politico-spiritual activism was a personal theme of mine in 2017, this talk frankly would have been high on my list no matter what the topic. Christina is just that good, a teacher for the ages who deeply embodies her work. There is a moment in this talk when she offers ways to break down tension and polarity in political conversation. She mentions a hand gesture that she finds herself intuitively doing when she is holding the intention for inclusiveness; she notices her hand moves in circles or ovals rather than linear accents. In that instant I was awash with a montage of moments I’ve been with Christina when I’ve seen her do that exact hand gesture, and all the kinesthetic memory of feeling safe and open-hearted in her presence rushed back. There’s a reason she’s a legend, and it’s because she’s so “Christina” in everything she does and says. CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD.
Save or Shred? What to Do with All Those Journals, Beth Jacobs and Merle Saferstein, September (LK1060). Two colleagues and friends from the National Association of Poetry Therapy joined me for a fascinating conversation about a different kind of activism–the process of deciding what to do with decades (garages, storage units) of journals (and then doing it). Beth read and shredded, allowing herself only enough morsels to fit in a very small container. Merle read and meticulously catalogued, indexed, reprised and returned to storage. They supported each other through their processes, and their stories and reflections make this a classic for our journal times. CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD.
The Power of the Time Capsule, Jane Pace, February (LK1048). A seasoned Journal to the Self (JTTS) instructor and certified poetry/journal facilitator, Jane has brilliantly expanded the JTTS technique of Time Capsule to a year-long process in which she leads a group through the month-just-past using a facilitation plan that she deconstructs and facilitates in this mini-workshop. She’s in her second year of Time Capsuling monthly. It’s pretty genius. If you borrow the model for your own writing groups, give her credit! (Read more about Time Capsules in Journal to the Self.) CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD.
Intellectual Property Law for Creatives, Kathryn Goldman J.D., August (LK1059). Kathryn is an intellectual property attorney with a passion for bringing quality legal services to creatives. In a smart, focused, interesting conversation she pulls back the curtain on copyright and trademark, fascinating facts about each, how to know what needs protection, and how to go about protecting it. This is practical and necessary information for anyone who writes for publication or offers a creative work for sale. CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD.
Do you have other favorites from LIVE! with Kay? Any thoughts on this Best Of list? Comments welcome!