John Steinbeck: Six Tips on Writing

a writer's word - day title sundayJohn Steinbeck: Six Tips on Writing
Post Created by Jk the secret keeper
Illustrated by j. kiley
Post Created On Saturday 21st September 2013
Posted On Sunday 22nd September 2013

A Writer’s Word
john steinbeck

John Steinbeck Tip #1

 

Abandon the idea that you are ever going to finish. Lose track of the 400 pages and write just one page for each day, it helps. Then when it gets finished, you are always surprised.

 

John Steinbeck Tip #2

 

Write freely and as rapidly as possible and throw the whole thing on paper. Never correct or rewrite until the whole thing is down. Rewrite in process is usually found to be an excuse for not going on. It also interferes with flow and rhythm which can only come from a kind of unconscious association with the material.

 

John Steinbeck Tip #3

 

Forget your generalized audience. In the first place, the nameless, faceless audience will scare you to death and in the second place, unlike the theater, it doesn’t exist. In writing, your audience is one single reader. I have found that sometimes it helps to pick out one person—a real person you know, or an imagined person and write to that one.

 

John Steinbeck Tip #4

 

If a scene or a section gets the better of you and you still think you want it—bypass it and go on. When you have finished the whole you can come back to it and then you may find that the reason it gave trouble is because it didn’t belong there.

 

John Steinbeck Tip #5

 

Beware of a scene that becomes too dear to you, dearer than the rest. It will usually be found that it is out of drawing.

John Steinbeck Tip #6

 

If you are using dialogue—say it aloud as you write it. Only then will it have the sound of speech.

steinbeck perfect good

Steinbeck issued the following statement after receiving the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1963,

 “If there is a magic in story writing, and I am convinced there is, no one has ever been able to reduce it to a recipe that can be passed from one person to another. The formula seems to lie solely in the aching urge of the writer to convey something he feels important to the reader. If the writer has that urge, he may sometimes, but by no means always, find the way to do it. You must perceive the excellence that makes a good story good or the errors that makes a bad story. For a bad story is only an ineffective story.” — John Steinbeck

 

John Steinbeck — Pulitzer Prize winner, Nobel laureate, author of “East of Eden,” gave an excellent interview published in the Fall 1975 issue of The Paris Review.

[Thank You to Brain Pickings]

Happy Birthday My Friend on Sunday 11th August 2013

Happy Birthday My Friend on Sunday 11th August 2013
Created For My Friend On Her Birthday
Love Jennifer
Jk ‘the secret keeper’
Posted On Sunday 11th August 2013
A Writer’s Word

A Rainbow Circle For You, Love Jennifer Happy Birthday

A Rainbow Circle For You, Love Jennifer
Happy Birthday

Gatsby's Rose --- Photographer Shawn MacKenzie

Temporal Distortion

Happy Birthday
I Wish I Could Give You
A Birthday Bear Hug
But I Guess These
Will Have To Do.
xoxoxoxoxoxox, Love, Jennifer

Happy Birthday Fairy Style

Words Streaming With Hidden Meaning
By Jennifer Kiley
Written 2012

Words Stringing Together
Meaning-Intimacy-Attachment-Special
Needing-Wanting-Any Order Will Do
The Eternal Definition:
[place your order] One With Everything [think about it]
Find Peace In Breathing Deeply
Writing-Star Light-Infinite Space
Love-Give-Give To You
Dream-Vision-Woman-Be Yourself
Be One-Love One-Love All-In Peace
Night-Time-Space Travel-All Is One
Be Here Now

© jennifer kiley 2013

A Rose For You by Leo Savitsky   It's Magical & Mystical Just Like You, Love Jk

A Rose For You by Leo Savitsky It’s Magical & Mystical Just Like You, Love Jk

Kindred Spirits
by Jennifer Kiley

Long ago in times past we met
You were known to me as another
And I found in you a stranger
Who I let into my life
You needed my help
It was offered and accepted

Slowly your newness wore off
Revealed was a gentle spirit
With the talent to move creation
You were a pagan, loving nature

We lived in hidden places
Being searched out by danger
We ended protecting the other
Finding closeness in our plight
Guarded by protective spirits

We found solace in one another
Your eyes watched over me
As mine watched over you
Our closeness grew with time
Our journeys had merged
Out of safety and from love
Our souls were joining
In mutual compassion
We became one

© jennifer kiley 2013

Elephant Walking Amongst the Trees

Love is…
by jayarrarr

Love walks a tightrope barefoot over a bottomless pit
engulfed in flames and never looks back.

Love conjures a smile through tears.

Love believes impossible things are possible.

Love is truth, and as such, is sometimes painful.

Love is necessary.

Love is the beauty that shines through cracks
in imperfectly broken things.

Love is hanging your arm out of an open car window
on a hot summer’s day road trip
and pretending to fly.

Love whispers “it gets better”.

Love makes you cry at weddings
and laugh at funerals.

Love pushes you, challenges you,
refuses to let you compromise.

Love never backs down no matter
how hard you fight.

Love is that one song you play over and over
a hundred times and never get tired of.

Love takes charge when you’ve lost all hope,
and makes sure you keep going.

Love thinks you’re amazing
and doesn’t give a fuck
how depressed, angry, ugly,
or stupid you feel.

Love is lightning bugs.

Love is spinning ‘round and ‘round
in circles until you fall down.

Love is the wave that knocks you off
your feet when your back is turned.

Love is stubborn,
and won’t take “no” for an answer.

Love is fearless.

Love is also blind, deaf, and dumb –
and that’s a good thing.

Peter Pan — Happy Birthday

love is…

My Thoughts Are With You Today

Birthday Fairy In Magical Forest

Amazing Visions

European Architecture — Night Vision

Abstract Tree of Black and White by Mark Chapwick

Abstract Tree of Black and White by Mark Chapwick

Love is…
Written by Jennifer Kiley
23rd July 2012

Love is…mysterious.

Love is…unconditional.

Love is…something that can take your breath away.

Love is…expected to be given to a baby when s/he is born.

Love is…spiritually powerful.

Love is…nurturing.

Love is…good.

Love is…a feeling.

Love is…falling into a pleasant state of ecstasy.

Love is…pure.

Love is…passionate.

Love is…spoken in poetic words that have no limit in the ways they are expressed.

Love is…what you feel for a friend one cares about in a gentle way.

Love is…gentle.

Love is…written about by all poets and writers.

Love is…the best part of most plays written by Shakespeare.

Love is…the most misunderstood communication between people.

Love is…an incredibly powerful word.

Love is…a feeling of intense devotion and heartfelt emotion for someone.

Love is…an intense word used when there are emotional feelings for someone special.

Love is…not something that can be easily explained. and you don’t truly know what it is until it happens to you.

Love is…a strong feeling of affection towards another.

Love is…talking on Skype and not wanting to end chat.

Love is…the happiest feeling in the world…it is better to have loved then to never loved at all.

Love is…a force of nature which, like any other natural phenomenon, cannot be civilized, contained or contended…a force which cannot be controlled, avoided, destroyed or escaped.

Love is…an emotion usually described as ‘indescribable’ because you cannot find the right word to match your feeling of being completely and utterly captivated by someone.

Love is…something too complicated to define according to The Encyclopedia Britannica.

Love is…an amazing feeling that almost makes your heart burst with this overwhelming passion for someone.

Love is…passion, romance. a deep, tender, ineffable feeling of affection and solicitude toward a person.

Love is…a feeling of intense desire and attraction toward a person.

Love is…a zero score in tennis.

Love is…what drives you.

Love is…a great victory of human imagination over intelligence.

Love is…a rare psychological malfunction caused by an undetermined amount of interaction with another person.

Love is…someone making your heart smile, and making it sing with such exuberance that it will skip a beat from time to time.

Love is…healing.

Love is…comforting.

Love is…something that has made people insanely, foolishly, abnormally euphoric.

Love is…the ability to send one on an indescribable high, and make everything and anything so much better.

Love is…something that makes the world around you much more colourful, the people, much nicer, the conversations more insightful.

Love is…something with a shocking contrast, brought out by the darker side in us all, where people have murdered for love, stolen, hurt, and abused but I am not sure this really speaks for love but is a distortion and delusional interpretation of what love is and I felt it needed to be mentioned.

Love is…something that has sparked wars, and ended feuds, love has hurt, and love has healed, love has driven humankind to dizzying extremes, only to abruptly bring one back around.

Love is…an incredibly powerful word and emotion.

Love is…painful.

Love is…losing someone you love to the hands of death.

Love is…holding a warm, fluffy, purring kitty in your arms and they look up into your eyes, reflecting back the love you feel for them.

Love is…when you can feel comfortable being around that person you are with, no matter how you look, what you are wearing or if you are naked.

Love is…unconditional affection with no limits or conditions: completely loving someone.

Love is…an unconditional feeling that is felt, simply by being around her.

Love is…the absolute devotion you feel towards someone.

Love is…fierce.

Love is…when you realize you want to be with someone forever.

Love is…when you find something that you cannot live without or ever wish to be without.

Love is…something we think about, sing about, dream about, lose sleep worrying about it.

Love is…something when we don’t have it; we search for it; when we discover it; we don’t know what to do with it; when we have it; we fear losing it.

Love is…a constant source of pleasure and pain, but we can’t predict which it will be from one moment to the next.

Love is…a short word, easy to spell, difficult to define, impossible to live without.

Love is…to give all of yourself to a person-s-cause and to expect nothing back.

Love is…a mental-physical-spiritual thing beyond human comprehension.

Love is…something that surpasses all understanding.

Love is…patient.

Love is…kind and envies no one.

Love is…never boastful, nor conceited, nor rude; never selfish, nor quick to take offense.

Love is…a feeling that delights in the truth.

Love is…something that can face anything.

Love is…limitless in its faith, its hope, and its endurance.

Love is…something that lasts forever.

Love is…saying that you care deeply about another person.

Love is…giving someone the power to destroy you, and trusting them not to.

Love is…the desire to blend with their soul.

Love is…something that will make you do anything.

Love is…intense and passionate.

Love is…something that makes everything seem brighter, happier and more wonderful.

Love is…caring deeply about another person.

Love is…when every time you see this person you get butterflies in your stomach.

[this one is extra special for your birthday]
Love is…like being in wonderland without the red queen. Sometimes everything makes sense, other times no one cares.

© jennifer kiley 2013

I Just Called To Say I Love You-Stevie Wonder

hand letting go of golden flecks gif

Seasons of Our Dreams
By Jennifer Kiley
August 2013

Delicate will we prance on softness of grass;
leaves that trees must shed and piles
for the child within to crash upon;
angels in white falling into drops
of flaked, crystallized rain;
return of green from smallest sprout
one moment and blooming shades of gleaming greens
and flowers multiplying colours across the fields;
we travel round the seasons of our dreams
and moments found where love is felt
from tender shades of changes in our heart and soul;
we flow and go along in joy and bliss.

© jennifer kiley 2013

moving water gif

Flamme Abstrait de Couleurs par j. kiley

Roue de la Fortune — Souhait— Les Rêves se Réalisent par j. kiley © jennifer kiley 2013

happy birthday niamh

candle-flame-gif

To Make You Chuckle. 8-) Jk

To Make You Chuckle. 8-) Jk

Myths of Fixed Personalities: Violent Rebellion Part 1

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Myths of Fixed Personalities
Violent Rebellion Part 1
Against the Myths of Fixed Personality
Written by Anais Nin in 4 Parts
Post Created by Jk the secret keeper
Created Friday 12th July 2013
Illustrated by j. Kiley
Posted on Sunday 14th July 2013
A WRITER’S WORDS SUNDAY

myths of fixed personalities by j. kiley (c) jennifer kiley 2013

Remember-Remember V for Vendetta Soundtrack — Dario Marianelli

QUOTATION on REBELLION:

“…it’s just another one of those things I don’t understand: everyone impresses upon you how unique you are, encouraging you to cultivate your individuality while at the same time trying to squish you and everyone else into the same ridiculous mould. It’s an artist’s right to rebel against the world’s stupidity.” ― E.A. Bucchianeri, Brushstrokes of a Gadfly

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Author’s Corner With Shawn MacKenzie.

the secret keeper:

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A marvelous post on author extraordinaire, Shawn MacKenzie. Thank you Niamh Clune and ontheplumtree. It is a pleasure to reblog this post of “Author’s Corner.” Well, done. [added this edited version of my comment from "on the plum tree"]. A great post Niamh. Loved your tales Shawn of discovering the Dragon in a serendipitous way. Those magical used book stores carry such treasures. I do believe Dragon Green was sitting up wondering and waiting for your arrival. “Where is that little girl. She was supposed to be here hours and possibly days ago. Ah, there she is. Now I will work my wonders on her. She will understand me. They told me she would.” And there you were, taking book in hand and from that day forward your destiny was forged. You have tried other endeavors. Playwright extraordinaire. I love your plays. But that was a different time. Now you are immersed with Dragon lore and mythical explorations and all sorts of stories needing to be told. But Dragons will be foremost in your mind. They chose you and you chose them. Either way you are meant for the other. As a writer, your brilliance shines through, your precision is excellent, and your imagination soars throughout the universe. Now you have taken on the Editor’s Corner, where you are teaching other writers, professional and novice, the inner workings of writing, so that it’s appearance is fleshed out with more accuracy. Giving valuable direction to us all. It is an enjoyment to read each week, so informative, and served with a (pardon the expression from someone I love from my childhood,) “spoonful of sugar, which helps the medicine go down in the most delightful way.” Well, done Niamh, choosing Shawn MacKenzie as your “Author’s Corner” author célèbre. She is most deserving of the attention and has a great deal more magic up her sleeve from short stories to novels. When you wrote, Niamh: “Shawn is no ordinary writer of prose. She crafts sentences, weaving them with natural flair whilst introducing the unusual. Her brilliance of mind and wit shines through everything she does.” A most accurate statement, indeed. I will second that. Not biased much, just appreciative of a true “Wildean” wit who is a true contrarian, too shy, however, to shine the light on herself, though she deserves the brightest light of all. So thank you for doing this for her. Jk the secret keeper
4p dragon-blue john lennon quote
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Originally posted on Plum Tree Books Blog:

A favourite of Plum Tree Books is Shawn MacKenzie. You might all know her for her great editorial posts. But did you know, she is an expert on dragons and a brilliant writer in her own right? Shawn is no ordinary writer of prose. She crafts sentences, weaving them with natural flair whilst introducing the unusual. Her brilliance of mind and wit shines through everything she does. Great to have you here, Shawn.

Author’s Corner

by Shawn MacKENZIE

Hang out On the Plum Tree and you may know me from the Editor’s Corner. However, you may not know that there is actual authorial experience backing up all that pedantry. And so, at Niamh’s invitation, I’m delighted to introduce you to my fictional side, particularly my books on Dragons.dragon heeperdragon
As every dracophile knows, all talk of Dragons must begin with a story. They insist – and you don’t want to cross…

View original 547 more words

Laughter With Heart

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Laughter With Heart

Post Created by Jk the secret keeper
Wake Up Kitty Video Created by Jennifer Kiley
Created Tuesday 9th July 2013
Collage Created by j. kiley
Collage Created Sunday 7th July 2013
Posted Wednesday 10th July 2013
COLLAGE WEDNESDAY

laughter with heart by j. kiley (c) jennifer kiley 2013

Wake Up Kitty by Jennifer Kiley
Kitty Cartoon Made by Anonymous

Let’s Go Fly A Kite — Mary Poppins [Film with Julie Andrews & Dick Van Dyke]

QUOTATION on SUBCONSCIOUS:

“Deep inside us is something intensely felt, not in our conscious mind, but in our subconscious. A silent truth, an infinite truth, leading to a deeper awareness. It is an intensely divine force of what is revealed and is veiled.” ― A Thought by Jk the secret keeper

QUOTATION on LAUGHTER:

“It’s not all bad. Heightened self-consciousness, apartness, an inability to join in, physical shame and self-loathing—they are not all bad. Those devils have been my angels. Without them I would never have disappeared into language, literature, the mind, laughter and all the mad intensities that made and unmade me.” ― Stephen Fry, Moab Is My Washpot

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Healing thoughts for the people of the World.

A Writer’s Word: “Pleasure”

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A Writer’s Word: “Pleasure”
Post Created by Jk the secret keeper
Illustrated by j. kiley
Post Created Saturday 6th July 2013
Posted Sunday 7th July 2013

“The mind which is created quick to love, is responsive to everything that is pleasing, soon as by pleasure it is awakened into activity. Your apprehensive faculty draws an impression from a real object, and unfolds it within you, so that it makes the mind turn thereto. And if, being turned, it inclines towards it, that inclination is love; that is nature, which through pleasure is bound anew within you.” ― Dante Alighieri, The Divine Comedy

blue fantasy ---anonymous  1920x1200

blue fantasy —anonymous

First Kiss 2nd Take
By Jennifer Kiley
6th July 2013

My lips are ready,
I give open for thee.
Let your lips be mine,
Bring them closer to me.
Slow in the beginning,
Our mouths gently join.
Touching the fireworks inside,
Kissing awakens,
To souls’ secret time.
Mouths sink into the moment,
While hearts do the crime!

Eyes closed, total darkness,
Our souls being shy.
It’s difficult breathing,
Touch echoing its meaning,
Gives depth to our passion,
Our souls’ secret’s safe.
Released with a blessing,
Our minds floating away!

Our bodies’ pull closer,
The hug’s pure perfection,
Feels dancing in its reflection.
Our kisses go deeper,
Inside there’s a new touch,
It guides us to pleasures,
We don’t comprehend.
It comes unexpected,
Both feeling undone.
Our new kiss, a smooth kiss,
Please stay away sun!

We came unprepared,
Surprised with each new stroke.
Stars sparkling so brightly,
The Divine hardly spoke.
Poets writing the words,
Trying hard, capturing the timing.
First moments of kissing,
Develops into events quite alarming!

We complete the beginning,
To rhythms and rhymes.
The passions, the pleasures,
Have run way beyond time.
A kiss with our moist lips,
Yours close against mine.
Brings forth satisfaction,
Even stopping in time.

Lift life’s expectations,
To the ultimate rhyme.
Even eventful moments,
The stealing of time.
How perfectly fitting,
Toward ending this mime!

© jennifer kiley 2013

Wiener Philharmoniker — Maurice Ravel— Bolero — Gustavo Dudamel — HD

A Tribute to Blake Edwards (born 26th July – 3 days after me – different years), “10″ which gave Bolero to the world on a Grand Scale, and Dudley Moore who loved Julie Andrews in the film but pursued Bo Derek. {What a Jerk going that route. Yes, Bo Derek is cute.} But For Me Julie is the “10″… Blake and Dudley Are No Longer With Us But Brought Us Great Joy While they Were Here. Thank You BOTH and RIP. Enjoy Your Soul Has Been Set Free. For Those Left Behind It Is A Mixed Inner Reaction Giving Up on Time.

I would really love to emphasize a strong mention of Julie Andrews, married to Blake since the mid 60s. JULIE IS DEFINITELY STILL WITH US FOR A LONG TIME TO COME, SUPERSTITIOUS-SO KNOCK ON WOOD-AND STILL BRINGS US GREAT JOY WITH HER FILMS, MUSIC, BOOKS, I, ESPECIALLY LOVED MANDY, AND JULIE’S PRESENCE IN THE WORLD. SHE CARES SO MUCH FOR CHILDREN AND THEIR WELFARE, AND FOR ALL PEOPLES OF THE WORLD. I AM ONE OF THE MANY WHO ALWAYS HAD THE WISH THAT JULIE COULD HAVE BEEN OUR MOTHER. ONE CAN ALWAYS DREAM WE WERE ON THE BED WHEN SHE SANG “MY FAVORITE THINGS” OR RUNNING THROUGH THE ALPS AND THROUGH SALTZBERG ON A CARRIAGE LEARNING HOW TO SING WITH THE MARVELOUS SONG I SUNG A GREAT DEAL IN MY YEARS FROM CHILDHOOD ON UP, “DO RE ME.” AND BEING SUNG TO SLEEP WITH HER SWEET SWEET VOICE WITH “STAY AWAKE DON’T REST YOUR HEAD.” MY INSOMNIA ALWAYS LISTENED TO MARY POPPINS, WHO WAS PRACTICALLY PERFECT IN EVERY WAY. LOVE YOU JULIE, MARY POPPINS & MARIA VON TRAPP. ALL PART OF PLEASURE.

I LOVED “BOLERO” BEFORE “10″ BUT IT DOES GIVE IT NOTORIETY, AND “BOLERO” AND RAVEL GREATER FAME. HOPE YOU ENJOY. IT IS GREAT FOR LOVE AND IT IS JUST THE PERFECT LENGTH FOR ME TO DRIVE HOME FROM MY ANALYST’S OFFICE. COMES RIGHT TO AN END AS I PULL INTO THE DRIVE WAY. HOW SATISFYING IS THAT…{{{SMILE}}} JENNIFER{{{HUGS TO ALL}}} PEACE TO ALL.

Healing Thoughts To The People Of The World And A Special Mention To Those Who Were Aboard The Plane That Crashed At The San Francisco Airport On Saturday. MY Heart Goes Out To All Those Who Are Suffering. Find Comfort And Peace.

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Importance of Imagination

Importance of Imagination
J.K. Rowling Speaks @ Harvard
Commencement June 2008
Post Created by Jk the secret keeper
Created June 7th 2013
Posted June 9th 2013colours multi psychedelic divider for posts newexercise imaginations by j. kiley © jennifer kiley 2013colours multi psychedelic divider for posts newJ.K. Rowling, author of the best-selling Harry Potter book series, delivers her Commencement Address, “The Fringe Benefits of Failure, and the Importance of Imagination…”

“I have wracked my mind and heart for what I ought to say to you today.”

It is Rowling’s gift to draw universal life lessons from her own discoveries—of personal failure “on an epic scale,” and, from a day job at Amnesty International, “evidence about the evils humankind will inflict on their fellow humans, to gain or maintain power.” And yet, “I also learned more about human goodness…than I had ever known before.” Of those who “prefer not to exercise their imaginations at all,” who “choose to remain comfortably within the bounds of their own experience,” Rowling said, “I do not think they have any fewer nightmares than I do.…I think the willfully unimaginative see more monsters.”

Quoting Plutarch, she said, “What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality.” In a final challenge, the 42-year-old Rowling—seeming too young and too slight for the weight of her words—told the graduates, “If you choose to use your status and influence to raise your voice on behalf of those who have no voice; if you choose to identify not only with the powerful, but with the powerless; if you retain the ability to imagine yourself into the lives of those who do not have your advantages, then it will not only be your proud families who celebrate your existence, but thousands and millions of people whose reality you have helped transform for the better. We do not need magic to change the world, we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already: we have the power to imagine better.”

In honoring Rowling for igniting in millions the passion to read, Harvard discovered that it had also welcomed a teacher beyond compare.

So follows the video of the J.K. Rowlings Harvard Commencement Speech from June 2008 followed by the text of the speech.colours multi psychedelic divider for posts new

J.K. Rowling Speaks at Harvard Commencement 2008

Text of Commencement Speech June 2008

President Faust, members of the Harvard Corporation and the Board of Overseers, members of the faculty, proud parents, and, above all, graduates.

The first thing I would like to say is ‘thank you.’ Not only has Harvard given me an extraordinary honour, but the weeks of fear and nausea I have endured at the thought of giving this commencement address have made me lose weight. A win-win situation! Now all I have to do is take deep breaths, squint at the red banners and convince myself that I am at the world’s largest Gryffindor reunion.

Delivering a commencement address is a great responsibility; or so I thought until I cast my mind back to my own graduation. The commencement speaker that day was the distinguished British philosopher Baroness Mary Warnock. Reflecting on her speech has helped me enormously in writing this one, because it turns out that I can’t remember a single word she said. This liberating discovery enables me to proceed without any fear that I might inadvertently influence you to abandon promising careers in business, the law or politics for the giddy delights of becoming a gay wizard.

You see? If all you remember in years to come is the ‘gay wizard’ joke, I’ve come out ahead of Baroness Mary Warnock. Achievable goals: the first step to self improvement.

Actually, I have wracked my mind and heart for what I ought to say to you today. I have asked myself what I wish I had known at my own graduation, and what important lessons I have learned in the 21 years that have expired between that day and this.

I have come up with two answers. On this wonderful day when we are gathered together to celebrate your academic success, I have decided to talk to you about the benefits of failure. And as you stand on the threshold of what is sometimes called ‘real life’, I want to extol the crucial importance of imagination.

These may seem quixotic or paradoxical choices, but please bear with me.

Looking back at the 21-year-old that I was at graduation, is a slightly uncomfortable experience for the 42-year-old that she has become. Half my lifetime ago, I was striking an uneasy balance between the ambition I had for myself, and what those closest to me expected of me.

I was convinced that the only thing I wanted to do, ever, was to write novels. However, my parents, both of whom came from impoverished backgrounds and neither of whom had been to college, took the view that my overactive imagination was an amusing personal quirk that would never pay a mortgage, or secure a pension. I know that the irony strikes with the force of a cartoon anvil, now.

So they hoped that I would take a vocational degree; I wanted to study English Literature. A compromise was reached that in retrospect satisfied nobody, and I went up to study Modern Languages. Hardly had my parents’ car rounded the corner at the end of the road than I ditched German and scuttled off down the Classics corridor.

I cannot remember telling my parents that I was studying Classics; they might well have found out for the first time on graduation day. Of all the subjects on this planet, I think they would have been hard put to name one less useful than Greek mythology when it came to securing the keys to an executive bathroom.

I would like to make it clear, in parenthesis, that I do not blame my parents for their point of view. There is an expiry date on blaming your parents for steering you in the wrong direction; the moment you are old enough to take the wheel, responsibility lies with you. What is more, I cannot criticise my parents for hoping that I would never experience poverty. They had been poor themselves, and I have since been poor, and I quite agree with them that it is not an ennobling experience. Poverty entails fear, and stress, and sometimes depression; it means a thousand petty humiliations and hardships. Climbing out of poverty by your own efforts, that is indeed something on which to pride yourself, but poverty itself is romanticised only by fools.

What I feared most for myself at your age was not poverty, but failure.

At your age, in spite of a distinct lack of motivation at university, where I had spent far too long in the coffee bar writing stories, and far too little time at lectures, I had a knack for passing examinations, and that, for years, had been the measure of success in my life and that of my peers.

I am not dull enough to suppose that because you are young, gifted and well-educated, you have never known hardship or heartbreak. Talent and intelligence never yet inoculated anyone against the caprice of the Fates, and I do not for a moment suppose that everyone here has enjoyed an existence of unruffled privilege and contentment.

However, the fact that you are graduating from Harvard suggests that you are not very well-acquainted with failure. You might be driven by a fear of failure quite as much as a desire for success. Indeed, your conception of failure might not be too far from the average person’s idea of success, so high have you already flown.

Ultimately, we all have to decide for ourselves what constitutes failure, but the world is quite eager to give you a set of criteria if you let it. So I think it fair to say that by any conventional measure, a mere seven years after my graduation day, I had failed on an epic scale. An exceptionally short-lived marriage had imploded, and I was jobless, a lone parent, and as poor as it is possible to be in modern Britain, without being homeless. The fears that my parents had had for me, and that I had had for myself, had both come to pass, and by every usual standard, I was the biggest failure I knew.

Now, I am not going to stand here and tell you that failure is fun. That period of my life was a dark one, and I had no idea that there was going to be what the press has since represented as a kind of fairy tale resolution. I had no idea then how far the tunnel extended, and for a long time, any light at the end of it was a hope rather than a reality.

So why do I talk about the benefits of failure? Simply because failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was, and began to direct all my energy into finishing the only work that mattered to me. Had I really succeeded at anything else, I might never have found the determination to succeed in the one arena I believed I truly belonged. I was set free, because my greatest fear had been realised, and I was still alive, and I still had a daughter whom I adored, and I had an old typewriter and a big idea. And so rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.

You might never fail on the scale I did, but some failure in life is inevitable. It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.

Failure gave me an inner security that I had never attained by passing examinations. Failure taught me things about myself that I could have learned no other way. I discovered that I had a strong will, and more discipline than I had suspected; I also found out that I had friends whose value was truly above the price of rubies.

The knowledge that you have emerged wiser and stronger from setbacks means that you are, ever after, secure in your ability to survive. You will never truly know yourself, or the strength of your relationships, until both have been tested by adversity. Such knowledge is a true gift, for all that it is painfully won, and it has been worth more than any qualification I ever earned.

So given a Time Turner, I would tell my 21-year-old self that personal happiness lies in knowing that life is not a check-list of acquisition or achievement. Your qualifications, your CV, are not your life, though you will meet many people of my age and older who confuse the two. Life is difficult, and complicated, and beyond anyone’s total control, and the humility to know that will enable you to survive its vicissitudes.

Now you might think that I chose my second theme, the importance of imagination, because of the part it played in rebuilding my life, but that is not wholly so. Though I personally will defend the value of bedtime stories to my last gasp, I have learned to value imagination in a much broader sense. Imagination is not only the uniquely human capacity to envision that which is not, and therefore the fount of all invention and innovation. In its arguably most transformative and revelatory capacity, it is the power that enables us to empathise with humans whose experiences we have never shared.

One of the greatest formative experiences of my life preceded Harry Potter, though it informed much of what I subsequently wrote in those books. This revelation came in the form of one of my earliest day jobs. Though I was sloping off to write stories during my lunch hours, I paid the rent in my early 20s by working at the African research department at Amnesty International’s headquarters in London.

There in my little office I read hastily scribbled letters smuggled out of totalitarian regimes by men and women who were risking imprisonment to inform the outside world of what was happening to them. I saw photographs of those who had disappeared without trace, sent to Amnesty by their desperate families and friends. I read the testimony of torture victims and saw pictures of their injuries. I opened handwritten, eye-witness accounts of summary trials and executions, of kidnappings and rapes.

Many of my co-workers were ex-political prisoners, people who had been displaced from their homes, or fled into exile, because they had the temerity to speak against their governments. Visitors to our offices included those who had come to give information, or to try and find out what had happened to those they had left behind.

I shall never forget the African torture victim, a young man no older than I was at the time, who had become mentally ill after all he had endured in his homeland. He trembled uncontrollably as he spoke into a video camera about the brutality inflicted upon him. He was a foot taller than I was, and seemed as fragile as a child. I was given the job of escorting him back to the Underground Station afterwards, and this man whose life had been shattered by cruelty took my hand with exquisite courtesy, and wished me future happiness.

And as long as I live I shall remember walking along an empty corridor and suddenly hearing, from behind a closed door, a scream of pain and horror such as I have never heard since. The door opened, and the researcher poked out her head and told me to run and make a hot drink for the young man sitting with her. She had just had to give him the news that in retaliation for his own outspokenness against his country’s regime, his mother had been seized and executed.

Every day of my working week in my early 20s I was reminded how incredibly fortunate I was, to live in a country with a democratically elected government, where legal representation and a public trial were the rights of everyone.

Every day, I saw more evidence about the evils humankind will inflict on their fellow humans, to gain or maintain power. I began to have nightmares, literal nightmares, about some of the things I saw, heard, and read.

And yet I also learned more about human goodness at Amnesty International than I had ever known before.

Amnesty mobilises thousands of people who have never been tortured or imprisoned for their beliefs to act on behalf of those who have. The power of human empathy, leading to collective action, saves lives, and frees prisoners. Ordinary people, whose personal well-being and security are assured, join together in huge numbers to save people they do not know, and will never meet. My small participation in that process was one of the most humbling and inspiring experiences of my life.

Unlike any other creature on this planet, humans can learn and understand, without having experienced. They can think themselves into other people’s places.

Of course, this is a power, like my brand of fictional magic, that is morally neutral. One might use such an ability to manipulate, or control, just as much as to understand or sympathise.

And many prefer not to exercise their imaginations at all. They choose to remain comfortably within the bounds of their own experience, never troubling to wonder how it would feel to have been born other than they are. They can refuse to hear screams or to peer inside cages; they can close their minds and hearts to any suffering that does not touch them personally; they can refuse to know.

I might be tempted to envy people who can live that way, except that I do not think they have any fewer nightmares than I do. Choosing to live in narrow spaces leads to a form of mental agoraphobia, and that brings its own terrors. I think the wilfully unimaginative see more monsters. They are often more afraid.

What is more, those who choose not to empathise enable real monsters. For without ever committing an act of outright evil ourselves, we collude with it, through our own apathy.

One of the many things I learned at the end of that Classics corridor down which I ventured at the age of 18, in search of something I could not then define, was this, written by the Greek author Plutarch: What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality.

That is an astonishing statement and yet proven a thousand times every day of our lives. It expresses, in part, our inescapable connection with the outside world, the fact that we touch other people’s lives simply by existing.

But how much more are you, Harvard graduates of 2008, likely to touch other people’s lives? Your intelligence, your capacity for hard work, the education you have earned and received, give you unique status, and unique responsibilities. Even your nationality sets you apart. The great majority of you belong to the world’s only remaining superpower. The way you vote, the way you live, the way you protest, the pressure you bring to bear on your government, has an impact way beyond your borders. That is your privilege, and your burden.

If you choose to use your status and influence to raise your voice on behalf of those who have no voice; if you choose to identify not only with the powerful, but with the powerless; if you retain the ability to imagine yourself into the lives of those who do not have your advantages, then it will not only be your proud families who celebrate your existence, but thousands and millions of people whose reality you have helped change. We do not need magic to change the world, we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already: we have the power to imagine better.

I am nearly finished. I have one last hope for you, which is something that I already had at 21. The friends with whom I sat on graduation day have been my friends for life. They are my children’s godparents, the people to whom I’ve been able to turn in times of trouble, people who have been kind enough not to sue me when I took their names for Death Eaters. At our graduation we were bound by enormous affection, by our shared experience of a time that could never come again, and, of course, by the knowledge that we held certain photographic evidence that would be exceptionally valuable if any of us ran for Prime Minister.

So today, I wish you nothing better than similar friendships. And tomorrow, I hope that even if you remember not a single word of mine, you remember those of Seneca, another of those old Romans I met when I fled down the Classics corridor, in retreat from career ladders, in search of ancient wisdom:

As is a tale, so is life: not how long it is, but how good it is, is what matters.

I wish you all very good lives. Thank you very much.colours multi psychedelic divider for posts new

A Conversation with J.K. Rowling and Daniel Radcliffecolours multi psychedelic divider for posts new

The Women of Harry Potter (Talking to J.K. Rowling)colours multi psychedelic divider for posts newQUOTATIONS on FAILURE/IMAGINATION:

“What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality.”— Plutarch

“If you choose to use your status and influence to raise your voice on behalf of those who have no voice; if you choose to identify not only with the powerful, but with the powerless; if you retain the ability to imagine yourself into the lives of those who do not have your advantages, then it will not only be your proud families who celebrate your existence, but thousands and millions of people whose reality you have helped transform for the better. We do not need magic to change the world, we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already: we have the power to imagine better.” — J.K. Rowling

“Without leaps of imagination or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all is a form of planning.” ― Gloria Steinem

“And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” ― Sylvia Plath

“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” ― Maya Angeloucolours multi psychedelic divider for posts new

Meryl Streep Talks From Serious to Funny

Meryl Streep Talks From Serious to Funny
Barnard 2010 Commencement Speaker and More
Post Created June 6th 2013
Created by Jk the secret keeper
Posted June 7th 2013colours multi psychedelic divider for posts newI seem to be having an addiction growing toward listening to great commencement speeches. It is that time of the year. Who better to listen to than Meryl Streep with her list of films and the number of nominations for an Academy Award for Best Actress. I’ve followed her ever since I saw her in the Wendy Wasserstein play: Uncommon Women. She was brilliant and our baby cat is named after one of my favorite characters from it: Carter. She was the super-intelligent, outstanding and just the kind of weird I love and Meryl’s character was the self assured, beautiful, intelligent, you wished to be gay, character. She moved me in that role and I have been a follower and fan ever since. Of course when she was the run-away mother in Kramer vs Kramer, you hated her and you wanted her to go away. The same, when she played a bigot in the film “Julia” with Jane Fonda. But then came The Deer Hunter and her career just kept getting better and growing bigger and larger from that point on. Her speech follows on video after poster and the transcript follows after the video. I have also added a 4 parts video of Meryl Streep as a guest on Inside the Actors Studio. All four are very funny and worth the listen. It is a younger Meryl but quite brilliant with her humour. Following those is a video with Meryl’s many voices and saved for last, Nora Ephron paying a very humourous tribute to Meryl. Do ENJOY! Jk the secret keepercolours multi psychedelic divider for posts new

this is your time by j. kiley  © jennifer kiley 2013  788x594

this is your time by j. kiley © jennifer kiley 2013

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Meryl Streep, Barnard Commencement Speaker 2010, Columbia University colours multi psychedelic divider for posts newTips and Inspiration for Achieving Success

Thank you, all. Thank you, President Spar, Ms. Golden, President Tilghman, Members of the Board of Trustees, distinguished faculty, proud swelling parents and family, and gorgeous class of 2010. If you are all really, really lucky, and if you continue to work super hard, and you remember your thank you notes and everybody’s name; and you follow through on every task that’s asked of you and also somehow anticipate problems before they even arise and you somehow sidestep disaster and score big. If you get great scores on your LSATS, or MSATS, or ERSATS or whatever. And you get into your dream grad school or internship which leads to a super job with a paycheck commensurate with responsibilities of leadership or if you somehow get that documentary on a shoe-string budget and it gets accepted at Sundance and maybe it wins Sundance and then you go on to be nominated for an Oscar and then you win the Oscar. Or if that money-making website that you designed with your friends somehow suddenly attracts investors and advertisers and becomes the go-to site for whatever it is you’re selling, blogging, sharing, or net-casting and success shinning, hoped-for but never really anticipated success comes your way I guarantee you someone you know or love come to you and say, “Will you address the graduates at my college?” And you’ll say “Yeah sure, when is it? May 2010? 2010? Yeah sure, that’s months away and then the nightmare begins. The nightmare we’ve all had and I assure you, you’ll continue to have even after graduation, 40 years after graduation. About a week before the due date, you wake up in the middle of the night, “Huh, I have a paper due and I haven’t done the reading, Oh my god!”

If you have been touched by the success fairy, people think you know why. People think success breeds enlightenment and you are duty bound to spread it around like manure, fertilize those young minds, let them in on the secret, what is it that you know that no one else knows, the self examination begins, one looks inward, one opens an interior door. Cobwebs, black, the lights bulbs burned out, the airless dank refrigerator of an insanely over-scheduled, unexamined life that usually just gets take-out. Where is my writer friend, Anna Quindlen when I need her? On another book tour.

Hello I’m Meryl Streep, and today, Class of 2010 and I am really, I am very honored, and humbled to be asked to pass on tips and inspiration to you for achieving success in this next part of your lives. President Spar, when I consider the other distinguished medal recipients and venerable Board of Trustees, the many accomplished faculty and family members, people who’ve actually done things, produced things, while I have pretended to do things, I can think about 3,800 people who should have been on this list before me and you know since my success has depended wholly on putting things over on people. So I’m not sure parents think I’m that great a role model anyway.

I am however an expert in pretending to be an expert in various areas, so just randomly like everything else in this speech, I am or I was an expert in kissing on stage and on screen. How did I prepare for this? Well most of my preparation took place in my suburban high school or rather behind my suburban high school in New Jersey. One is obliged to do great deal of kissing in my line of work. Air kissing, ass-kissing, kissing up and of course actual kissing, much like hookers, actors have to do it with people we may not like or even know. We may have to do it with friends, which, believe it or not is particularly awkward, for people of my generation, it’s awkward.

My other areas of faux expertise, river rafting, miming the effects of radiation poisoning, knowing which shoes go with which bag, coffee plantation, Turkish, Polish, German, French, Italian, that’s Iowa-Italian from the bridges of Madison county, bit of the Bronx, Aramaic, Yiddish, Irish clog dancing, cooking, singing, riding horses, knitting, playing the violin, and simulating steamy sexual encounters, these are some of the areas in which, I have pretended quite proficiently to be successful, or the other way around. As have many women here, I’m sure.

Women, I feel I can say this authoritatively, especially at Barnard where they can’t hear us, what am I talking about? They professionally can’t hear us. Women are better at acting than men. Why? Because we have to be, if successfully convincing someone bigger than you are of something he doesn’t know is a survival skill, this is how women have survived through the millennia. Pretending is not just play. Pretending is imagined possibility. Pretending or acting is a very valuable life skill and we all do it. All the time, we don’t want to be caught doing it but nevertheless it’s part of the adaptations of our species, we change who we are to fit the exigencies of our time, and not just strategically, or to our own advantage, sometimes sympathetically, without our even knowing it for the betterment of the whole group.

I remember very clearly my own first conscious attempt at acting. I was six placing my mother’s half slip over my head in preparation to play the Virgin Mary in our living room. As I swaddled my Betsy Wetsy doll I felt quieted, holy, actually, and my transfigured face and very changed demeanor captured on super-8 by my dad pulled my little brother Harry to play Joseph and Dana too, a barnyard animal, into the trance. They were actually pulled into this nativity scene by the intensity of my focus. In my usual technique for getting them to do what I want, yelling at them would never ever have achieved and I learned something on that day.

Later when I was nine, I remember taking my mother’s eyebrow pencil and carefully drawing lines all over my face, replicating the wrinkles that I had memorized on the face of my grandmother whom I adored and made my mother take my picture and I look at it now and of course, I look like myself now and my grandmother then. But I do really remember in my bones, how it was possible on that day to feel her age. I stooped, I felt weighted down but cheerful, you know I felt like her.

Empathy is at the heart of the actor’s art. And in high school, another form of acting took hold of me. I wanted to learn how to be appealing. So I studied the character I imagined I wanted to be that of the generically pretty high school girl. I researched her deeply, that is to say shallowly, in Vogue, in Seventeen, and in Mademoiselle Magazines. I tried to imitate her hair, her lipstick, her lashes, the clothes of the lithesome, beautiful and generically appealing high school girls that I saw in those pages. I ate an apple a day, period. I peroxided my hair, ironed it straight. I demanded brand name clothes, my mother shut me down on that one. But I did, I worked harder on this characterization really than anyone I think I’ve ever done since. I worked on my giggle, I lightened it. Because I like it when it went, kind of “ehuh” and the end, “eheeh” “ehaeaahaha” because I thought it sounded child like, and cute. This was all about appealing to boys and at the same time being accepted by the girls, a very tricky negotiation.

Often success in one area precludes succeeding in the other. And along with all my other exterior choices, I worked on my, what actors call, my interior adjustment. I adjusted my natural temperament which tends to be slightly bossy, a little opinionated, loud, a little loud, full of pronouncements and high spirits, and I willfully cultivated softness, agreeableness, a breezy, natural sort of sweetness, even shyness if you will, which was very, very, very effective on the boys. But the girls didn’t buy it. They didn’t like me; they sniffed it out, the acting. And they were probably right, but I was committed, this was absolutely not a cynical exercise, this was a vestigial survival courtship skill I was developing. And I reached a point senior year, when my adjustment felt like me, I had actually convinced myself that I was this person and she, me, pretty, talented, but not stuck-up. You know, a girl who laughed a lot at every stupid thing every boy said and who lowered her eyes at the right moment and deferred, who learned to defer when the boys took over the conversation, I really remember this so clearly and I could tell it was working, I was much less annoying to the guys than I had been, they liked me better and I like that, this was conscious but it was at the same time motivated and fully-felt this was real, real acting.

I got to Vassar which 43 years ago was a single-sex institution, like all the colleges in what they call the Seven Sisters, the female Ivy League and I made some quick but lifelong and challenging friends. And with their help outside of any competition for boys my brain woke up. I got up and I got outside myself and I found myself again. I didn’t have to pretend, I could be goofy, vehement, aggressive, and slovenly and open and funny and tough and my friends let me. I didn’t wash my hair for three weeks once. They accepted me like the Velveteen Rabbit. I became real instead of an imagined stuffed bunny but I stockpiled that character from high school and I breathed life into her again some years later as Linda in the “Deer Hunter.” There is probably not one of you graduates who has ever seen this film but the “Deer Hunter” it won best picture in 1978 Robert De Niro, Chris Walken, not funny at all. And I played Linda, a small town girl in a working class background, a lovely, quiet, hapless girl, who waited for the boy she loved to come back from the war in Vietnam. Often men my age, President Clinton, by the way, when I met him said, “Men my age, mention that character as their favorite of all the women I’ve played.” And I have my own secret understanding of why that is and it confirms every decision I made in high school. This is not to denigrate that girl by the way or the men who are drawn to her in anyway because she’s still part of me and I’m part of her. She wasn’t acting but she was just behaving in a way that cowed girls, submissive girls, beaten up girls with very few ways out have behaved forever and still do in many worlds. Now, in a measure of how much the world has changed the character most men mention as their favorite is, Miranda Priestly.

Now as a measure of how the world has changed. The character most men mention as their favorite. Miranda Priestly. The beleaguered totalitarian at the head of Runway magazine in Devil Wears Prada. To my mind this represents such an optimistic shift. They relate to Miranda. They wanted to date Linda. They felt sorry for Linda but they feel like Miranda. They can relate to her issues, the high standards she sets for herself and others. The thanklessness of the leadership position. The “Nobody understands me” thing. The loneliness. They stand outside one character and they pity her and they kind of fall in love with her but they look through the eyes of this other character. This is a huge deal because as people in the movie business know the absolute hardest thing in the whole world is to persuade a straight male audience to identify with a woman protagonist to feel themselves embodied by her. This more than any other factor explains why we get the movies we get and the paucity of the roles where women drive the film. It’s much easier for the female audience because we were all grown up brought up identifying with male characters from Shakespeare to Salinger. We have less trouble following Hamlet’s dilemma viscerally or Romeo’s or Tybalt or Huck Finn or Peter Pan — I remember holding that sword up to Hook — I felt like him. But it is much much much harder for heterosexual boys to identify with Juliet or Desdemona, Wendy in Peter Pan or Joe in Little Women or the Little Mermaid or Pocohontas. why I don’t know, but it just is. There has always been a resistance to imaginatively assume a persona, if that persona is a she. But things are changing now and it’s in your generation we’re seeing this. Men are adapting… about time…they are adapting consciously and also without consciously and without realizing it for the better of the whole group. They are changing their deepest prejudices to regard as normal the things that their fathers would have found very very difficult and their grandfathers would have abhorred and the door to this emotional shift is empathy. As Jung said, emotion is the chief source of becoming conscious. There can be no transforming of lightness into dark of apathy into movement without emotion. Or as Leonard Cohen says pay attention to the cracks because that’s where the light gets in. You, young women of Barnard have not had to squeeze yourself into the corset of being cute or to muffle your opinions but you haven’t left campus yet. I’m just kidding. What you have had is the privilege of a very specific education. You are people who may able to draw on a completely different perspective to imagine a different possibility than women and men who went to coed schools.

How this difference is going to serve you it’s hard to quantify now, it may take you forty years like it did me to analyze your advantage. But today is about looking forward into a world where so-called women’s issues, human issues of gender inequality lie at the crux of global problems from poverty to the AIDS crisis to the rise in violent fundamentalist juntas, human trafficking and human rights abuses and you’re going to have the opportunity and the obligation, by virtue of your providence, to speed progress in all those areas. And this is a place where the need is very great, the news is too. This is your time and it feels normal to you but really there is no normal. There’s only change, and resistance to it and then more change.

Never before in the history or country have most of the advanced degrees been awarded to women but now they are. Since the dawn of man, it’s hardly more than 100 years since we were even allowed into these buildings except to clean them but soon most of law and medical degrees will probably also go to women. Around the world, poor women now own property who used to be property and according to Economist magazine, for the last two decades, the increase of female employment in the rich world has been the main driving force of growth. Those women have contributed more to global GDP growth than have either new technology or the new giants India or china. Cracks in the ceiling, cracks in the door, cracks in the Court and on the Senate floor.

You know, I gave a speech at Vassar 27 years ago. It was a really big hit. Everyone loved it, really. Tom Brokaw said it was the very best commencement speech he had ever heard and of course I believed this. And it was much easier to construct than this one. It came out pretty easily because back then I knew so much. I was a new mother, I had two academy awards and it was all coming together so nicely. I was smart and I understood boiler plate and what sounded good and because I had been on the squad in high school, earnest full-throated cheerleading was my specialty so that’s what I did but now, I feel like I know about 1/16th of what that young woman knew. Things don’t seem as certain today. Now I’m 60, I have four adult children who are all facing the same challenges you are. I’m more sanguine about all the things that I still don’t know and I’m still curious about.

What I do know about success, fame, celebrity that would fill another speech. How it separates you from your friends, from reality, from proportion. Your own sweet anonymity, a treasure you don’t even know you have until it’s gone. How it makes things tough for your family and whether being famous matters one bit, in the end, in the whole flux of time. I know I was invited here because of that. How famous I am. I how many awards I’ve won and while I am I am overweeningly proud of the work that, believe me, I did not do on my own. I can assure that awards have very little bearing on my own personal happiness. My own sense of well-being and purpose in the world. That comes from studying the world feelingly, with empathy in my work. It comes from staying alert and alive and involved in the lives of the people that I love and the people in the wider world who need my help. No matter what you see me or hear me saying when I’m on your TV holding a statuette spewing, that’s acting.

Being a celebrity has taught me to hide but being an actor has opened my soul.

Being here today has forced me to look around inside there for something useful that I can share with you and I’m really grateful you gave me the chance.

You know you don’t have to be famous. You just have to make your mother and father proud of you and you already have. Bravo to you. Congratulations.

Barnard College
May 16, 2010colours multi psychedelic divider for posts new

Inside the Actors Studio — Meryl Streep Pt. 1
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Inside the Actors Studio — Meryl Streep Pt. 2
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Inside the Actors Studio — Meryl Streep Pt. 3
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Inside the Actors Studio — Meryl Streep Pt. 4
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The Many Voices of Meryl Streep
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Nora Ephron Highly Recommends Having Meryl Streep Play You
colours multi psychedelic divider for posts newQUOTATIONS on RAISE INSPIRATION:

“When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.” ― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

“Sometimes you wake up. Sometimes the fall kills you. And sometimes, when you fall, you fly.” ― Neil Gaiman, The Sandman, Vol. 6: Fables and Reflections

“I was never really insane except upon occasions when my heart was touched.” ― Edgar Allan Poe

“It is good to love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is well done.” ― Vincent van Goghcolours multi psychedelic divider for posts new

DreamWeaver’s Corner: Imagine the Psyche is like a House.

the secret keeper:

Absolutely brilliant material. Learning so much from reading your DreamWeaver’s Corner. I am reblogging. Going to take my mini dissertation with me. Thank you for your insight and for sharing it with all of us. Love this post especially. The House is kind of scary but it is worth the journey into the collective unconscious. Very Cool. jk the secret keeper
I add this as something that I wrote on the blog site where I follow On The Plum Tree & DreamWeaver’s Corner & all the other special creative treats one finds there…DreamWeaver’s Corner: Imagine the Psyche is like a House What is hiding in the cavern of dusty decaying remnants of the unconscious? We join with the collective which must have been around since the beginning of time. So the wisdom that is contained within the darkness must be infinite also. Our life must have added to the collective, bringing in a freshness to mix amongst the remnants of the infinite. All our lives are connected to this place in the farthest reaches of this ancient enclosure. Is it where the dark feeds and re-energizes? And when nightmares frighten us. They resurrect from this darkness and feed our sleeping minds with their collective pieces of memory or symbols.

This may seem like a strange question. The collective is the unconscious and is joined as one unconscious. Then theoretically my nightmares or life experiences that are stored away in my unconscious join the collective unconscious. Blending all unconsciousness into the one, the collective. So when I dream, my soul is drawing on the symbols accumulated form everyone’s unconscious. Does this mean the collective unconscious assimilates all perceptions? That they are converted into symbols so that all can draw from the collective unconscious contributed to by all in the conscious world? All experience is eventually converted and stored in the unconscious and filtered back into the collective unconscious.

So, I conclude this dialectic that we are all connected through the collective unconscious. All experience that is stored away eventually ends up as symbols of the collective unconscious. The symbols in our dreams which our souls bring forth to the conscious mind which we can choose to analyze, will enable us to communicate with the soul. By doing this it enables us to communicate with the collective unconscious. Is this too convoluted or have I understood how this tentatively works?

If I have gone too far or seem too out there just say so. My mind gets way too analytical. The point is to connect to the collective unconscious and the symbols stored there in order that we may communicate with the soul and, also, to release the darkness that haunts us. Lastly, to be able to release the mess that has accumulated and is preventing us from releasing our emotions through feelings. When this is done we will be freeing our self to experience life more fully and actually feel life.

I do not expect you to answer this but i think I wrote my way through understanding some of what you have been writing in your DreamWeaver’s Corner.

Thank you for such a profound way of describing how one should see the layers that lead to the collective unconscious. Absolutely Brilliant Niamh. I think I am getting it. Now I just need to allow my soul to bring to me the symbols. I feel she is beginning to do that. I want to understand and be able to release my emotions through my feeling them. It would be such a freedom to be able to express them freely again, the way I did as a child before those around me shut me down along with my emotions.

That was a catharsis of sorts, more mental than emotional but a little of that also. Once again, TY Niamh. Mine blowing material. :-) jk

Originally posted on Plum Tree Books Blog:

Imagine the Psyche is like a house…  

Photo By Petit Tiago ©

Photo By Petit Tiago ©

 

The upper story is modern, bright. This is home to our consciousness and day-to-day reality. But wait! There is more. Descend the stairs with me to the ground floor to an older, darker floor. Imagine it furnished in medieval style. In these rooms, the personal unconscious is connected to cultural, mythic images that still influence today’s thinking and social mores. For example, the medieval Grail myth inspires the Hero’s journey, the personal quest – a recurrent theme classically expounded in much of our religion, film, art, and music.

Imagine a heavy door in the far wall, ornately carved with symbolism. Open it to discover a hidden room with walls that are made of stone. These are roman walls, dating back to when the house was originally constructed. Examining them, we discover how our collective memory is…

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