STORY AS A CURE FOR MORTALITY

As writers, all the wisdom we need is available in our own life stories, and yet sometimes to access that wisdom and attach it to a story, we have to pull in the wisdom from the great wisdom keepers, and use that wisdom as a flame to ignite our own personal stories.

Wisdom without story sometimes feels like an empty lesson, or a faraway concept. Wisdom attached to story is the stuff great memoir, poets and essayists are made from.

If I told you my grandmother had three men crying at her bedside after her stroke, professing their undying love for her, and that men were always in her wake, you would begin to paint a picture of my grandmother based on society’s idea of the kind of woman men would follow. And then if I told you that my grandmother was 4’11” and looked like George Washington, with baby teeth and tiny eyes, it might surprise you, unless I go deeper and explore the concept of true beauty, biology, and what attracts one person to another.

Your own life is filled with every teachable moment you need, but first you have to access those moments. You have volumes of wisdom stories in your life. If you explore them through story, and by studying wisdom through other writers, these words become the cure for your own mortality – it’s how you will continue to reach out to others long after you are gone.

In this next seven-session writing workshop, we will look to the work and wisdom of writers, philosophers and spiritual seekers who became immortal through their extraordinary work.

 

The solution to all human suffering is in story,

it’s how we return to the heart and the mind.

We nurture the images we have seen,

and invite their wisdom & magic to the page.

We are storytellers who have come to the page to heal.

 

— Laura Lentz

Ruth Gendler is an author and artist. Her books include The Book of Qualitiesnow in its 40th printing and Notes on the Need for Beauty: an Intimate Look at Essential Quality.

Ruth is also the editor of Changing Light: The Eternal Cycle of Night and Day.  The Book of Qualities has been adapted as a two act theater piece and translated into German, Japanese, and Chinese, as well as being widely excerpted in literary, psychological and educational publications. Her art work has been exhibited nationally and speaks to beauty, suffering and redemption.

Ruth Gendler says “I am interested in living in a world where people are encouraged to be more creative, compassionate, curious, courteous, soulful, and lively. I sense that the arts are part of the answer.”

During this hour talk, Ruth will explore how we cultivate patience during this challenging time in history, and the sometimes long process of bringing our stories and books to completion can take more time than we realize.

What role does time play in our lives and our creative process? We will explore the symbols of time, its gestation, and time in the body.

Date: March 20th, Sunday 4 p.m. PST / 7 p.m. EST (2 p.m. Hawaii time) 

Raymond Barfield is an author, philosopher and doctor in Savannah, Georgia. As a novelist and poet, he explores the bigger questions of the universe as part of his ongoing attempt to understand what, if anything, suffering teaches us about the universe and itself.

Wager: Beauty, Suffering, and Being in the World and The Practice of Medicine as Being in Time) are part of his exploration on beauty and suffering and waiting – how to be a good doctor while figuring out how to be a good patient. He has also published one critically acclaimed novel The Book of Colors  and two books of poetry (Life in the Blind Spot and Dreams and Griefs of an Underworld Aeronaut).

Raymond will be sharing his thoughts on how suffering is transformed into beauty through art and story.

On writing, Raymond Gendler says, “Lines need to sing, though sometimes they scream like opera, and it works.”

In relationship to death, which he has faced many times with families in palliative care pediatrics, he says “Death is a spiritual experience, not a medical experience. There is nothing in our language that has room for this fundamental leap.”

Date: Friday, March 25th, 4 p.m. PST / 7 p.m. EST (2 p.m. Hawaii)  

 

Sunday evening talk with Author & Artist Ruth Gendler

Time & The Rhythms of Beauty

Ruth’s bonus session will take place Sunday, March 20th at 4 p.m. PST 

 

 

“Our willingness to see and honor beauty makes more beauty possible.  

Beauty invites us to build bridges and make connections between the senses and the soul,

between contemplation and expression, between ourselves and the world.”

 

— Ruth Gendler

 

“Inspiration”  by Ruth Gendler

“Inspiration is disturbing. She does not believe in guarantees or insurance or strict schedules. She is not interested in how well you write your grant proposal or what you do for a living or why you are too busy to see her. She will be there when you need her but you have to take it on trust. Surrender. She knows when you need her better than you do.”

TOPICS EXPLORED IN THIS 7-SESSION SERIES INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING*:

 

ADAPTATION – We are all being called as writers and storytellers to participate in a fractured world, and it calls for us to adapt to the way we create, the way we love and how we live. We will write about moments in our recent lives when we have had to adapt to abrupt change – through our bodies, our homes, employment, aging, or even emotional disruptions. As writers and storyteller we adapt our language and our rhythms for this rapidly changing world


BEAUTY – Our Beauty in the Natural World –  Philosopher & Poet Raymond Barfield says, “Beauty is the illumination of the content of the world, illumination that shines from within things.” In this class we will explore beauty as a call to immortality, to our real origins that perhaps we can’t remember our lives.


SUFFERING – Suffering gives us compassion, she is our greatest teacher. The way we handle suffering can lead to more suffering. If she were a character she would be a tough love mother or as Ruth Gendler wrote  “a formidable instructor.”  Stories of suffering help us find the wisdom and remember there is an end to suffering, a time of redemption.  Every story, essay and poem leads the reader to redemption.


COMMUNITY – So many are suffering in what John O’Donohue calls “The Dark Valley of the Broken Belonging.” In this class we will explore the “I” and the “we”, and the stories in our lives where we were brought together in a common good, whether it was listening to music, sitting in a prayer circle, or giving birth with a circle around us of supporters. Can our combined positive thoughts can truly change the world?


LIBERATION – In a world where the economic divide is growing, and we seems to be stripped of so many of our rights, it’s important to write our stories of liberation. For some of us, we were liberated from a country, others our families, and othersating boundaries is how we grow and help others grow beside us. Liberation can be uncomfortable


DEATH AS A THRESHOLD – For Socrates, death was a great adventure. For Aristotle, death meant the loss of everything. We die so many times in our life and are reborn over and over.  Letting go of people we love who die is a personal death for the living. All the little deaths and approaching the Big Death are all thresholds, and make compelling, heart expanding stories. In this class we will write near death experiences, death of an old version of ourselves, and how we see our imprint on the world through the art and stories we leave behind.

*Topics in this series are not in order they are taught, and subject to change.

Writing stories is a Moral Imperative

 To create good stories, we must have empathy for others and ourself.  Through our themed writing explorations, you will create stories to get outside yourself, and also go deeper into the self by being part of the other human stories surrounding you. This is how we all see the world more truly, and how we begin to heal each other.

LEARN IN A SMALL, LIVE GROUPS

Each week you will take the class with the same 8-10 writers from all over the world,  writing together and sharing your stories in a 2 hour to 2 1/2 hour class.

Writers work closely together for six weeks, deeply bonding and supporting each other’s creative leaps. Writers who must miss a class may audit another live class on the schedulE, or receive the class via Keynote or Power Point.  

Writers learn from the curriculum, but also from the positive  feedback received from other writers.  When we focus on what is good in writing, we develop an ear for inviting more of what is good.

CREATE CONTENT FOR A LARGER BODY OF WORK

Though writing is a practice, in this group you have the opportunity to create content if you are working on a book, a blog, poetry or essays.  The theme to each class is known a week in advance, so writers have the opportunity to contemplate how the theme fits into their larger body or work.

Students have gone on to publication through this process of writing every week, and many of our writers are authors often write beside writers who are new to the practice. We all learn from each other’s work each week. New writers often remind us of the joy of creative risk taking in the creatiave process.

DEVELOPED CURRICUM - INSPIRATION TO WRITE

Every series is a carefully developed curriculum to go with the theme of the class. As part of the themed curriculum, we read carefully chosen poetry, watch videos, read excerpts out of memoirs and philosophy to support the theme of each class, and bring inspiration preparing us all ready to write.

Pre-writing exercises often lead us into a longer write.  We use sentence walls taken from literature and poetry, practice metaphor, and create lists to help us drop deeper in the topic before we begin writing.

Once inspired, we write for thirteen minutes, thenwe share our stories and deeply listen with positive feedback.  Writers in each intimate group of 8 to 10 students become part of a larger Facebook writing community with 80 to 100 other writers taking the same curriculum.  Throughout the weeks, writers share and comment through the Facebook community.

Through this practice of creating and deeply listening, writers begin to uplevel their writing, and bring poetic form into their work.

 

Educator: Laura Lentz, author

Laura Lentz is the author of  STORYquest, the Writer, the Hero, the Journey and the soon to be published Grace of the World, an anthology to honor earth. Laura is a writing coach and developmental editor, teaching creative writing workshops online and on the north shore of Kauai for ten years. Her workbook helps writers write to every stage of their story inspired by the Hero’s Journey through 12-weeks of writing prompts and examples out of best selling memoirs and poetry. Laura helps writers create content and expand their body of work through unique methods – offering challenging and thought provoking writing prompts inspired by poetry, mythology and segments from literature.

Laura creates the curriculum for the 6-week writing workshops also taught by Guest Teachers.

Laura’s 6-week workshops are online and on the north shore of Kauai. Laura serves on the faculty of The Kauai Writers Conference, Covid willing… and is conducting a Master Class for writers who want to write in sacred places on Kauai and allow Kauai’s beauty to influence their work.

Educator: Robin Gadient

Meet Robin Gadient – Teaching Friday and Saturday

Robin Gadient, teacher of STORYquest, the Writer, the Hero, the Journey has developed a following as both a writer and a teacher. Robin has been writing in Laura’s writing groups creating poetry and heart opening stories for several series. Sometimes the student becomes the teacher right before your eyes.  Robin graduated from UCSB with a BA in literature. Robin has the uncanny ability to hold space for all writers and respond in a way that creates the needed energy to create her community within a larger community.

Educator: Elizabeth Becker

Elizabeth has been writing poetry and personal essays in Laura’s groups since the early days and has taught several series including STORYquest. Her background in marketing and hospitality have fueled her mid-life shift as an Interfaith Chaplain and Spiritual Companion. She convenes groups of many purposes, often using story-telling as a means for transformation. A student of grief and renewal, she designs retreats and workshops. Her writing and film projects are woven into her life in a magical cottage, shared with her children and 98-year-old “uber-elder” father, John Becker.

 This series is now open to New Students!

If you can’t find the time and date you are seeking, email Laurawriter@me.com

 

Thursday Online – 

with Laura Lentz

SOLD OUT

March 17, 24, 31

April 7, 14, 21

4pm PDT / 7pm EST
Class is 2 1/2 hours

Guest Teacher Ruth Gendler
Sunday, March 20th 4 p.m. PST

Guest Teacher Raymond Barfield

Friday, March 25 4 p.m .PST

Video available to students


$220

Sunday Online

with Laura 

SOLD OUT

March 13, 20, 27

April 3, 10, 17

10:30am PDT / 7pm EST
Class is 2 1/2 hours

Guest Teacher Ruth Gendler
Sunday, March 20th 4 p.m. PST

Gust Teacher Raymond Barfield

Friday, March 25th 4 p.m. PST

Video available to students


$220

Monday Online 

with Laura Lentz –

SOLD OUT

March 14, 21, 28

April 4, 11, 18

4pm PDT / 7pm EST
Class is 2 1/2 hours

Guest Teacher Ruth Gendler
Sunday, March 20th 4 p.m. PST

Gust Teacher Raymond Barfield

Friday, March 25th 4 p.m. PST

Video available to students


$220

Tuesday Online

with Laura 

SOLD OUT

 March 15, 22, 29

April 5, 12, 19

4pm PDT / 7pm EST
Class is 2 1/2 hours

Guest Teacher Ruth Gendler:
Sunday, March 20, 4 p.m. PST

Guest Teacher Raymond Barfield

Friday, March 25th, 4 p.m. PST

Video available to students


$220

Wednesday

Kauai & Online 

1 SPOT AVAILABLE

– 7 sessions –

March 16, 23, 30

April 6, 13, 20

5:30 p.m. Hawaii  / 8:30 p.m. PST
Class is 2 1/2 hours

Guest Teacher Ruth Gendler
Sunday, March 20th 4 p.m. PST 

Guest teacher Raymond Barfield

Friday, March 25th, 4 p.m. PST

Video available to students


$220

Classes Taught by Robin Gadient or Elizabeth Becker

Saturday Online
with
Robin Gadient

SOLD OUT

March 19, 26,  

April 2, 9, 16, 23

10:30 a.m. PDT
Class is 2 1/2 hours

Guest Teacher:
Ruth Gendler
Sunday, March 20th
4 p.m. PST

Guest Teacher:

Raymond Barfield

Friday, March 25h, 4 p.m. PST

Video available to students


$220

Saturday Online
with
Elizabeth Becker

2 SPOTS AVAILABLE

March 19, 26 

April 2, 9, 16, 23

10:30 a.m. PDT
Class is 2 1/2 hours

Guest Teacher:
Ruth Gendler
Sunday, March 20th
4 p.m. PST

Guest Teacher: Raymond Barfield

Friday, March 25th 4 p.m. PST

Video available to students


$220

 

Friday Online
with
Robin Gadient

SOLD OUT

March 18, 25, 

April 1, 8, 15, 22

11:00  a.m. PDT
Class is 2 1/2 hours

Guest Teacher:
Ruth Gendler
Sunday, March 20th
4 p.m. PST 

Guest Teacher:

Raymond Barfield

Friday, March 25th 4 p.m. PST

Video available


$220