By Gary Eby, author and therapist
On the first morning of our vacation to Yachats around 6:45 A.M., I am still drowsy while I curl over in bed taking dim note of our surroundings. Our bedroom faces East with a wall to wall picture window protected by a panel of hanging canvas-like shades. The rising Sun is streaming through those vertical panels, illuminating a picture of Martha’s Vineyards on the opposite wall, and an adjacent beach painting called “By the Sea.”
I hear my wife Susan in the kitchen probably making coffee. Every so often there is a cracking boom from the surf outside, crashing against our rugged, rocky Oregon coastline.
I am more awake now, but I close my eyes to move myself deeper into the spirit of relaxation. However, I do commence to stroke Silas, our twelve pound Poodle and Pomeranian mix, who is snuggled besides me. Slowly, I become aware of and more sensitive to the outside chatter of birds commingled with the cackling songs of some crows.
Woven within the cacophony is the mysterious and melodic flute-like song of an unknown avian creature. Whatever the nature of this species, I am convinced it is a virtuoso. Such sweet, soothing refrains, flash me back to the Native American music, Susan and I became so exquisitely familiar with when we lived in Albuquerque, New Mexico in the 90’s.
The flute notes continue with a slightly reedy resonance, accompanied by three staccato whistles at the end of the bird song. I know in my heart, as a few tears of joy land on my face, that I must have arrived in heaven.
As I record these precious moments in my journal, I would like to say a few words of encouragement to aspiring writers. First and foremost, start writing your own journal. There is something healing, therapeutic, and thought provoking about the whole journaling process.
Next, while you journal, pause to slow the pace down. Review the written passages and look for word gems or thought jewels to further refine and appreciate. This form of writing then becomes a kind of cognitive meditation, which facilitates peace of mind and limitless creativity.
For example, I am sitting now in a comfortable lounge chair located in our beach home living room. I have rewritten my entry at least 10 times or more, which is the third thing I want to suggest to all those who want to get published: keep polishing your work.
The more I focused on describing my immediate environment, the more receptive I became to free flowing, relaxing thoughts. I noticed the whole West wall of our living room consists of four, tempered glass windows, about five-by-five square feet each, and a matching pair attached to both side walls. The observation area presents a panoramic view that is unbelievable, humbling, and awe inspiring.
Our rental home actually rests on a grassy cliff overlooking and facing the Pacific Ocean. The spectacular water images hypnotize by the undulating motion of the waves, caressing the huge, oddly shaped, black, barnacle covered, volcanic rock slabs, jutting out in the shoreline.
As I write about the power of journaling, the surf roars with breaking whitecaps, spiraling around and splashing between the rock formation fingers. Sea gulls fly low over the waters, sometimes diving in to feast on sea bounty.
Write about what you hear, feel, and think. Know that there is a creative force within all of us. Practice accessing this inner Light that overcomes all dark secrets, which mysteriously threaten to hold us back from the good we deserve. Let your writing take you to the place of silence deep within our subconscious mind some appropriately call, "The Secret Place of the most High.”
Furthermore, listen to the spirit music of your surroundings and observations. Allow your mind, body, and soul to dance to the rhythmic pulse of inspiration and bliss. Give yourself permission to free associate with your creative strengths, talents, and abilities.
So, let’s take a deep breath together and revisit one last time the sparkling, gleaming, life images that stand before me today. I look out at a mauve sky on the ocean horizon. At times, the Sun turns the sea into millions of glistening diamond lights. A partial cloud-drape extends over the bluish green waters as far as the eye can see. Gulls and water foul are bobbing in clumps, speckling the ocean with white feather squares like enormous nature-made patch quilts. The fishy, salty, seaweed smells permeate the air.
I turn to focus once again on the infinite, majestic waves. Their surf-music play notes of rushing, slashing, percussive melodies, which mesmerize, hypnotize, and soothes the soul. To be writing on a day like this is a blessing beyond imagination, with memories to treasure and keep alive in the secret place within.