answers to the: 11 questions to ask while shaping a memoir

Holly Sierra
Holly Sierra
  1. Why am I writing this story?

    Because it asked to be written.

  2. Why am I compelled to share it?

    Because I saw a gold-leafed binding.
    Because I like to be helpful.
    Because I want to alleviate suffering, mine and others.

  3. What is the message in the telling?

    Life transcends story. Life is steeped in story.
    The story is both personal and divine play.

  4. What shapes the story?

    My personal loss. Our common heart.

  5. Who are the readers?

    Those interested in the story and the transcendence of it.

  6. How does this work align with my life purpose?

    To explore, speak, shape & celebrate the truth in the story and beyond it.

  7. How does this work transcend any measure of outer success?

    Damn it. I don’t like this question.
    Truth serves truth, I suppose.

  8. What is rare about this offering?

    It is my singular dance with all that is.

  9. What justifies the amount of time I have devoted to the work?

    I don’t like this question either.
    Truth, art, expression–the dance.

  10. Who am I in this story?

    A seeker. A child of God. A motherless child. A princess. A queen. A woman.
    Myself. In communion with the Divine Feminine.

  11.  Where will you begin and end?

    With the Divine Feminine:
    At the moment of my deepest loss (at 14);
    and in the moment of sweet self-compassion/revelation (on the eve of my 50th birthday.)

~The Yoga of Lila

11 questions to ask while shaping a memoir

  1. Holly Sierra
    Holly Sierra

    Why am I writing this story?

  2. Why am I compelled to share it?
  3. What is the message in the telling?
  4. What shapes the story?
  5. Who are the readers?
  6. How does this work align with my life purpose?
  7. How does this work transcend any measure of outer success?
  8. What is rare about this offering?
  9. What justifies the amount of time I have devoted to the work?
  10. Who am I in this story?
  11. (What questions do you ask yourself?)

old men in cafes

Winging-It-Text

For years, the women whittle away perfectly productive days in parks and cafes and street corners
with little ones at their knees
Grasping for food or love or the toy that has fallen
While they attempt to finish/speak/have a complete thought

And now they are all gone…

Replaced by aged men
Who fritter away entire mornings
Engaged in the ritual of companionship and conversation

While their female counterparts
similarly aged,
Practice yoga or Pilates
or run a campaign
or build a community center

Each balancing
what was lost
in the heat
of living

notes from the sea

Marblehead Harbor; Kelly Salasin, 2014; all rights reserved

the ten thousand things
a divination
of attention
~
all burdens made
light
by the sea
~
she captured attention
not with her beauty
which was great
but with her presence
which was full
of grace
~
dutch travelers ask how it is that their flag
hangs
in front of every shop
in the USA
with one word:
OPEN

Summer reeling

I cannot tell if the day is ending, or the world, or if the secret of secrets is inside me again. ― Anna Akhmatova

IMG_0020

I want to tell you about something, but I’m not sure how.

It’s about summer’s passing.

It’s about the sun setting.

It’s about walking away from the beach, across the field, leaving summer behind.

It’s about feeling like summer is under my feet, reeling backward, faster and faster, with each step I take.

It’s about seeing my youth dragged along underneath it.

It’s about the sudden knowing that summer’s ending echoes my own.