Journalling Through a Time of Corona 5

As we continue in the lockdown and its dramatic interruption of what was once normal (remember when you could just pop out for a coffee with friends, mooch round the shops or go to the cinema?) we may notice some shifts in perspective around our once familiar life.  When things are take away that we might not have chosen let go of, including those we wanted to but never quite got round to, it can leave a dynamic
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Poems for Challenging Times 3

In these days of lockdown, as many of us are having to simplify and slow down our lives, we are also discovering the gift of moments that arise amid this simplicity. It is a particular blessing that lockdown is coinciding as Nature unlocks into Spring, with lightening evenings and growth to enjoy and cultivate all around us. An article in today’s  Independent notes that fewer than 10% of us want life to return t
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Journalling Through a Time of Corona 4

  I wonder how you’re getting on in lockdown. Are your days carefully structured or more free-flowing? Hopefully, you’re finding a healthy balance. This interplay between structure and freedom is a feature of the writing process. So far my writing prompts have focussed on more structured exercises. Today I want to offer some suggestions around free-writing.  Free-writing is when we simply write continuou
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Poems for Challenging Times 2

  Three weeks into lockdown and already life beforehand seems about three years ago. Although conversations may turn to what we are looking forward to ‘when this is over,’ for me it is John O’Donohue’s blessing  For the Interim Time that speaks most powerfully right now. When we make a beginning or face an ending, we have a sense of having a specific task that calls for our engagement. But what do we
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Journalling Through a Time of Corona 3

  One great thing about writing is that even if we are physically stuck in one place, our writing is not in lockdown. Although in recent days, the Foreign Office has warned against holidaying abroad, we can still travel with our pens. This week’s journalling suggestions focus on writing about place.  Before we set off, it can be good to settle ourselves down in the here and now. One way of warming up is to
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Poems for Challenging Times 1

David Whyte’s The House of Belonging is – literally – a long poem, but it is rich with possibilities and is indeed, itself about possibilities. The poem points to an epiphany of some kind, as light literally dawns. it marks a shift to a new settledness, a fresh awareness.  This poem, with its short, resonating phrases, lends itself  to become a springboard for our own reflective writing. The space o
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Journalling Through a Time of Corona 2

Life has certainly changed over the last week: Many of us are getting used to the space of self-isolation as those looking after our health and welfare grapple with the pressures of frontline working.  Wherever we are in this new territory, the advice of those ahead of us on the journey is to take things steady. If we are journalling through this unprecedented time, as I know many are, we can have high expectatio
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Journalling through a Time of Corona 1

‘I’ve started journalling again,’ says my husband, as we talk about the world events causing our world to turn on a sixpence. As someone who prefers the immediacy of the spoken word, he has been an intermittent journaller. But times are changing. Many of us are facing increased time alone, self-isolating to stay out of harm’s way. A change of life’s season can precipitate a desire to write, from bereavem
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Encountering the Knife Angel

Throughout November, Chester Cathedral was host to the imposing Knife Angel sculpture. This extraordinary piece was created by artist Alfie Bradley from 100,000 knives handed in during police amnesties nationwide. The Angel brings its own message to the cities it visits about the horrors and sorrowful impact of knife crime. The Knife Angel’s stay coincided with a Poetry Workshop I was running at Chester Cat
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Cathedral Poet-in-Residence: A Sociable October

Although writing is a solitary activity, it can also be very much a shared and social one. It’s an aspect of writing I’ve been very much aware of during October in my tenure as Chester Cathedral’s Poet-in-Residence. ‘A contained vastness,’ a sense of being in the present moment but standing under ‘the weight of time’ are two comments made by workshop participants in Write for Growth’s ‘From Stone
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  • About Julia

    Julia

    From writing stories for my younger brother, to penning poems for the School Magazine and filling a growing pile of personal journals, the written word has always been part of my life’s journey.

    I started out as an English Teacher and subsequently retrained as a Counsellor. I have counselled in a GP Surgery and worked with various Employee Assistance Schemes and Charitable Trusts alongside seeing private clients.

    Although I have done some freelance journalism and written four non-fiction books, creative writing has become my main focus in recent years.

    My poems have appeared online on sites including Amaryllis, Silver Birch Press, Clear Poetry, Spilling Cocoa Over Martin Amis, Riggwelter and Ink,Sweat and Tears. I have been published in Curlew and Bucks Mill Magazine, and anthologised in Our Hearts Still Sing. My first poetry collection, Chester City Walls, came out in 2015.

    Read more about Julia
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