November 19, 2011

''Healing Through Writing in 'Oltre Confine'

Just to introduce my new monthly column for Olte Confine (Across the Border) magazine. November, Issue Numero Uno is now out and what a splendid production it is. Written in Italian, with headquarters in Rome, it is a tastefully designed feast of philosophical ideas. It is committed to 'global illumination' no less, through acknowledging the fact that we are living through a kind of neo-renaissance era, in which a transformation of the collective consciousness is taking place. 'Across the Border is a publishing project of the Cooperative Inner Space, which aims, through a variety of artistic and cultural activities, to promote the awakening of the spiritual, mental and creative individuals.' 

 For those, like me, who only know a few words of Italian, here is the first installment in English: Healing Through Writing: An Introduction. For a better view of it, go to my website The column is designed to be a short series of explorations of how writing heals based on my research and experience as a writer and purveyor of the psychological interior, and of all things difficult. It will  explore, among other things, how writing can be time travel, yoga, hypnosis, meditation and take us to the core of our minds, causing reintegration.

The magazine is a very lavish but elegant, with articles on fascinating artists, and all things esoteric and spiritual.  For example the the Zero Issue has an article on one of my all time favourite artists, Odilon Redon, by Silvia Tusi. Redon said once that 'to understand all is to love everything'. Also, the current issue approaches the divinely-inspired William Blake, so favoured by Patti Smith, she featured a reverent visit to Blake's gravestone at Bunhill cemetery here in East London in her documentary film 'Dream of Life' directed by Steven Sebring. 

They have an in-house artist who did this impression of me in pencil.The next installment will be on Pathographies: From Sickness to Health. Look out for that. It's a big challenge for me to see if I can write pithily and encompass a great deal in a short space. Giovanni Piccoza, the editor, invited me to render for the Italian readership what I know about how writing and healing interact. So, in a sense, these columns may become tasters for the book I should be writing and a reminder of all the work I still need to do to achieve that- plus, not least that I need to learn Italian, 'e quanto difficile sara'?

Why does writing heal? Simple - as Aristotle said, one of the strongest of human motivations is not food, sex or survival, but self expression. It is as though he meant -we must do that or die.


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