Last fall, amidst the towering terra cotta cliffs of Sedona, nested in a valley of sycamore and cottonwood trees, I had the privilege of attending a workshop with Natalie Goldberg at the Sedona Arts Center.

In the mid 80’s a friend had given me her first book “Writing Down the Bones”. Heather could see I had a dream of one day being a writer. The book was a sublime gift. It showed me in the four years we had known each other; she had listened to more than my words. She connected with a restless creative spirit in me and offered my muse a path to be followed. While I read and enjoyed the book, I was too focused on building a career and finding excitement in the material existence around me. The shiny white paperback came to rest on a bookshelf that has since then leaned against many walls. For years it moved with me, second shelf down on the left side, propped between the “The Elements of Style” and a dictionary.

In those years, a gentle awakening began as karmic seeds ripened. I floated through a series of experiences that led me from ‘myth’ to an interest in Buddhism. A favorite pastime of lingering amidst the stacks of local independent booksellers had advanced the library beyond what I was able to read. The contents of the bookshelf began to change while it swelled with new titles.

One rainy afternoon I was re-organizing the shelves to make room for some new books. A perceptible shift away from fantasy fiction and books on cinema, particularly Alfred Hitchcock. The new recruits, Joseph Campbell, Huston Smith, Chogyam Trungpa and Lama Surya Das were standing in a row and needed more room. It was the spine of Natalie Goldberg’s book that caught my eye. Shambhala. I was immediately curious what a Buddhist publisher was doing amongst my scant collection of writing books.

Natalie writes from a Zen Buddhist perspective. While my training to that point had been more on the Tibetan side, I had been curious but immune to this angle years earlier on my first read. Though I immediately recognized that it was another moment of serendipity, while not cognizant, these teachings had become part of me.

I devoured the book again, and was left hungry by a single concept. A writer writes. In the ensuing years that little voice would remind me, while writing a business letter, during the birth of email, training manuals, performance evaluation, it was all writing.

About Kevin S Moul

Kevin S. Moul is a widely published semi professional photographer who is also passionate about writing. He writes to achieve the same discovery with words that he captures with his camera. Writing projects include memoir, character studies, and themes associated with his lifelong interest in urban and epic fantasy. Canadian by birth Moul now lives in Southern Arizona and often wonders how he could live so far from the ocean. His photographic ‘genre’ is restaurant food and beverage, portraits of authors, and travel and tourism landscape photography. His work can be seen regularly in Phoenix Arizona based magazines, and recently in the promotions of authors Natalie Goldberg and publications of Erica Rivera. He blogs and offers samples of his writing at www.kevinsmoul.com, a gallery of his photography work is offered at www.tootallmoul.com Partial List of Current Photography 2011 & 2012 Photo Gallery - Desert Nights Rising Stars Writing Conference Frequent Contributor - ASU Marginalia Magazine http://www.asu.edu/piper/ Food and Catering Photography for Website (90%+ of images) http://fscateringscottsdale.com/ www.writersdigest.com (February 2011 Edition, Photo of Kevin McElvoy in discussion of ASU writer's conference) www.hollyhock.com (Cover Photo of the 2010 Catalog) www.ericarivera.net. (Author shot on her Memoir 'Insatiable' and multiple contributions to her web site and blog.) www.nataliegoldberg.com (Web Site and promotional photography) www.fourseasons.com/scottsdale (Food and lifestyle photogrpahy)
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