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on Jan 7, 2010 in creative journey, video and vlog | 15 comments

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(polaroid sx-70)

when i went to squam last year i was incredibly excited to meet that beautiful woman on the left, my friend leonie.  in fact if truth be known, a few of us spent the night at a beautiful restored mill turned inn in new hampshire the night before squam and talked about who we were most excited to meet.  i blushingly admited my girl crush was leonie and just between you and me, she totally lived up to all my expectations,

i mean, hello !!

and then there is the woman on the right.  going into squam, i didn’t really know much about her at all so it is a complete mystery to me why i signed up for not just one but two classes that she was teaching.  and now i wonder how on earth did i blog for this long without becoming a faithful reader / fan / stalker of the amazing jen lee?

almost two decades ago i fell madly head over heels in crush over natalie goldberg and i devoured writing down the bones (among others) and wrote heaps of poetic prose in mad rushes in pink paged notebooks with purple free flowing pens.  well over a decade ago, i read a travel book by henry shukman called savage pilgrims: on the road to sante fe and i fell madly head over heels in love with new mexico and when he got to the part about meeting natalie goldberg, i nearly lost my mind.  seriously.  incidently, though this book is out of print, it really is quite brilliantly engaging, his prose is incredible and i have since re-read it more times than i care to admit. 

what is my point?  did i have a point?  am i really going to compare jen lee to natalie goldberg.  why yes i am.  because she lit a fire under my butt that hasn’t been lit since back when i was reading natalie goldberg. 

at squam i purchased, take me with you, a journal for the journey and then when i got home, i promptly put it on a shelf with the stack of half finished journals and did my best to forget about it.  i did not, however, forget about jen and the impression she made on me as i started seriously thinking about writing again and storytelling and faithfully stalked her blog.  and then she did it, she started, journey together in january.  um.  of course i was so in.  over the holidays i organized my studio, i created a beautiful space to write, i painted.  i painted a lot.  i took photographs.  i stayed silent on my blogs as i do every december.  i stayed silent in my journals.  i don’t actually believe i wrote anything anywhere (other than a splattering of facebook and twitter updates) in december.  and then i watched part one in the journey.  AND. I. HAVEN’T. STOPPED. WRITING!

It all feels very powerful and insanely private.  but then a few nights ago i was talking to a dear friend on the phone and i suddenly found myself reading to her the first batch of words that i have journeled privately in a very long time.  the words i wrote based on a prompt jen gave us.  and it felt good.  i was thinking i would share them here but please remember, they were written with the thought that no one would witness them and they are raw and unedited but its real and honest and me.  rather than subject you to actually having to read my childish scrawl (though i thought about scanning them), i thought i would read them to you …

and a brief hello … very brief because as i was recording, my battery died so it cuts off rather abrubtly ;-)


  1. jeanine

    January 12, 2010

    Post a Reply

    oh dar. your words echoed my very own. and can i just say, i love the way you speak. your voice is so soothing. i think it’s time i pick up jen lee’s journal and get to it to. i lost my words along the way and i’d like to find them again (you inspired that) also? leonie? yes TOTAL girl crush. got to see her in london. SO wish you could have been there. miss you dearly. xx

  2. Celeste

    January 12, 2010

    Post a Reply

    Thank you so much for this…all of this. You have given me more food for thought here than I could possibly articulate. Know that your sharing is appreciated beyond words.

    Much love my friend…

  3. PixieDust

    January 11, 2010

    Post a Reply

    Sometimes I wonder how wise it is to visit you here… it makes me want to rush to the airport and fly over and see you for a great big (((hug))), and just to sit with a friend… but that is a good thing, yes? So perhaps it is very wise to visit you here, and read your words, and hope that someday that (((hug))) will be real and in person.


  4. maddie

    January 10, 2010

    Post a Reply

    I am delving into journaling this month….and painting…and photography..oh and cooking (and I shall cook for
    you and Duke when you arrive)

    thank you for these links ~ Jen is luminous and methinks I shall quietly leap into this quiet exploration
    of words and soulmovements…

  5. leonie

    January 10, 2010

    Post a Reply

    your words…
    hearing your beautiful voice again…
    i feel so close to you though we are phsically far apart.

    you are the person i most wanted to meet too and i love you more than words can ever communicate.

  6. boho mom

    January 10, 2010

    Post a Reply

    Oh wow, I picked the perfect time to visit your blog after such a long time! I’ve missed you, your words,…..and your adorable vlogs. Love the candlelight flickering to your honesty!

  7. Kerstin

    January 9, 2010

    Post a Reply

    Darlene, what I am about to say may sound corny, or inappropriate, or I don’t know what. I only "know" you from your blog, and a little bit from conversations with our mutual friend, and this is what I said to her the other day: "Darlene seems to be one of the most authentic people to me. Perhaps it is because she has experienced so much pain and loss in her life. She’s been to the dark side, and beyond, and maybe that is what enables her to see the light, too, I mean really see it. And feel it. And know it. The deeper the yin, the stronger the yang." I am not saying that one has to have experienced such traumas to know the other side, but I wonder whether this does make you more receptive to it? Am I making sense? One thing I know for sure: you have an incredible mind and heart. And I look forward to the day that we can finally meet. Take care, Kerstin

  8. there is so much that i want to respond to here. so much. but, really, all i think that needs to be said is that i listened intently, still, present, and heard every word. deep, and on the inside.

    feeling a lot of love for you.

  9. elizn

    January 9, 2010

    Post a Reply

    the flicker of the candle, the softness of your voice and the intimacy of your spilled words is simply beautiful.
    thank you for sharing, darlene.

  10. kristen

    January 9, 2010

    Post a Reply

    i was really touched that you shared your personal journal with me, glad you decided to video record yourself reading….love the candle too, brings me back to the woods. love you. xoxo

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