Kathy Donchak

October 30, 2022

Sunday Letter: Documenting Your Life

"The patterns of our lives reveal us. Our habits measure us. Our battles with our habits speak of dreams yet to become real." ~ Mary Oliver, A Poetry Handbook I sat in my chair, alongside other parents immersed in their phones and watched as the day turned to night. The sunset, a mere sliver in the distance, of deep red and purple hues...
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October 23, 2022

Sunday Letter: Dialogue with the Future

“To write a letter is to send a message to the future; to speak of the present with an addressee who is not there, knowing nothing about how that person is (in what spirits, with whom) while we write and, above all, later: while reading over what we have written. Correspondence is the utopian form of conversation because it annihilates...
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October 16, 2022

Books and Brooks

“Our relationship with the earth involves something more than pragmatic use, academic understanding, or aesthetic appreciation. A truly human intimacy with the earth and with the entire natural world is needed. Our children should be properly introduced to the world in which they live, to the trees and grasses and flowers, to the birds...
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October 9, 2022

Sunday Letter: Presence

Sometimes the mountain is hidden from me in veils of cloud, sometimes I am hidden from the mountain in veils of inattention, apathy, fatique, when I forget or refuse to go down to the shore or a few yards up the road, on a clear day, to reconfirm that witnessing presence. - Denise Levertov Witnessing our lives through the changing seas...
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October 1, 2022

Sunday Letter: Resilience of the Human Spirit

“No gift is ever given for your private use. To follow your gift is a calling to a wonderful adventure of discovery. Some of the deepest longing in you is the voice of your gift. The gift calls you to embrace it, not to be afraid of it. The only way to honour the unmerited presence of the gift in your life is to attend to this gift; th...
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September 25, 2022

Sunday Letter: Love the Dark and the Light Hours

I love the dark hours of my being. My mind deepens into them. There I can find, as in old letters, the days of my life, already lived, and held like a legend, and understood. Then the knowing comes: I can open to another life that’s wide and timeless. So I am sometimes like a tree rustling over a gravesite and making real the dream of ...
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September 18, 2022

Sunday Letter: On Keeping a Notebook

“It is a good idea to keep in touch, and I suppose that keeping in touch is what notebooks are all about… I think we are well advised to keep on nodding terms with the people we used to be, whether we find them attractive or not… Remember what it was to be me; that is always the point.” - Joan Didion, American literary journalist, nove...
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September 11, 2022

Books that Change Us

“The walls of the world are closing in. We need to get out of here in a hurry. We need to get out of these frames of minds and states of emotion that elevate mastery over compassion, division over connection, and greed over care, separating us one from another and locking us in. Our only options in this predicament, this state of polit...
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September 4, 2022


Nothing is for itself, but each thing partaking of the other is living its greatest possibility, is surpassing itself with vitality and meaning and is part of the making of a great unity. — Robert Henri Just a few weeks ago, the crunch of dried field grasses broke down with every step while high heat and drought conditions hovered like...
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August 28, 2022

Sunday Letter: Everyday Miracles

"To me, every hour of the day and night is an unspeakably perfect miracle." -Walt Whitman In childhood, the months of August and September were filled with birthday celebrations, but now as the generations grow, the days of birth are marked throughout the year. The material gifts matter little now. It is the love of family and quiet ti...
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August 14, 2022

Sunday Letter: Ask Nature

Photo by:Tyler Donaghy "The fire in leaf and grass so green it seems each summer the last summer. The wind blowing, the leaves shivering in the sun, each day the last day. A red salamander so cold and so easy to catch, dreamily moves his delicate feet and long tail. I hold my hand open for him to go. Each minute the last minute." -Deni...
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August 6, 2022

Sunday Letter: Wander Where There is No Path

"Do not seek fame. Do not make plans. Do not be absorbed by activities. Do not think that you know. Be aware of all that is and dwell in the infinite. Wander where there is no path. Be all that heaven gave you, but act as though you have received nothing. Be empty, that is all." — Chuang Tsu If we are not careful, we could give too muc...
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April 3, 2022

Sunday Letter: Attention

"Attention is the beginning of devotion." - Mary Oliver Spring is a season of birth and light. A flourishing of possibility is everywhere. Much like our human journey, it can feel like the bursting of life or a slow unfurling. As we edge closer and embrace our desire to write, write, we must. To write is to become vulnerable on the pag...
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March 27, 2022

Sunday Letter: Don’t Hesitate

“Don’t Hesitate” If you suddenly and unexpectedly feel joy, don’t hesitate. Give in to it. There are plenty of lives and whole towns destroyed or about to be. We are not wise, and not very often kind. And much can never be redeemed. Still, life has some possibility left. Perhaps this is its way of fighting back, that sometimes somethin...
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March 21, 2022

Resistance and Love

“ I ask Half-awake Is poetry possible At the moment history stirs Once its steps Reverberate through every heart? — From “Can there be poetry after” by Anastasia Afanasieva, translated by Kevin Vaughn and Maria Khotimsky” My grandfather kept a notebook during World War I. Trained as an engineer, he volunteered to fight. The notebook, I...
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March 21, 2022

The Essence of Us

“ I believe one writes because one has to create a world in which one can live. I could not live in any of the worlds offered to me—the world of my parents… or the world of wars. I had to create a world of my own, like a climate, a country, an atmosphere in which I could breathe, reign, and re-create myself when destroyed by living. Th...
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