birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.


Words are really such small things, only a series of letters in different combinations, but they have so much power.

I was reminded today of the strength of words as I watched Sweden rally to defeat Mexico 3 to 0 in Match day 3 of the World Cup. What words did the Swedish coach use during half time to motivate his team to play better?

Human speech probably developed two million years ago, scientists tell us, as a way to communicate the process of making tools, knapping flint; written language developed a mere five thousand years ago.
To be so small words--both spoken and written--carry tremendous weight. They can be positive, eliciting connection, compassion, kindness. Or they can be negative, hurtful and diminishing.

In this life, I believe we have choices and I choose the strength of words strung together in phrases and sentences to inspire. Weekly and often daily I find words, phrases, paragraphs, poems that strengthen, small adages that provide the lesson that I need to help me move forward with my life. I record many of these on small PostIt notes that I leave around my studio.

I have a particular favorite, credited to Leonard Cohen, that I return to often: "Ring the bells that still can ring./Forget your perfect offering./There's a crack in everything./That's how the light gets in."

The Magical Art of Tidying Up

The End