PlaySpace News – July 2015

PlaySpace Publications News – July 2015

How I wish for a 48 hour day! I’ve been wanting to write this newsletter since March.

Now in print is: 13 Ways of Making Poetry a Spiritual Practice by Maitreyabandhu available from PSP and MS My Story available from MS Therapy Centre Lothian and PSP.

In June I was on the team at Dhanakosa for the Wolf at the Door writing retreat. We did a renga, a writing marathon and close readings of Philip Larkin, Elizabeth Jennings, nature poems; there was a talk on William Stafford, memory maps and more….

In October I will be leading another weeklong writing retreat called Wave Hands Like Clouds – a retreat expanding our horizons through language: opening to the wisdom of the body and integrating of our heart and head. Each move in tai-chi is a metaphor. The structured forms provide an inspiring backdrop for the creation of rhythmic patterns with words. Tai chi & creative writing have much in common: form, structure, sensitivity and a striving towards essence. Clouds like thoughts come & go. Inspired by the surrounding mountains, lochs & sky, we will combine writing with movement & mindfulness for our own wellbeing and for all living beings everywhere. Although this retreat is already fully booked, there is a waiting list and often people drop-out.

In September Words Work Well – a facilitation training course in the use of creative words for health and wellbeing aimed staff and volunteers working in health and social care settings. This will be taught be Ted Bowman, Valerie Gillies, and myself. For booking information email:

At a recent writer’s group I facilitate at the Maggie Cancer Care Centre in Glasgow, I suggested we write a list of wishes. Wishes are voices of the imagination, taking you out of the realm of reality on a daily basis. For this reason, in creative writing, it is worth paying attention to them. The prompt was: TODAY record your wishes: your wants, secret desires, old favorites, or the one that is speaking to your right now.

What counts is what one wants to do,
and not what one does.
P A B L O     P I C A S S O

Then you read your list to your partner, and your partner chose one for you to write about – like how you might make that wish come true. My partner chose The 48 Hour Day. This is what I wrote:

How to have a 48 hour day

Is it possible? An hour of play an hour of work and the day lengthen rolling seconds till they disappear. Time stands still as work and play blend in a continuous flow of becoming – not this not that not anything particular – an undifferentiated interrogation of silence, as the spaces between activities stretch beyond the limits of imagination; dwelling in the emptiness where nothing happens, where everything happens with singing and dancing through hour-less hours smiling at birds eating worms, the heron swallowing a frog.

Is it possible? The effortless effort in patient pursuit of the impossible becoming possible even probable, likely and true as a blue sky when all doubt is left behind to rot in the delusion of time; that’s the clue to the mystery muscle transcending minutes when entering the space between here and there, the illusion drops away: no past no future no present – everything in flux, simultaneous spontaneous combustion blasting away ignorance: my ignorance, your ignorance, our ignorance that we dance alone – separate, isolated, disembodied, un-inherited, preyed upon.

Now knowing always knowing endless becoming remembering realising that all and everything is interrelated-interconnected bondless adventure flowing to who knows where.

Is it possible? Yes!

Healing Words

The next publication from PSP will be Healing Words (Working Title), an anthology for and by people affected by cancer. 50% of the sales will be a donation to the Maggie Cancer Care Centres. PlaySpace Publication invites you to send poems, stories and/or images (photos or drawings) for selection in an attractive 150 page anthology on the themes of recovery, suffering, healing, wellbeing . . . .We would like contributions from Maggie Centres’ staff and users – alongside invited contributions from established writers and artists who have been affected by cancer.

Please send your contribution(s) by the 18 August 2015, and bear in mind the following guidelines:

1. Length: short prose pieces up to 500 words. Poetry up to 30 lines
2. Send your contributions by email to using a Word attachment or pasted into the email message.
3. Any illustrations will be printed in black and white, so good contrast is recommended.
4. You can choose to be anonymous or use a pseudonym. If you choose to include your name, please send us a brief biography.
5. And include a short description with the context for your writing, and something about your experience of Maggies.

The anthology will be edited by Morag Anderson, Larry Butler, Valerie Gillies and Terry Durkin

Healing Words will be a fundraiser for Maggies and a showcase of creative work that happens at the Maggie Centres.

NB. Requiem by David Donnison is out of print.