A writing exercise…..I believe in—-

In the Girls in the Basement class, one of the students wrote a beautiful paragraph based in the Bull Durham, "I believe in long, slow, kisses that last three days."  It was so delicious and empowering for all of us to read it that I turned it into an exercise, adding it to the week on Passion (which we are currently exploring).   The original quote from Bull Durham:

Annie Savoy:
I believe in the Church of Baseball. I’ve tried all the major
religions, and most of the minor ones. I’ve worshipped Buddha, Allah,
Brahma, Vishnu, Siva, trees, mushrooms, and Isadora Duncan. I know
things. For instance, there are 108 beads in a Catholic rosary and
there are 108 stitches in a baseball. When I heard that, I gave Jesus a
chance. But it just didn’t work out between us. The Lord laid too much
guilt on me. I prefer metaphysics to theology. You see, there’s no
guilt in baseball, and it’s never boring… which makes it like sex.
There’s never been a ballplayer slept with me who didn’t have the best
year of his career. Making love is like hitting a baseball: you just
gotta relax and concentrate. Besides, I’d never sleep with a player
hitting under .250… not unless he had a lot of RBIs and was a great
glove man up the middle. You see, there’s a certain amount of life
wisdom I give these boys. I can expand their minds. Sometimes when I’ve
got a ballplayer alone, I’ll just read Emily Dickinson or Walt Whitman
to him, and the guys are so sweet, they always stay and listen.
‘Course, a guy’ll listen to anything if he thinks it’s foreplay. I make
them feel confident, and they make me feel safe, and pretty. ‘Course,
what I give them lasts a lifetime; what they give me lasts 142 games.
Sometimes it seems like a bad trade. But bad trades are part of
baseball – now who can forget Frank Robinson for Milt Pappas, for God’s
sake? It’s a long season and you gotta trust. I’ve tried ’em all, I
really have, and the only church that truly feeds the soul, day in, day
out, is the Church of Baseball.   
–Ron Shelton, scriptwriter

Here’s mine:

I believe in travel, in wandering far shores to discover all my
bullshit and
my earnestness and honor.  I believe in earnestness.

I believe in beauty.  Beautiful songs and beautiful skies and
beautiful days
and beautiful pears and beautiful pillows.

I believe
words can change the world, truly, and the right sentence at the
right moment
can turn a life from despair to progress.  I believe I was born
to write stories, and that’s the main
reason I‘m on the earth this

I believe God loves me and everybody else, even the people
I‘d personally
leave out of the Love
Everybody Commandment, like Hitler and Idi Amin and my
ex-lover, and She
wants me to succeed and help others to succeed and She
uses my hands to do
Her work, so when I‘m being pitiful and
awful, I‘m not
really doing Her

I believe in good work and
good thoughts and plenty of wine and long runs
and hikes in the silence of mountains and good friends and long lazy
with the right man or even the wrong one who makes you feel good for
I believe in sex, come to
that, that everyone should have as much as they
want, because it helps
headaches and heartaches and probably even diseases.
I believe in great meals and deep belly laughing, which could
probably cure
anything, even cancer.  I
believe in my sister, the cancer nurse, who scares
the heck out of
me and makes me proud.  I believe that sometimes getting
drunk is probably the
right answer, and other times, it’s a long run.

I believe in balance.

I believe in meditation and reading and good cups of coffee and
long airline
flights and in listening.
  I believe in dogs and good
movies and doing your

really, really believe in dogs.

I’d love to hear yours.  Post then in the comments.  Anonymously if that makes you feel braver.  Or not anonymously.   It’s a big amazing world to be in love with.

12 thoughts on “A writing exercise…..I believe in—-

  1. Anonymous

    I believe in children with their wise-eyed wonder and body-shaking laughter and plans for all we’ll do “when I get big and you get little.”

    I believe in shared silences and their deep communion and healing power.

    I believe in woman talk and the connections it spins to link us together past differences in age and race and culture.

    I believe in teachers, and I think we are all teachers called to share our various bits of hard-earned wisdom with those who need what we have to offer.

    I believe in memory and its power to reverse for a heartbeat the victories time has claimed.

    I believe in touch—the lover’s caress, the friend’s embrace, the stranger’s handclasp.

    I believe in keeping on—when I can’t see the next step, when I am afraid of tomorrow, when dreams are fragments in the dust.

    I believe in love—human and divine, flawed and flawless, struggling and perfect.

    I believe in forever.

    I believe believing is a choice. I choose belief.

  2. Thank you! I love that: believing is a choice. I choose that, too.

  3. Reading that entry makes me want to go back and do the Girls in the Basement class all over again. You are aceness, Ms Barbara.

    I believe in laying in bed after you first wake up. I believe in smiling, even when you don’t feel like it. I believe in crying when you do. I believe our inner journeys are just as important as the outer ones, and sometimes i forget this.
    I believe trying something new is the only way not to grow old. I believe in slowing down. I believe one day I will live in a country house and wake up to the smell of lavender coming in through an open window. I believe in prayer.

  4. I will come visit you in the country house with lavender blowing in through the windows, and I’ll bake some blueberry muffins to eat with breakfast.

  5. I believe in light and regeneration, and the power of love and lust and orange juice and red wine. I believe in layers of the mind, in goodness, in perserverance and fate, and that each of us has something to learn here – and something to give. And I believe, quite strongly, in chocolate.

  6. Oooh, Therese. Chocolate. And regeneration. Yes. Thank you.

  7. I believe in friendship that last for years and across continents and can be picked up at the end of a phone call.

    I believe in deep red damask fabric with gold threads weaved through it.

    I believed in a round, lush Duchesse de Brabant pink rose just at that point of perfection when all you want to do is stare and stare then imagine yourself rolling in the petals

    I believe in the comfort of books read in the winter sun with a cup of Monk Pear tea

    I believe in in faith, even though I have to remind myself a lot.

    I believe that wisdom resides in me even through the clutter and confusion of life.

  8. Keziah, I love the sensuality of that red fabric. And I love imagining rolling in the petals of a rose. My favorite is blooming right now, a double delight, but I’m going to look up Duchesse right now.

    Thank you!

  9. andylynne

    I believe new beginnings are always possible.
    I believe in dreaming dreams even if they may not come true.
    I believe in star filled nights in the desert.
    I believe in God, and answered prayers.I believe God belives in us.

  10. Beautiful, Andylynn. Star-filled nights in the desert….me, too. Mmmmm..

  11. Gini

    I believe in the intense and delightful beauty that surrounds me everyday.
    The beauty in the glistening and vibrant orange of a freshly washed and chopped carrot sitting next to the brilliant dark green of a nobbly bobbly bushy tree of a head of broccoli and how the colours clash so startlingly with the metallic purple nail polish that I’m wearing as it sparkles in the last of the afternoon sunshine that shines through my kitchen window and how I’m reaching in the fridge for a juicy blood red pepper to add to the mix just because it will make the mellow brown chopping board explode a little bit more with colour.
    I believe that ordinary everyday things can be so exciting that I can create endlessly long sentences just because I can’t possibly stop for the joy of it all.
    I believe in looking at things upside down and inside out so I can see the beauty that’s right in front of me and then I can let it enrich me most deliciously.

  12. I love the long, long vivid sentence, Gini. Thank you.

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