CCAE Winter 2016 / Arlington Adult Education Winter 2016 / Memories, Stories & Reflections


Welcome to the class All! We embark on a new season of writing and discovery.  What is thrilling about autobiography is the discovery process for it is not a matter of setting downIMG_47761.jpg what we already know but finding the meaning in what we know…or rather, finding what may be the “new” facts of our lives with which to construct meaning.

Some of us start writing for someone else.  A grandchild. A therapist. A teacher.  Soon, we discover that another more  intimate side  of us emerges that is curious about the unfolding life of this character called “me”. Once we become comfortable with the “I” who is narrating the story (or indeed, we may shift to a he/she or even “you” point of view) we realize we can tell our life story from a variety of directions, accents, points of view, personas, and states of mind. We often discover the use of fictional tools in telling our stories and these tools may in include dialog, time manipulation, multiple narrators, odd perspectives, literary style imitations and formats adapted from other media. 

 I look forward to the writing that lies in wait for us. Kendall

Assignment #2 for Memories, Stories & Reflections: CCAE Tuesdays: Traveling in your own life story: Until our next meeting consider using the following journal format for writing either an ongoing journal of your current life, your life history, or selected moments from your life.  I suggest providing  lots of visual vitality to the process : consider designing your journal pages with a river or road running through them into which you do the actual writing.  On either side of the road or river, doodle in visual elements (phone numbers, names of restaurants, the smell of gas being pumped, the odd look or Motel 6 after a weary day, the front door that got lefRoad Journalt open after your sister said good-bye).  Keeping your journal in this way may make the process more alive for you especially if you’re being made aware of the sensory aspects of memories that may be lacking those elements.  Keep at it for these weeks and see what you might discover! Let me know how it goes and send me a sample from your journal that I’ll post.  Happy trails.

We are in the honeymoon phase of winter and welcoming the frequency with a mix of awe and temperance.  Two weeks later, the honeymoon may end, we will be looking at the very post post-ice age phenomenon of all snow all the time.  Our systems will adjust–our DNA will reshape so that we grow hair for warmth and height for pulling icicles off one another’s roof. Until that time comes, we write about the first sprouts of hair and the sudden inching out of once treasured shoes.

What have you noticed about you and the winter, your diet and mood, your dreams and frustrations, your stories and memories?  What’s kicking in for you that you might not been aware of were it not for the lens of winter and the prospect of snow-and-more-snow?IMG_9540  Are you thinking of moving to California…where there is no water?





About kendalld

Bio for Kendall Dudley Kendall Dudley, MA, is a Career and Life Design consultant who works with individuals and organizations, teaches art and autobiography, and leads self-discovery journaling trips to Morocco. He presents at major conferences on career and life direction, runs grants-funded public art and writing projects, has taught at Tufts and Lesley Universities, and was career consultant at Harvard for 15 years. His current travel essays appear in books and journals; he’s appeared on TV and radio; and his novel, Speedway / A Racy, Comic Novel About Grief will be out in 2015. He has traveled to 36 countries, lived in 5, and launched his real life while a Peace Corps city planner in Iran! He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania (BA) and Columbia University (MA) and pursues life-long interests in Islamic architecture, art, and adult development. A lifetime ambition: to design and take a group of travelers to Iran! Projects On The Front Burners: ARLINTON WRITES! 2014 / A town-wide journal writing project funded by the Massachusetts Cultural Council YOUR ILLUSTRATED LIFE STORY / a 6 week project that invites people to draw, paint and write their life story; sponsored by Emerson Umbrella Center For the Arts, Concord MA WRITING FOR A WEEK: ISTANBUL / 2015 is a new project built around a writing workshop in the old city of Istanbul with excursions out into the old and new city each day. CURRENT WRITING PROJECTS: • Publishing “SPEEDWAY / A Racy, Comic Novel About Grief” that draws on Kendall’s travels through Tucson, Mothers, Marriage and Mayhem! • Writing and Distributing ADVENTURE TRAVELING IN YOUR OWN LIFE STORY: A A Journal Approach to Discovering Meaning and Direction in Life!
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One Response to CCAE Winter 2016 / Arlington Adult Education Winter 2016 / Memories, Stories & Reflections

  1. Cynthia Maurice says:

    Hi Kendall, Here’s one of my daily pages– Somerville construction– out my window managed to find its way into “the river”. look forward to next class. Cynthia

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