My Dysfunctional Form of Prayer

Sep 23, 2014 | Creativity

Connect with Mary on social media

Thanks Melissa Hart, who invited me to partake in the Writing Process Blog Tour where writers answer 4 questions:

What are you working on?
Articles that encourage people to don the hero’s cape for planet Earth. Today I’ll finish an interactive front lawn Halloween installation that involves our apple trees. I recently completed a teen spoken-word, call and response piece that was performed as part of worldwide People’s Climate March events.


How does your writing process work? Dysfunctionally, honestly. I have a bad habit of trying to say everything in every piece. I spew it all out on the page, get overwhelmed and, when deadlines force me to, chip away—suffering all the while–as I cut to the story meant for this audience, this moment. When writing about something as urgent as global warming–with a closing window of opportunity to mitigate its most horrifying effects–I can’t type fast enough. Some view this haste as proof that I’m not spiritually evolved. I see it as a passionate form of prayer.

How is your work different from others in your genre? I don’t have a genre. I have an agenda—climate recovery–so I write stories of what’s possible, using whatever medium serves my message and reaches people. I pair writing with my leadership in 350Eugene, a climate action group, and skip around between genres.  In the last two years, that has meant articles, interviews, op-eds, press releases, videos, blogs, songs, and 13 interactive art installations on my front lawn.


Why do you write what you do? Because I’m a mother who wants her kids to be safe. Because I’m dazzled by the gift of life on Earth. And because I’m in agony over the environmental abuse my generation—the ruling generation—has allowed on our watch. Muses hammer me with ideas for rewriting our planetary narrative, reclaiming it from those who insist apocalypse is inevitable. I don’t know if enough people will divest from belief in apocalyptic futures in time to stop making it a self-fulfilling prophecy, but I do everything I can to push things in the right direction. It may not look very spiritually enlightened to those observing my rapid pace, but I find it a satisfying form of prayer– especially when shared with those I love.

Connect with Mary on social media: