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The old stone pool outside my office window hasn’t been opened in two years now. But the black tarp that covers it offers a series of shallow leaf-littered pools that the local wildlife love. Especially frogs and toads, judging by the loud and ceaseless chorus of croaking and splashing that provide the summer soundtrack to my work day. The amphibians are joined by chittering chipmunks and about 100,000 birds that would put Adele to shame.

I’m not complaining. Far from it. I welcome these sounds of nature that draw my attention away from the day’s news.

Every day there’s a new scandal out of the White House, some other egregious thing our “president” or a member of his family or inner circle has said or done, some important ally he has offended, some brutal dictator he has embraced, some accomplished professional woman he ogled and thereby reduced down to a piece of pretty flesh.

It’s hard to keep up.  Or, rather, it’s depressing and discouraging and heart-breaking to keep up. If I read, listen, take in too much, I want to cover my ears and rock in a corner until 2020 (provided this national nightmare actually lasts that long). It all stresses me out and I’ve got the extra pounds and a new TMJ night guard to prove it.

So I’m finding it increasingly important to unplug, turn away, disengage, and find peace somewhere.

I can always find it outdoors, preferably in or near woods. I find myself absolutely craving it these days (as in I need to get OUT of here and away from all this s#$@).

I can breathe there. With the trees and the skittering chipmunks and buzzing insects and the rustling leaves. Things make sense in the woods. Nature makes sense.

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Nature is not trying to game the system. Nature is unconcerned with politics, power or money. There are no mind games in the woods. No party affiliations. No confounding beliefs that don’t jive with actions. No B.S.  No judgement. No religion.  Just the tangible and observable reality of what actually is. Nature is just doing it’s thing. Day after day after day.

It’s my safe space in a world that seems to have lost it’s f@#$ing way mind.

“It’s not that we don’t care, we just know that the fight ain’t fair.”

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About Just Write: Just Write is my adaptation of free writing, a technique in which a person writes continuously and quickly without little regard for spelling, grammar, or topic. It helps writers overcome blocks of apathy and explore everything from meaningful topics to mundane observations with the same effort and without the pressure of crafting perfect prose. I just start writing.

“What ends up revealing itself when free writing is that everything has meaning. That is a magnificent gift of writing. If we write from a free heart-gut place, our souls start speaking.”