A Long Silence

IT SEEMS LIKE A LONG TIME since I’ve been here.  I guess it has been a long time.  I’m still alive, I still read your comments and respond to them…but who said writing a book was easy?  Me?  That’s the way it feels when a book is finished.  In the midst, though, sometimes writing’s really hard!

The process of writing, at least in this book-that-might-be, it feels as if it will take forever to finish.  Whole sections there are that I’ve decided to move into the Won’t Work file, questions: Can I Even Write, Any More?, and something silent that whispers, Forget The Demons, Just Write!

If the words are wrong, I’ll delete them.  If I have to delete everything, I will, and start over again.

This is so hard!  But if it’s ever finished, I’ll say how easy it was.

And I’ll probably delete this entire little cry from the website.

If you’re going through this now, yourself, you have an invisible friend, who loves you for staying with your ideas, no matter how difficult the course may be.  Different seas, different storms, but we choose the same journey.  Bless us all!

stormy_seas

(Painting by Andy Simmons)

113 thoughts on “A Long Silence

  1. As there are no coincidences, I find myself wondering what it means that this is the first time I have found myself on this site & you are posting after a bit of silence. At the very least, I’m certain it means my journey to India in a few weeks will have me exploring myself with the guidance of at least one f your many books. As always, thanks for the reminder of what a wonderful existence this is to embrace.

  2. Richard:
    When I came to USA since 7 years ago, I embarked on the unique adventure
    worth: definitely learn to express Love through many economic difficulties, dilute many beliefs. In this moment I have no time to judge myself in the midst of the storm, only this alert allowing the heart to explore new horizons.

    The beautiful painting by Andy Simmons it’s a great metaphor.

  3. Please don’t delete this! Delete all your work if needs must, but not this. You can’t know how much I needed to see this today. Doubting myself and working very hard to silence the Doubt Demon. Never. Give. Up.

    • OK, I promise: no deleting. We may both need the reminder, way in the future. Writing _One,_ I had 35,000 words into the book, then deleted them all, and started again. I need to remember that, times like this. I loved the book when it was finished, but for nearly a week I was ready to stop writing, forever.

      • I don’t think either you or I can stop writing. Perhaps stop writing for others, but writing is like breathing. Even if it’s just in a journal, or crumpled and tossed in the fireplace…writing is.

          • Writing, is like breathing to those that write
            the same goes for any creative thing that our souls call us to. Shared or not shared it’s all about letting it in, and letting it out.
            Grateful to have been born into a time where we have the time to explore all these avenues.

          • Me, too. Don’t delete!

            You see, I’ve started a book project, too. A novel, and as I’m setting up for writing, I check my email and I see this, you saying “it’s really hard!”

            I needed to read that, Richard.

            When you, a seasoned, advanced writer, says to me, a new nervous uncertain one, that the work is hard? That’s the same as saying it will be hard for years and years to come.

            Yet, I feel better knowing that. Feeling less alone, I guess.

            I’m afraid my protagonist has run off!
            I have to catch up with her.

            Thank you,

            – Dave Olden

          • Dear Richard,

            I told a friend at our picnic lunch today that writing a journal for thirty years now has been the greatest gift I could ever have given myself. It has become a roadmap of the changes I struggled to make within myself, of trying to understand myself and life, and how I integrated childhood trauma and unhappiness. Sharing what I wrote in the form of my first manuscript changed the lives of others. What a gift to us all this writing is! To me it is not seeking that perfect sentence, but that sentence or book, that as Franz Kafka wrote, “is like an ice-axe to break the sea frozen within us.”

            And Richard, your writing did that for me. Keep on going and never give up. Words, and the way they are put together, have to power to connect our souls as one.

            Thank again for all your thought-provoking writing that changed my life so completely for the better!

          • There does seem something quite primal about writing. The way words come and go, ever-changing, create new concepts and connects from their ancient origins. Much like waves in an ocean. Or, perhaps…clouds in a sky…;-) Is one more perfect than the other? Perhaps just perfect for us in the moment that writer and written become one.

      • Remember what you said to me not too long ago……Pretend no one is ever going to read your writing, let all your beliefs that you’re not a writer curl upwards and vaporize…….I remember these words very vividly as if you just said that yesterday. I keep resounding those words as I too have been having a heck of a time writing lately. If it’s any comfort at all, just keep on keepin on and pretend no one is ever going to read your work! From across the pond in Japan…Georgi :o)

      • My Dear Friend Richard, whom I have never met in person, I just finished re-reading “ONE” for at least the fourth time, and I put it back on the shelf, for …. another day.

        Never quit !

        You provide Mana for those of us who don’t seem to know how to express ourselves at times. Your thoughts smooth the path of this life for many.

        Aloha, Mahalo, and Thank you Richard…..for BEING a part of our lives.

  4. Richard, you say, “If the words are wrong, I’ll delete them.” That is your opinion, not mine. Besides that is an inner doubting, that is not you. That is a negative force which we try to keep out of our life. If you had listened to that force before, you would not be on your own website. So why start now?

    I write to just write. I don’t rewrite, the computer checks the spelling and grammar. I keep my run-on sentences and let’em run. It is not the words that count and how they are placed; it is the thoughts each readers gets from those words.

    • You’re right, Karen — it’s my opinion. My writing finds its music by deleting words. Too many words, the song’s gone. When a word, a sentence, a chapter doesn’t work, out she goes, and perhaps we can listen to the melody.

  5. It was a pleasure to have heard from you again on this page today, as I had experienced a ‘dream’ last night in which in it,
    i had written the name Richard, very clearly in script and at the end of the name, there
    was a small old fashioned key, like one from an old wardrobe, in bronzed gold, connected to the name. When i awoke, i made a mental note and came to the site to see what message you had left.
    Now to figure out the rest…..so happy Sharon supported you in keeping your impressions on the page. 🙂

  6. I have been struggling with finishing an album of songs that took 30 years to start and the last two and a half years to get halfway through it. Given myself until Sept this year to finish. It’s sooooo hard.

    I am constantly looking out of the corner of my eye for: a great dynamite-burst of flying glass and brick and splinters through the front wall and for somebody to stalk over the rubble, seize me by the throat and gently say – I will not let you go until you set me, in music, on your Mac.

    I have a sticker on my window in front of me –
    HAVE FUN
    DON’T THINK
    DON’T CARE

    It has been a while, struggling here alone, and hadn’t heard from you and I wondered how you were going so I checked your site just now and found this post from yesterday – but I didn’t get the subscription email notification – maybe it went to spam. Feeling pleasantly back in tune again now. Intuition: check – working.

    We, your family, toil along with you – inspired for 40 years – still. And everything we know might be wrong.

    Feeling the Oneness…
    Jay

  7. And you, Richard, never forget you have many thousands of invisible friends who love you for staying with your ideas….even if they might be wrong!

    • Dear Ones, Words before this note, words after; so distant, yet so close to me: Thank you.

      Time after time, last night, one and another little phrase woke me: “Sorry to bother you, I know you need to sleep, but you must write me down or you’ll never remember, come morning!”

      Finally I slept, 3:30 am, a few hours from sunrise.

      Now, computer spun up, I blink, for all at once you’re here! Your ideas comforting, reminding, every word nourishment I’ve somehow forgotten.

      I love my mission here, to be every once in a while a smile for you, a reminder that you’re not alone. What a shock, this morning, to find that it works the other way, too!

      In this lonely space where writers choose to live, a flash of lightning and in that brilliant moment I see you’re here, you’ve always been here. The only thing that kept you away was the darkness, was my belief of darkness. Thank you for your amazing kindness, to appear now and to switch on the lightning.

      • Thank you, Richard, for dropping in to let us know how things are going, for allowing us to prop you up when you need it, for providing many of us with the guiding light through the storms of our lives.

        I too, say, no deleting. Who knows what will speak to you at some distant point in this space-time continuum?

        We love you too!

      • “In this lonely space where writers choose to live, a flash of lightning and in that brilliant moment I see you’re here, you’ve always been here. The only thing that kept you away was the darkness, was my belief of darkness. ”

        That sounds like non-duality – the answer –

        In a lonely space where a person (most people) finds himself, a flash of lightning and in that brilliant moment he sees he’s not alone, was never alone, can never be alone. You’re here, you’ve always been here. There is no seperation, except in the mind – which is all illusion anyway.

        Thanks for everything,

        Much Love,

        David.

        P.S. Get yourself a voice recorder of some kind, keep by the bed, and when those ideas wake you, stay in bed, grab recorder, speak idea into mic, go right back to sleep!! 🙂

  8. Richard, It’s so exciting to hear that you’re deep in the midst of writing. Those six words are also on my monitor and, though I’m not writing presently, they were like rescue ferrets on a storm-tossed sea when I penned my first book. They helped me make it, one shore to the next, beginning to end of manuscript. Thank you! Have fun with this new project! Ann

  9. Glad to know you have been busy creating. I was thinking about you lately. “I wonder how Richard is doing? Have not seen him on line lately” Happy to see this entry.

  10. Glad you’re back posting. So many of your thoughts are mine, so many of your doubts. Normally silent I enjoy your writing. Your posts, like a handwritten letter in the mail among the bills and sale ads, treasured and welcomed. Thanks Richard.

  11. ALL learns lessons
    My soul has a human I call it a mixed blessin’
    My demons make confessions
    They listen to my angels but they still have questions
    Second to nothing not even in the heavens
    The stars are my mask, you’re just under my impression

    (Let go and then let’s go. Write until you’re right and that’s all that’s left.)

  12. I know the magic will happen once more…but I also know how much work and doubt and change went into what we recognize as magic at the end.
    So here’s to you who knows what it takes to make magic.

  13. Richerd – in your heart of hearts you know that everyhing is perfect … so go with the feeling s and all will be well …. feel loved!

  14. Do you read Anne Lamott? She gets me through, usually by laughing (which she calls carbonated joy). One time she said she had such a bolt of enlightenment she knew she was going to be dating the Dalai Lama.
    She says powerful stuff about writing.

  15. My first (and only) book was Badge of Dishonor and I poured my heart into it for three years before someone told me I should write it in first person. “But I don’t want me in the book,” I said. “It’s non-fiction and meant to straighten out things in someone else’s book that are just plain wrong. People need to know what really happened during the 1960s and 1970s in Shreveport, Louisiana.”

    “Yes, but we need to know who wrote this book,” the person said. “You need to be in it so we will know whether to believe it.” So I re-wrote it and gave it over to an editor to correct whatever errors I made in tense. The book got a lot of press in Shreveport because that’s where the interest in the story was. KSLA-TV did a 7-minute special on it and books flew off the shelf. Since then, not much, but that’s because I too am old and don’t advertise the book any more.

    My advice would be to keep writing from the heart, Richard. As someone said once, there’s something in the heart of all writers that needs to come out. There are things we need to say and if people listen, fine. If no one listens, that’s fine too. We feel better by having written. I still write, but it’s mostly local stuff — opinion, etc. — in the form of guest columns. I doubt I will ever write another book. Badge of Dishonor took too much out of me (and my wife too) as it made us live again that dark period of our lives she, especially, would just as soon forget.

  16. Hi Richard,
    I, too, experienced great happiness at seeing the notification, and then reading, of your entry! I think I heard myself say, “Yahoo! Richard’s here!”
    Your description of your experience concerning your writing sounds a bit like my life experience in general just now. After some time of shedding, I feel more in line with my True self than I have ever before. More connected to the energy I am…my particular origin energy. But the open, effortless creative path for that Energy has yet to show. It will. And until it does…I’ll do the other stuff in front of me and….dance : )
    Thank you, Richard, for writing, and in that, giving me a place to feel Connection. Thank you for being the Perfect Expression of Perfect Love that you are : ) I have adopted this and shared it with many.
    Be well, my fellow traveler.

  17. For some, writing is like flying – always worth the effort. And remember: “Time spent in the air doesn’t count against our allotted time on earth.” So, get high and stay there. Blue skies…

  18. Wow. Feeling out of balance, wondering why and what to do. Then you remind me it has been ever so long that I have allowed life to get in the way of sitting down to write. There are two appointments to show the house today but my promise to me is that when they leave it is time for me – to write, to dream, to reconnect and find balance once more. The house will sell when it is time and I need to turn it over.

  19. As a professional writer who has no problem scribing for others yet is, ironically, struggling with working on her own writing, your post came at just the right time. Thank you, Richard.

  20. The longing to feel that rush; to know where your life is going. In those moments, when it is flowing onto the page is no different than when your life is making sense and people arrive and joys are ever present, there is a feeling of bliss. But like a junkie who needs to feel that high again, we hurt when it is gone. But all that is missing is to have faith. The other half of your experience is that silence the stillness and in there is the real gold. The opportunity to relax and let go and have faith and smile. It will all come around again in its own time and when the inspiration is ripe on the vine.

  21. Hello Richard, Hello All,
    I hope you can forgive me for barging in from out in the cold, but it is the only means I have of sharing this. On Wednesday night as I strode past my woodstove a few bars from John Denver’s ‘Calypso’ popped into consciousness from the ether. This ballad which I hadn’t heard for a couple years, was written as a tribute to Captain Jacques Cousteau and his crew. My heart opened, as I was reminded how much that song makes my spirit soar. In an instant, Richard came to mind, as his words and his presence on the planet have inspired and guided me for many years. (More than you’ll ever know, dear Richard.) Suddenly I had an anxious moment realizing, “My God, I haven’t heard from Richard for so long. Is he Ok? Did a computer glitch banish me from the list? Is he still posting? Will I have enough wood to get me through the winter?” I glided over to the computer, typed in ‘richardbach.com’ and was thus relieved to find all was well. Better than that. Richard was writing again! I read several posts and replies, and felt connected to this group once more. On Friday I mused over the series of thoughts and feelings that connected me back here, and my silly mind played with the idea of substituting the word ‘Calypso’ in the song with ‘Richard’ and posting the new lyrics as a little tribute to him. But it seemed a little goofy and it wasn’t my song to mess with in the first place.
    ‘Aye, Calypso the places you’ve been to, the things that you’ve shown us, the stories you tell. ‘
    It dawned on me that someone on this list may need to hear the song ‘Calypso,’ or read the lyrics in hopes that their heart(s) may open too. Or perhaps they just need to take their spirit out for a little soaring. Maybe Richard, maybe all of us, or maybe just me. The gremlin of doubt gave many reasons not to write, not to post, and I didn’t. Until now. Imagine my delight, my astonishment, to see read Richards’ post today, and to view the beautiful artwork of a solitary person at the helm of a ship on a stormy ocean. What a wonderful synchronicity. Thank you Richard, thank you all. If it please you, go find John Denver’s ‘Calypso’ and soar. Go find the lyrics to his song, ‘Sweet Surrender’ and connect. I’ll go and put some more wood on the fire as I whistle those tunes.
    Cheers,
    Don

    • Don,

      Thank you for a reminder of that wonderful song. Being a child of the sea, it brings joy to me every time I hear it. And of course, (may he rest in peace) the joy of ocean exploring that the late great Captain Jacques Cousteau tried to instill in all of us.

      Diana

  22. Gone someday. When? Don’t know. Until then, live! Hard work work gets desired results. Positive thoughts bring positive results. Some spend their lives avoiding challenges and never know the extent of their capabilities. Others choose a goal, take a deep breath, and pursue it. Fear is a protection. It it better to act wrongly, than not to act at all. No action is paralyzing. By wrong action, one will learn right action. Strength must be sought, but weakness may find you and hinder your progress. If you seek the best in life you must maintain strength to support you when you reach heights, and the strength to sustain you if you fall from the top. A cloudy sky makes for a more beautiful sunset. Raise expectations, don’t limit them. The higher you go, the more you lift everyone. Will is a great accomplisher. We all want to do well, but we must do good too, which makes doing well enough. God is in all of us, so we are infinite beings with no limitations. You made me strong when I was not strong. You gave me courage when I did not have courage. You inspired me to keep trying. You made me Mighty when I was not Mighty.
    Thank you Richard. Fly High, Live Mighty!

  23. Richard — As a minor aviation writer and museum developer, I share your frustration with uncertainty. I often ask myself “why bother?” Writing is more that “bother” to those who are moved to write. Sure, sometimes it’s difficult. I ate myself up with dread as a deadline approached for an article assignment I had agreed to write. For most of a week, as deadline drew close, I used every excuse I could connive — after I had gathered the information needed — to WRITE. I began to understand that NOT to write was like running away from a fight and abandoning your buddies in a foxhole near the front. The shame of running away hurt more than the uncertainty over the likely outcome of engagement. So I wrote the bleeping article, and once I engaged it with fingers moving on a keyboard, I realized I was having fun. But there is usually doubt. And the fact you feel that doubt shows you are worthy of the “calling” to write. Someone unworthy of that special calling would walk away. I never will, and based on the great work of yours that has nourished me as a writer and hummin’ bean, I know you never will either. THANK YOU, SIR! 🙂

  24. Hey, your back, the doubt demons must be working over time! Here at our house they just struck big time last night! We could write a book….hahahaha
    Don’t we all fall into the darkness when faced with producing something for others to see or read? That’s where the toughness comes in……stand strong for what you write, as stated earlier, the reader will take what they feel is for them…..similar to your post! I bet your comments are timely for a lot of us who love your books, they speak to so many how could what ever you write not affect someone in a profound way!
    Never doubt yourself……….the words come from your heart therefore they are perfect! Hummm, sounds like one of your books!
    Glad you’re back…….Toodie

  25. “This is so hard! But if it’s ever finished, I’ll say how easy it was.” Exactly how I felt about pregnancy and birth. Dearest Richard Bach I have loved your work all my life. I have never had a chance to tell you. I’m so glad I get to today. I’m grateful to read this too because the only thing I wanted to be more than a mom is a writer. You inspire me to keep writing, to slay the doubt demons. Some day I hope to say, “Oh that was easy.”

  26. Very excited for your next book… I have loved you since a new acquaintance gave me a yellow copy of Illusions in 1992! Bless her! Forever your FAN and love turning people on to your work and your books are a favorite to gift to others! Hypnotizing Maria was so fabulous, I told everyone about that book who listen and longed to discuss it. Would be sweet to have FB discussion group on your books! Keep writing let it FLOW! Listen to the voice! Blessings Peace Love & Light! Sher Love

  27. You’re so right, Richard – writing is hard! Sometimes it feels like stumbling around in the dark looking for a candle and a match when the power has gone out. But then one true sentence resonates in your soul like a beautiful melody beginning. It brings with it the light of inspiration so that you just let it play on through you to your fingertips as they write on!

    You’re writing is so worth it all, Richard!

  28. Glad to hear from you — I’ve been thinking about you occasionally, checking back here once in awhile, and wondering what kind of creative process you are experiencing in the writing you said you were going to work on.

    I have been teaching so long that sometimes I can feel a sense of being “done” with that and of feeling like I don’t want to do that anymore. Then one of my three-year-olds comes up and gives me a hug and says, “I LOVE you, Bobbi!” Or they start asking me questions that I don’t know the answer to — and I tell them that I will have to find out (which fires up my curiosity too). When things like that happen, I find my fire for teaching coming back and I still have fun both teaching, being with the kids, and creating things for us to do and learn about together. As long as you still love doing something and you’re having fun doing it, it is worth doing.

  29. Hello, Richard

    Nice to read you again.

    I wanted to write since I was in school, some 35 years ago or so, although what I really wished was to become a professional pilot. I got a job as a flight instructor for four years before it vanished, and I have never got to finish a single manuscript or anything.

    But it seems to me that the next word or the next page is more like the next flight hour: it doesn’t matter if you have a hundred hours in your logbook or ten thousand. It’s the next hour that counts. It’s the next page that counts. Everyday is a new blank page, ready to be written. Everyday is the first day of the rest of our lives. Maybe you need to open the window and have a deep breath of fresh air.

    And , by the way, thank you so much for your books.

    Regards

  30. After forty published novels, I still feel as if I don’t really know how to write and often dread going to the computer. But I do go each day ~ and I write wrong. Every day. And gradually, in baby-steps, toward the end of each day, I write right. After that completed first draft, I wipe the sweat and blood from forehead with a, “Whew!” and plow into the revising (re-visioning) the subsequent drafts with a much lighter soul.

  31. hello? r u there? it’s me, judyanne….just wanted to remind you of “our” school for perfection…”not dead. not dead at all. just coming alive.”

  32. Probably not a good idea to judge yourself or your work too often in the process. Negative judgements can easily build into negative expectations, so write what you feel and let it go at that for the day. You can even say, “Well the decision to leave it as is is easy enough.” Then perhaps a good bit later, with more perspective, you can go back and say, “This needs a little work, but these next few paragraphs fly.”

  33. So glad to see that you are here. I have been missing you. It appears that you have many friends invisible to you at times maybe. However, it appears from all of these comments, we are thinking of you often. In the past, have you had to take a break from writing and then come back to it, or are you one that doesn’t leave until it is finished? Listen to your heart, Richard and do what is necessary to make the thoughts and words flow easy!! Until your next appearance here, be well and I wish for you fair winds and following seas.

  34. Richard:
    Please accept this small gift, a spiritual spark from soul to soul, as your new creative journey unfolds.

    CALL TO DUTY

    1.
    And so we board our ship
    With sunrises in mind
    With dream and ink in hand
    And greater truths to find

    2.
    Should storms beset us
    Or Muse forget us
    We will stay the course
    No less

    3.
    For on the seas to Beauty
    No guarantee is heard
    But for the call to duty
    And our duty: To love
    The Word.

    E.L.B.
    1-25-15
    Clearwater, Florida

    Corollary: Creation is the sound (Word) of the human spirit waking.

  35. THE BOOK, the one each of us end our earthly existence clinging to, is nothing but sentences and paragraphs we have clipped from everything (including books) we have experienced. For most of us here, there will be MANY clips from your writings. What if the one line you haven’t written yet really matters to one person? (No pressure here.) Trust your inner editor just as you have always trusted your inner flyer. Fly on!

  36. Have you ever seen “Finding Nemo”? It is Izzy’s favorite movie. “Just keeping swimming, swimming, swimming.” Or flying, flying, writing, writing.

    Just for right now, lighten your load, and smile really big.

  37. My dearest Richie,

    Writers see behind readers’ masks. But sometimes, when the light is just so, readers see behind writers’ masks, too. When we look carefully enough, we can see you behind your mask. Times like these, no words can say what the heart feels and eyes make way for the hopelessly flooded heart.

    Times like these, the mask does not quite seem to fit and the loving light within shines through a little more clear and bright, for us.

    This post is your own twinkling merry answer to “Can I Even Write Anymore?”.

    I love you so much, dearest Richie. Your words are my consciousness.

    Ever,

    – Pushkaraj

  38. Glad to hear from you. Very best to you on your long journey. I will soon be releasing the first book of my ROLO series, thanks for inspiering me to write.

  39. I am a writer of songs, and longtime fan! I know how you feel Richard, for me it often occurs with song and lyric writing. It’s funny how there are times where the muse is so direct, and everything flows naturally, and other times it seems like such a struggle, laboring to put the puzzle together. Perhaps art materializes most naturally when it is drawn from another world, fiction as reality. I write songs from the world I travel to I close my eyes and let the music take me there…

  40. Oh, so you too feel like that. Ummm, I guess I can no longer use that feeling as an excuse, can I? Deleting allowed. Sometimes it is easier to start again. A new idea can turn everything upside down. I know. Off to strugle with writing. When the storm is over, ship safely home, when you’ve made it through the hard times, the feeling is great.

  41. In the same spot as well. I have wanted to write about my life. Can’t say how much your works have influenced me. I always seem to not tell the story I’d like in the way that is most honest. Think “Illusions” might have something to do with that. I hope one day we can cross paths. Just to be able to sit and talk with you would be such an honor. Your friend. Lee.

  42. Dearest Richard,
    When you write with your mind it is easy and hard but when you write, not really you write but when it comes from the heart, there are no words like hard or easy. It is only love that pours out. A love that needs to reach thousands of us using your body and name as a medium. Let the love flow. It reaches us and sometimes no words are needed.

    Always in love
    Aarti

  43. The loneliness of writers–it seems to be necessary to unearth the stuff we’re trying to unearth. It is hard, sometimes painful, work, across other lives than this one! But thanks for the reminder that we deal with it with and through our experiences with each other. We are more help to each other than the other can usually know!

    • I had a friend who was a song writer — who wrote really great songs that touched people’s hearts. He used to talk about how some of the songs seemed to just come to him “on the air” when he was out and alone. Maybe creative people like writers need to be lonely or at least alone sometimes to hear the words and feel their meaning that come from within.

      • Thanks, Bobbi. I think you’re right. Sometimes the writing just flows. When it gets ‘hard,’ I know I’m resisting something that’s coming–it hits too close to old pain. But I know that old pain must be ready to metamorphose, so I keep at it.
        You sound like a writer!

  44. Hi Richard, having you back is so comforting! I missed hearing your thoughts. Makes me want to go back to painting again. I even had a dream about it last night. I was told to put one of my paintings in front of a mirror and look at it for deeper meaning. I don’t know what that means. Now that I read your post maybe it means not to paint over my paintings- which is kind of like you deleting your words. Blessings to you!<3

  45. I’m glad you’re alive! 🙂 I just read Illusions for the first time, my father gave it to me. One of the best books I’ve ever read. Thank you. After reading it, I literally thought, “Why didn’t anyone tell me all of this sooner (the wisdom in the book).” When the student is ready, the teacher appears, I guess. I’m changed by it, and I’m now thinking about everything and life and I want to read it again now. I feel like everyone should read your book, it’s like a thought provoking Life 101 text book. Love it. Can’t wait to read all of your work! So glad you exist and I’ve discovered you!!
    Deena

    • Why, thank you Deena, I’m glad I’m alive, too! (Not that there’s a choice we have to be any other way. A belief of nothingness, if we want it, lasts only till we’re rested and ready to express love once more.)
      Glad you found _Illusions!_ Be careful with your wish to share it, though, since it was written for you. Once you get a copy with the pages chopped into little triangles and a note: “This is what I think of your book,” you’ll tend to be cautious with your gifts.

      • 🙁 But…..makes one even the more stronger and confident in their choice of what path they see themselves on.

      • Thank you for your words. They resonate and I’m grateful. Wow…written for me. It does feel that way…it is a part of who I am now, that’s for sure. I found myself thinking about it again this morning before I’d even gotten out of bed. It’s like a tool; it’s useful.
        I wish I knew people like you and those who love that book so I could be around them, talk to them. I think I’ll visualize that. 🙂
        Although, now that I think about it, this website here is filled with those people and you. Very cool.

        • Hi, dear Deena,

          How beautifully do you write! Both your messages mirrored my very own thoughts and feelings, and so perfectly.
          I, too, for a long time wondered about those others to whom my dearest Richie means as much as to me. And finally, here and in the Jonathan Livingston Seagull community, all of a sudden I found those dear dear souls I have dreamt of meeting for long lonely years. It is a joy to see them ensnared by the song of their own heart.

          Just like you, I too love to share Richard’s lovely gift to us, whenever I suspect a young one to be alive inside. Nothing I’d love more than to see all of us living our highest love. That is a dream that will live on in my heart forever. But my mind reminds me of Donald Shimoda’s words: ‘Only a few people will be interested in what you have to say ..’
          This gift isn’t for everybody, because what one doesn’t already value one does not see.

          What a pleasure to find each other after a long time wondering about it.

          Love,

          – Pushkaraj

          • Thank you, Pushkaraj. I appreciate you. I’m happy to know you’re out there and that there is a whole community of people who admire Richard’s work. I mentioned Illusions to a friend and he excitedly said, “Yes! My friend and I read that book at the same time when we were younger. Excellent book.” I love everything about it. My favorite. Be well.
            Deena

  46. “If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.”

    Vincent Van Gogh

    Our connection with Richard is connecting us to each other.

    What a remarkable group.

    A post connects to ” a voice … you cannot … that voice will be silenced.”

    Hospital work, for me, and that inner “You cannot …” (you cannot find the words for this family, you cannot hold this suffering in your broken heart, you cannot get all this work done by handover at 7 a.m., you cannot push this team any harder, you cannot resource any further energy in yourself, you cannot possibly complete the tasks for this shift) and then these words from VvG from a dear companion on this site. And so it was done, all of it. xxx

    • Dee, I can so related to your post! It helps me more than words could say…only a hug could convey my feelings…so consider yourself cyber hugged by me! 🙂 I needed this…big time! Thank you dear one!

    • We set out on our journeys, following paths we do not know. Countless footsteps stretch out ahead of us, past far horizons. We try to look ahead, to see what we hope will come but the length of the path, the myriad twists and turns overwhelm us. We can become despondent not seeing our destination but we do not give up. We continue placing one foot in front of the other, enjoying the sensations along the way. We keep an image of where we are headed, but it’s not the only goal.

      Then one day we arrive and look back along our footsteps at the paths we have taken, the lessons we have learnt and the experiences we have had in wonder and gratitude.

      Turning forward again, new paths stretch out ahead of us

  47. First of all, it’s good to know that you’re alive and well! The world, without a doubt in my mind, is a better place with you in it.

    I’ve been going through something quite similar to what you’ve been feeling lately. I’ve got a critic who’s been stalking me all over the Internet for more than two years, trying to tare me down in every way. She is clueless about my approach to my book, “Achieving Your Purpose (with a Little Help from Your Friends and Facebook,” which is, by the way, just the latest title I’ve had in mind, but she’s absolutely convinced that there’s no way that my book is needed since she claims that there are already 400 books about Facebook on Amazon already.

    What she says doesn’t distract me one bit, but the personal nonsense she posts about me is so hateful that occasionally I’m tempted to give her a taste of her own medicine, which is, of course, exactly what she wants.

    Anyway, I wouldn’t want to bore you with the details about that since I’m sure you’ve been misinterpreted by a lot more people than I have. I definitely couldn’t agree with you more, though, that an author should talk as little as possible about a book until it’s written since writing a book is like a stroll on a winding road that we’ve never been on before and we really have very little clue what’s at the end of that road.

    All we know is that we have faith and believe in ourselves to redact it in a way that will inspire our readers. Yet, the critics always think that they are several steps ahead of us even though they assume that they know the path that we’re on even though they’ve never dared to take the unbeaten path.

    Ever since my first love gave me a copy of “Jonathan Livingston Seagull” in French while we were in high school, I knew that more than anything else I wanted to be a writer . . . just like you. I know that I’m almost there, and I know, like Cicero, that gratitude is the mother of all virtues. So, thank you for blazing the less-traveled path for us, and most of all, thank you for inspiring us to believe in our own heart.

    Peace be with you, always!

    Carlos E. Jean-Gilles

    • One thing we learn early: Not Everyone Likes Our Ideas! Lucky for us that’s OK, since there are other writers for them, other families to nourish them. If you consider that this lifetime may not be quite real…you’ve come to the right place.

  48. A first time writer to this site, but long time fan. I’ve been reading and re-reading Illusions for decades (lifetimes?). Once upon a time I hand wrote calligraphy to make a few Messiah’s Handbooks with handmade leather covers to give to those in my life who seemed to want them. One saying used to dismay me, but now comes to mind and maybe gives you an out – a sort of wink to your readers that allows you to write anything, but to not have to worry about how right or wrong it is – “Everything in the Book May be Wrong” – ah so now we readers can find our own truths and you the writer need not be concerned that what was written is or isn’t just so. It is fun to read the comments of those who have been here for a while – I come back to check from time to time to see how you are doing. Thank you for being!

    Veronica

    • Thank you, Veronica. Sure enough, “it _may_ be wrong…” is just as you say. I won’t be responsible for what you read. The reader needs to decide if what I write is true for her or him. My most favorite writers may be wrong, but if they are, I don’t care… I’ll live by the ideas I love. Wrong for others, they’ll be true for me.

      • Thank you for your kind and spot on reply 🙂

        I was reading a book relevant to this topic to my kids last night – Rocket Writes a Story by Tad Hills – complete with references to feathers, pine smells, and owls, Rocket (a dog) also faces a blank page, but is able to find his way onward with the help of his teacher – a little yellow bird.
        I love the interconnectedness of life. Thank you for sharing your inspirations with us – you make the world a better and happier place.
        Cheers!
        Veronica

  49. I came across this by chance – or did I? Have been going through a stretch of stormy seas with a particular short story that will not leave me alone – but is troublesome! Thanks for the words of encouragement :o) I hope you are making progress with your current project.

  50. Have just finished reading TRAVELS WITH Puff.
    With its message of freedom, the freedom to live one’s true self, to live one’s true spiritual identity – Mr. Richard you have opened our consciousness to this sacred concept.

    Some thoughts on writing and freedom:
    Unfoldment is the opening, the evolving, the revealing of the power of Learning and Playing.
    Accretion is appearance, illusion. It is negativity, no-thing, the powerlessness of the external.

    YES WE ARE the Perfect Expression of Perfect Love – the key to all creativity.

    Mr. Richard thank you for your writing, for the sharing of your thinking and your insights. They are sustenance for all in the Richard Bach / Jonathan Livingston Seagull community.

    Musing…….Puff / confident.
    Why do I go to the ocean (of freedom) with a teaspoon???
    Accretion beliefs???

  51. Hold on, Richard. Remember Tink, I think she’s doing the best she can to help you. Just don’t make her yell in your ear again.

    Good luck.

  52. Dear Richard, Thank you so much for your soul-filled and human sharing. This morning I was sharing with my new friends that I went to the edge of fear and spin-out energy in my being yesterday. I was able to pull myself back this morning, realizing I had been caught up in a lot of astral and collective fear that seems to be circulating around the planet. (That stuff can be so highly contagious!) As I gathered myself, I knew that I did not need to buy into the collective fear and that I could simple stand back inside myself and face my own small bit. And during my conversations this morning, a friend reminded me of your work. So,I felt an inner prompting to google you.

    I know on a deep level that it is our heart shared vulnerabilities and humility that truly blesses and connects us all. So thank you for your REAL words here and for sending out a connecting thread into the world. It has been received.

    Blessing right back to you….
    Caroline

  53. It’s probably time for me to tell you a story. Back in 1985 I had a dream about the island where you live. I didn’t know anything about the place, or you or your books, but in the dream I was certain I would one day visit the island and learn a great and important truth. It was the most vivid and moving dream I ever had.

    Rather than rushing straight over from England, I thought I’d wait until I arrived at the island by chance. I read your books, learned to fly, became a writer, gave that up and ended up in the (low budget) movie industry. Almost thirty years passed and then, by chance, I arrived on the island. I stayed in on a cottage were I could watch planes taking off between the hills. It was beautiful, but there was no major revelation.

    I kept thinking, ‘If I bump into Richard Bach in the supermarket, should I tell him about this?’ but thought better of it, because I know you value your privacy. I even stumbled across your house (within a stone’s throw), but kept away. I think you may still have been in hospital at the time, but didn’t want to intrude anyway.

    On my final day on the island, as I was driving, I got the unmistakable feeling that I was about to be given the answer. I knew that the next green sign I saw would give me a clue to the truth I had waited for. There was a deep sense of certainty and calm as I waited for the answer. As I turned the corner I saw a small green sign that said, ‘What’s the point?’ You may have seen it. I still don’t know why it’s there or what it’s pointing to.

    I contemplated this for a long time. A year later I was staying in Vancouver and from my skyscraper apartment I could see What’s The Point island, taunting me with it’s cynical question. But then I realised there were two important revelations.

    Firstly, I the island was a mirror. The question I had been asking myself for years was, ‘What’s the point in staying in the film industry when I hate it so much?’ I wanted to write again. So I quit, there and then and I’m writing again. I’ve never been happier.

    Secondly, I realised that you can’t go to a dreamy island and hope to find answer. You can only hope to find a good question.

    Given the writing journey you’re on right now, I thought it was finally time to share this with you.

    • Christopher, I often find if I’m searching for an “answer” to no avail, it’s because I’m asking the wrong question. Think if I had the answer to your question, there’d be no more need for questions.

  54. Hi Richard
    I guess it doesn’t matter if the words, for the moment, are a bit reluctant to come together to give perfect sense of what inspired you.
    Your gift for me came into my life when I was eight year old in Turkish translation, titled as Marti (Jonathan Livingston Seagull)..Jonathan changed the course of my life, more than my parents, friends or anyone else in my life. Illusions, The Adventures of the Reluctant Messiah came afterwards, when I was around eleven. First, I couldn’t understand very much about the ideas, the conversations between you and Shimoda and left the book aside. But, it just found me again and again by coincidences! I kept Illusions and Jonathan by my side for many years. There was no other books I read that have made such impacts on what I gradually to become in years, not shaping me into a form but freeing me from making wrong decisions. Wrong decisions, in the sense of settling for financial comfort or stability, and instead, go for what I really feel inside is true, where my heart takes me.
    I always wanted to thank you for your gifts. Thank you so much Richard, you, through your books, gave me so much inspiration and a pair of wings to learn how to fly.
    Surely, this bottleneck is a temporary thing and it may even be for good.

    • Thank you Gulay. You are so right: “…it’s a temporary thing and it may even be for good.” So much I’ve needed to learn on this book! And I’m glad that what I learned before found its way and made a difference for you.

  55. I am working/struggling to write THE FREEDOM AMENDMENT; THE BOOK and I just copied this to the top of my working page to remind me of what you said cevry day. Thank you so much for the encouragement.

  56. Richard: I am so joyous to learn that you are back and writing again!! Sometimes it is beneficial to set some writing aside in the beginning, but never give up. Something wants to be written by you. If you had not written “Jonathan” to completion, banged on the doors to get it published, I would not have found you in a bookstore in SF, at age 33, for my Awakening. The “little child” that was me, at ages 4, 8, at 13 etc., heard that I had an appointment, finally. It was the only clue until I walked through the door. /ple

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