dear laura


Your requests this month seem to have come at a perfect time for me. Throughout the month of October I spent a lot of time thinking about the multitude of amazing people that are currently in my life or have been in my life – for the “treasure a day challenge” I created objects with the intention of honoring or thanking the individual I sent it to for being in my life. I feel as though I am not quite finished with this process. Even though the month of making things is over. I still have a long list of names to return to and think about. I am lucky to have entered into and developed so many rich relationships with others and I am seeing clearly now how much this has shaped who I am.

I also spent a lot of time in October thinking about what my purpose is – what I want to do using my skills to achieve my purpose – what I do well and how I can make the most positive difference doing what I do best. I have not come to specific conclusions on any of this as of yet but I do know this: Listening, creating, story collecting, and building relationships and connections with others have emerged as the most important elements in what I would like to embody moving forward.

Asking me to continue to think about the people I care about and interview them seems like an obvious direction to not only continue creating in my search for purpose but it is also an opportunity to learn something more about my myself and others by examining the relationships we share.

Thank you Laura for observing these threads and sewing them all neatly together in November’s new challenge. You may not know this but ever since you were my photography professor, now over 14 years ago, you have acted not only as a great friend but also a mentor for me. You have been someone that I have looked up to as you are always creating, questioning, and appreciating the world and people around you. As a collector of stories yourself through a variety of media, you have helped guide and mold my inquisitive nature. Watch out Ms. Burns because you are one of the people I love most in this world and I will be knocking on your door shortly on a quest to capture your story.

I am looking forward to our road trip together this month!





Just finding this blog today? Read more about the Living Chapters project here.

2 thoughts on “dear laura

  1. Brian Twenter

    Hey, this is Brian, Shannon Twenter’s brother, again. I am coming down from a literature and creative writing conference which was just held at our school. The Milton Conference theme for this year was “Memory, Remembrance, Commemoration and the American West.” I just couldn’t believe how many times your project came up in my thoughts and in conversations this weekend. The conference was amazing, hysterical, touching, and slightly frightening (sometimes all at the same time). If you want to read more about the conference here is the link to the blog: . I know you have no time to look through it now because I assume this current project takes up an enormous amount of your time. Perhaps when you get free time in the future look it up and give it a browse. In the same vein, I met the author Pam Houston, who is a-m-a-z-i-n-g, and thought I would share her latest text _Contents May Have Shifted_. Here is a note from the back cover:
    “Pam Houston, an ‘early master of the art of rendering fiercely independent, brilliant women in love with the wrong men,’ returns with a novel that whisks us from one breathtaking precipice to the next. Along the way, we unravel the story of Pam (a character not unlike the author), a fearless traveler aiming to leave her metaphorical baggage behind as she seeks a comfort zone in the air. With the help of a loyal cast of friends, body workers, and a new partner who helps her to be at home, she finally finds something like ground under her feet.”
    Sound vaguely familiar? Like I said, you came up once or twice this weekend. The book is a collection of short essays from around the globe and “ungrounded” stories from the air. 144 in all, they are hysterical and heartbreaking, often in the same breath.
    I have just written way more than I wanted to, but I would like to make one final note: I sent the suggested text and the link to the blog to let you know that you are not alone, we are all struggling to figure out our lives, and the method you have chosen to explore yours is inspirational, for me, and for the many people both currently in your life, and those that you will come to meet. Good luck with November and I hope I’ve not overreached with this VERY lengthy reply. All my best, Brian J Twenter

    1. Beth Barbush Post author

      Thank you so much for thinking of me and this project! This book looks way too close to home! Perhaps it will be a good companion to the reading that Laura is suggesting for me this month. Thanks again for all your support and interest in this project! please keep sending me like minded work – it IS very helpful!


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