The River: Writing as a way of life by Sage Cohen

This post is part of the river of stones guest post series. The river of stones is our mindful writing challenge. Properly notice one thing each day, and write it down. Click here to find out more. Our guest post series features writers talking about the art of noticing, writing and more… 

Today we’re chuffed-to-bits to host Sage Cohen…

Sage writes: I have been laying down words with purpose for 28 years. In this time, I have come to understand my relationship with language as both a path and the mode of transportation that unveils the path. Eternally a beginner, traveling blind into the belly of a poem or a story, word by word I am led somewhere specific where language intends me to go.

Facing the blank page, there is a forest I find myself in where the canopy is too dense for sight, the ground rich with all that has let go to become something else. Fear becomes an engine.

I sit down at the computer, fingers poised above the keyboard in the way that birds might listen for wind, to get the signals their bodies decipher into direction and place. I write. I know nothing. I fill my sails with the words that come, and they are not mine, they are often not even familiar, the way my son arrived entirely himself, a private universe that my body knew how to translate into his life, but still could not comprehend.

The snowboarder rides an edge. Holding her weight just right, knees bent over the board, shifting the mind from toe to heel to carve direction and speed into a mountain in an erasure of person and snow. Words, too, can only hold so much weight before swerving into the trees. I am learning the balance of allowing. Studying the patterns for signs.

My son’s gingerbread house dissolved from shape to memory in the sink. Words, too, penetrate my fixed and willful places until I am something different than the shape I once appeared to be. Outline collapsed to the idea of a woman writing. Idea collapsed to motion.

Publishing is a window through which I see myself through the eyes of an imagined beholder. It is strange to be inside the glass. A kind of looking that never lands. Only the words arrive, making their black scratches across the surface of time in an eloquence as inclusive as sky.

*  *  *

Sage says that she writes, “…books and poems, essays and love letters, articles and thank-you notes.”


She has written two books to help writers, Writing the Life Poetic, and, The Productive Writer, as well as a collection of poems, Like the Heart, the World.

Sage’s beautiful blog is pathofpossibility.com


She says that, “Because I believe that telling the truth is the most important choice we can make in reclaiming our lives, I write.”

Comments & replies

6 thoughts on “The River: Writing as a way of life by Sage Cohen

  1. basho42

    Sage’s words fill my heart with remembering the possibilities that await the stepping of one foot in front of the other…one letter after another…it’s all right here, right now.

  2. Kelly E

    I love this. I read Sage’s “Writing the Life Poetic” a couple of years ago as I was emerging from a long bout with writer’s block, and it was extremely helpful. She’s so talented, yet down to earth and very encouraging of other writers. Bless you, Sage!

  3. francesca perry

    I love your comment about being an eternal beginner – it’s both comforting and inspiring, thank you.

  4. thefrangipanijournals

    I love Sage’s writing. This line is beautiful: “Facing the blank page, there is a forest I find myself in where the canopy is too dense for sight, the ground rich with all that has let go to become something else. Fear becomes an engine.”

    I can only hope to write like that someday.

    Thanks for bringing Sage here, Fiona. It was a treat!

  5. Fiona Robyn

    Thanks all. If you haven’t got Sage’s books yet do seek out her ‘Writing the Life Poetic’ as Kelly says – crammed full of gems… Lovely to host Sage here!

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