Start with what you know.

I like my wine in old mason jars and my whiskey poured over ice.

Is it the same for you as it is for me, does the music hold the key to all your memories?

I surround myself with green and growing things here in the desert to remind me of the dedication it sometimes takes to survive.

I crave the darkness and the solitude and the candlelight and sad, sad songs.

Why, when the words tumble inside my head all day long, is it still so hard to write?

There isn’t an ocean for miles and miles but I can always hear the sea.

I keep a bit of creosote in my shower, because even for an ocean girl like me, there is nothing that reminds me of joy like rain in the desert.

Sleep often eludes, but I’ve built my life so that respite exists along the edges and in the quiet corners and right there in your eyes.

I carry guilt etched hard in my bones. Those bones would read like stories if you laid them out in the sun.

I have an affinity for the wolf and the wild moon that I cannot quite explain but that I trust more than anything.

My heart pulses something that sounds much like redemption.

There is a grace inside the ache, and she is one of my greatest teachers.

Love. There’s not much else, really.

My neck and shoulders and left elbow ache and pulse with pain.  I crave strong hands on them to work out all that is held in those muscles. I crave yoga, and the continuous opening found inside my breath.  I crave the mountain and the way it is prayer.

I could listen to your stories for hours.

My want is holy, holy, holy.

I write with a fountain pen whenever I can. The way the pen glides on paper and the ink spills effortlessly into beautiful lines and curves reminds me of what it is to choose the ease and flow.

I like it when my hands are stained with ink. It is proof that the life and the stories are one and the same.

I carry my pain in the right side of my throat. When it hurts there, I know that there are words waiting to be spoken. When I cry, I raise my hand there and it feels like holding my pain in my palm. It is one of the many ways my body speaks to me.

Humanity, in all its messiness, is a glory and a wonder to me.

Sometimes it is the disappearance of a thing, finally, that bring you to peace. Even when you held on to whatever sliver remained with every desperate breath – when it finally goes, you find that you are free.

show up. start with what you know. jeanette leblanc

But still, some nights the ghosts, they are relentless.

She’ll come home in an hour and a half, at a time when most of the city is tucked in bed. She’ll come home and she’ll shower after 12 long hours of doing good and true work. And she’ll slip into bed and wrap me in her arms and it will all be worth it in that moment. Every last bit.

Sometimes, when I light the candles and find the music and pour the whiskey and feel it burn down and the words still don’t come – I force myself to sit and just write what I know.

The older I get, the less I know.

The less I know – the more the world opens up, wide and waiting.

This is how I have come to understand the taste of freedom.

I am filled with resistance. But still, I am here.

One letter on this screen at a time, I am here. Neck aching and back bent and eyes burning, I am here.

This is what it means to show up.

This is what it means to trust the calling.

This is what It means to write.

And the candles burn and the whiskey goes down smooth and there is a song playing that stirs something wild and deep. And my fingers are clicking on the keyboard.

I am writing.

And it’s the farthest thing from a masterpiece that I can fathom. But I’m here. I am here. Alive. Heart beating and blood pulsing with memory and relentless hope.

Show up. Start with what you know. It’s as simple and raw and messy and hard and as impossible and as necessary as that.

Because we have stories to tell.

love, jeanette leblanc


Write Your Revolution

Are you ready for prose, poetry, and badass creative inspiration?
I'll email weekly(ish) with words of creativity love uncommon sense. 

I swear like a sailor, I've been called a word-witch (more than once), I believe whole-heartedly in the power of your voice,  and think words are as necessary as air. I work with humans who are seeking permission to stop seeking permission and offer programs that will get living and writing on your own terms (for reals). 

You know you want this.