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Jan Henrikson


A wild person with a calm mind can make anything," says Eric Maisel in Fearless Creating. I've got the wild writing part down. I've been keeping journals since I was 11 and have the boxes to prove it. The quieter, still mind is more exotic and elusive to me. And so I've created an altar of creativity to magnetize me to my computer.

Beaming down at me from my writing studio walls are photos of my favorite muses--Erica Jong, Maya Angelou, and a postcard of Einstein playfully sticking out his tongue. Quotes like Lily Tomlin's "What is reality anyway? Nothing but a collective hunch," and poet Muriel Ruckeyser's "The Universe is made of stories, not atoms" are blue-markered on pink index cards and plastered on my desk, my filing cabinets, my phone.

It's true, you know. The Universe is made of stories. As a journalist for eight years, I've had the pleasure of interviewing people whose lives amaze me. Such as a former fighter pilot who survived five grueling years as a POW in Vietnam. A woman who traveled by foot for four years in the Gila National Forests of New Mexico with nothing but pack burros for company. And Heather Harder, a former University professor from Indiana who intends to be President-of the United States.

As for my story? I still love my tattoo ala "The Blue-Footed Booby Bird" and I still love my dear friend Michael, who now possesses four tattoos of his own. My love life continues to surprise me. After years of shedding my personal belongings and constructing my life to be as portable as possible, I have fallen in love with a wise-cracking engineer. He is rooted in a house in an actual neighborhood. This appeals greatly to my sense of absurdity.

My writing has appeared in the anthology, "For She is the Tree of Life," and will appear in the anthology, "Women Forged by Fire." My other writing credits include such publications as Seventeen, American Girl, Toastmaster, The Awareness Journal, The DesertLeaf, SageWoman, Glamour, and The Chicago Tribune.

Life is rich. As Else Lasker-Schuler says, "A great star has fallen into my lap."

Jan Henrikson can be reached at jan_henrikson@conversely.com.

Jan Henrikson's writing on Conversely

Listed from the most recent.

The Blue-Footed Booby Bird
The story about her ex-husband and her new tattoo. And about how she's always been either in a relationship, or desperate to be in one.  Date: 9/1/00



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