Angela Peñaredondo Recommends...

I am one who experiences frequent hypertensions and palpitations from a racing heart and mind, so I often find myself both activated and lost. Although these parts of me are quite realized and muscular, their speed and capacity to hold so much can feel staggering. The voices that inhabit these tender places inside me are like clamorous chosen family, endlessly bossing me around. Some weep while others exist in the deep and dense—ponderous, they are full of doubt. When I began to radically revise my book nature felt but never apprehended, those voices amplified. It was a time of collective isolation. Injustices against people of color doubled in the public eye and an acute disdain from our country’s history of misogynist culture was felt manifold amongst those who identified as women, and queer, and trans folks of color. Consequentially, the voices in my heart-mind jostled like caged young wolves. Months went by when I could not and did not want to write. My body was uploading and downloading constantly.

I decided to reengage with my practice of prayer and divination and find small, intentional ways to integrate them into my creative process. I actively called out to spirit whether it was inside the walls of my home on my little hand drum or vibrationally converse with the trees on lonely city walks beside the urban animalia. I drew Tarot cards to help me create short writing prompts, swung my pendulum over poems, wrote myself grief letters that I later burned under a new moon, and read little prayers in ritual with a trusted friend over Zoom. I got unapologetically woo-woo about it all. I discovered that by doing these things, I was taking part in artistic and creative acts. I was enabling spontaneity as well as curiosity towards my own magic-making histories. It’s completely alright to swerve, and wait for the stars to guide you.
—Angela Peñaredondo, author of nature felt but never apprehended (Noemi Press, 2023)  

Photo credit: Brian Feinzimer