Proofing Life

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Life cannot be proofread/I tried/I failed/It almost killed me”—By Helen Noakes

Waking Point

By Helen Noakes

I could not proofread life.
I could not proofread life.

“We cannot change anything unless we accept it.”—C. G. Jung, Modern Man in Search of a Soul

Helen NoakesSAN FRANCISCO, California—(Weekly Hubris)—6/2/2014—

Life cannot be proofread
I tried
I failed
It almost killed me

Until I learned
To set it down
In type

I edited
The spelling and the grammar
Arranged the sentences
To flow
Along a writer’s river called

But in spite of my best efforts
I could not proofread life

It happened
As it happened
Defying me
To find my story’s arc

Helen Noakes is a playwright, novelist, writer, art historian, linguist, and Traditional Reiki Master, who was brought up in and derives richness from several of the world’s great traditions and philosophies. She believes that writing should engage and entertain, but also inform and inspire. She also believes that because the human race expresses itself in words, it is words, in the end, that will show us how very similar we are and how foolish it is to think otherwise. (Author Head Shot Augment: René Laanen.)


  • Elizabeth Boleman-Herring

    Helen, I find it fascinating to contemplate “your palette of genres.” If readers look at your bio, they’ll learn that you’ve given your adult life to the plastic arts AND Reiki; to writing plays AND writing poetry; to Gurdjieff AND to Giotto (as it were). It’s a rare constellation of gifts, and I am so, so happy to have known you, and shared in the wealth, Lo, these several decades.

  • Helen Noakes

    My dear Elizabeth, thank you! Praise from an accomplished writer such as you means a great deal. Couragio, my dear friend.

  • Helen Noakes

    Ted Balk, thanks for reading and taking the time to comment. And all I can say to your observation is, “Yep!”