What can light up your creativity/inspiration instantly?
PP: Talking with anyone who has a heart that's open and a mind that's alive, someone who loves good questions at least as much as good answers! That and spending solitary time in a place of natural beauty.
What's one good question you ask a lot?
PP: I used to ask, "What do I want to let go of and what do I want to hang onto?" But the second half of that question has morphed into something less possessive and more generous: "What do I want to let go of and what do I want to give myself to?"
If now is a good time, what would you let go of?
PP: My compulsion toward overwork. I love my work, but I love other things, too--such as walking in the woods, reading a good book, talking with my friends. I need to give more of myself to my other loves.
If you could experience for a day the life of one other person, whom would that be?
PP: As a writer of nonfiction, I'm in awe of people who write great fiction. How do they create characters and whole worlds that seem so real? I treasure the novels of Wendell Berry, I'd love to spend a day living inside his head and heart, learning whatever I could.
What do you know to be true?
PP: That generosity always returns to the giver; that gratitude for life transforms everything, even when life is hard; and that how we live our lives makes a difference for better or for worse--so we need to pay attention!