Bonnie Schwartz

  1. unnamedWould you share with me what were some of your early experiences with reading, writing and art?

In the way that people are eaters and breathers, I am a writer. Writing is, and has been as far back as I can remember, a natural and precise way for me to feel deeply into myself.

  1. What was your family unit? Did you have brothers or sisters? Where did you grow up?

My family unit was made up of six people: my mother, father, two older sisters, younger brother and myself. My siblings and I grew up in a suburb northwest of Montreal, on the island of Laval.

  1. What were the dreams of the future you had when growing up? Have you made any decisions in life based on those dreams?

I wish this hadn’t been the case, but I felt that life would start for me as an adult. As a result, I was eager to finish school even while I was still in it. This was true for me while I was in grade school, in high school, in college, and even in graduate school, which I attended when I was in my 40s. School always felt to me like a place I didn’t want to be, a place to get through, even when it was my choice to be there.

As a child one of my dreams was to become a journalist, and I did work for a while as a writer in the field of design and architecture, contributing to books and magazines and newspapers on these subjects.

  1. What are the things in your life that make you the happiest right now?

What makes me happiest right now is my relationship with my daughter, the animals with whom I have a relationship, including my horse, and the relationships I have with good friends. Love and friendship and intimacies of various sorts are the things that keep me going, the things that give me joy and pleasure and a sense of belonging.

  1. What are you own criteria for success?

My primary criterion for success is joy. When I feel joy, I know that I am living a successful life.

  1. What advice would you give to your younger self?

I would say to her: Stop worrying. Stop planning. Gravitate to the people who and the things that offer you a deep and profound sense of pleasure and connection. These are the elements that will sustain you no matter what; without these, any success you may think you have achieved will be hollow and temporary.

  1. Do you feel it is important to have more than one pursuit in life? Or is it important to have a singular pursuit?

It is important to find ways to feel pleasure and joy. If there are eight things that give you this feeling, pursue those eight things. If there is one thing, pursue that one. If there are 1,413 things, pursue those 1,413. The number is not important. What is important is that you pursue that which gives you pleasure and helps you feel connected to yourself and to the world.

  1. What do you want to be known for?

I want to be known as someone who knew how to love.

  1. Could you describe a current project you are working on now?

I am currently researching the creation of an institute for healthy families that has transformative learning at its core. I am also in the midst of co-conceiving an arts festival that has love at its center. I used to think that being an artist is a solitary endeavor. I have come to understand that the creative impulse can be expressed through community engagement. This has opened the door for me to express myself in ways that feel fun, interesting, and extremely pleasurable. I love collaborating on ideas and creating collaborative experiences. The more people I bring into my creative sphere, the more opportunity I have to be surprised and stretched in ways in which I could not be working in isolation.

  1. When you look forward in your life what do you hope to find there?

Love. Joy. Laughter. Connection.

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