5 question Interview series with William Harryman

Today I start a new 5 question Interview series by interviewing William Harryman of Integral Options Café. Harryman writes a Blog that focuses on integral theory, Buddhism, personal growth and self-reflection. I became a daily devotee to his writing during his gratitude series and his personal poetry writing. Additionally, Harryman does a great job at photography selection for his postings. Which you know I am a fan of photography!

Why Blog & why focus on integral?
When I started blogging, it was mostly an excuse to write more. I started with an eclectic blog (Raven's View) that became more and more political the more I blogged, so I spun off my Integral Fitness blog. After about six months, I decided that the primary blog was going to be totally political, so I started Integral Options Café. I let the political blog die in April of this year in order to maintain my sanity. It had become a dead weight on my soul.
So why do I focus on integral? I had been a big fan of Ken Wilber's for quite some time. I have found the integral model very useful for making sense of a world that sometimes seems to make very little sense. Wilber also introduced me to Spiral Dynamics, a competing integral model. I'm less a fan of Wilber these days, but I still find his model very useful as one of the lens through which I view the world. It just made sense to build my blog around that model – it allows for an exploration of so many different realms of human experience.

I enjoy your poetry and photo selection; can you explain your poetry writing process?
Wow, explaining my writing process. I haven't been doing much poetry of late, but when I do write, the poem usually begins with a word or phrase that sticks in my head. It often happens when I am reading other poets whose work I admire. The word or phrase comes, then it becomes a line, usually a first line. Once I have the first line, it feels as though the poem simply finds itself. If I can get out of the way, the words come until there aren't any more. I usually go back and edit a bit, change line breaks, fix word choices. But the poem usually comes in one piece.

How do you choose your photos to go or along with your poetry and posting (any favorite photographers)?
I often choose photos by doing a Google Image search with a keyword or phrase from the post. With poetry, I often try to find an image that matches something from the poem. Often I simply have to go by what feels right for the post. Landscapes work great for that. I have a few landscape photographers bookmarked, ones I like a lot: Ray Rasmussen, Robin Constable Hanson, David Whitten, and Michael Fatali.

Do you have any future plans on publishing a book base on your poetry and Blog?
I don't write enough poetry anymore to even think about publishing. And trying to do something with the poetry and photos I put on the blog would be a nightmare of permissions and fees. The blog is what it is.
I am thinking about a new blog, and this is something I haven't talked about with anyone in the cyber world until now. The new blog would be a place for people to publish their poetry and for photographers to get some exposure for their work. The end goal, over time, would be to do a print magazine with the poetry and photos from the blog. In the meantime, if I decide to do this, I would periodically collect the poems and photos into a nice PDF format that people could download for a small fee, which might allow me to pay a small “best of” prize to one poet and one photographer.

What have you gained from the social networking associated with blogging? Particularly your Zaadz pods; Integral Relationships & Integral Fitness?
I've actually made some good friendships through blogging, people I hope to meet in real time at some point when I am traveling near where they live. As someone who is not fond of social gatherings, blogging is a way to meet people with similar interests and share ideas. I have learned so much from so many people since I started blogging – it really has been very rewarding.
As far as Zaadz goes – what an amazing community. The pods have allowed me to explore topics I am passionate about with people who are also passionate. In the pods I have created, I make a real effort to maintain open, civil dialogue, and to provide space for everyone to have their viewpoints without fearing they will be beaten down for having the “wrong” view, or a less than integral view. None of us have all the answers, and no one is 100 percent wrong all the time, so there is much to learn from other people, and the pods provide a great way to do that.

Thanks, John, it was fun to answer these questions.