Josey Murray

Writer. Storyteller.

Wellesley College Alum

I recently graduated from Wellesley College with a degree in English and Creative Writing and am grateful for my last four years in such a one-of-a-kind atmosphere. At Wellesley, I found storytelling to be at the core of my academic and extracurricular endeavors.

Storyteller

As an English major, I regularly engaged in discussion of the essence of a twentieth century novel, its alignment in traditional storytelling patterns or resistance to a conventional portrayal of a life experience. In my studies of psychology, I explored our development of identity as individuals and the function of our stories, our collective stories, in directing that development. I found my greatest sense of peace and purpose in my creative writing workshops, surrounded by a community of writers, of individuals fully invested in language-based expression.

To portray situations, to describe landscapes, to tell our stories. These actions speak to the undeniable importance of storytelling in our culture. Wellesley shifted my interests in storytelling and writing from interests that motivated course choices into passions that I want to engage in daily. My next step is to utilize my passions and energy coming out of undergraduate studies to contribute to a creative and engaged team in the workplace.

Writer

Excerpts from travel essays exploring place-based stories, family adventures, and feelings of comfort and irritation across natural landscapes.

At last on the open roads leading to Joshua Tree National Park, refreshing after LA freeways, I started to take pictures of wind turbines against the fog of deep blue-gray mountains.  A pick up truck full of oranges, flattened boxes sticking up on each side to hold the fruit in.  A water tower that read, “Desert Hot Springs” in red letters, and reminded me of the Cars ride in Disneyland we rode the other day.  Junky campers on the road in front of us.  And funky trees that seemed part cactus and part palm tree, and signaled our arrival in the Mojave Desert, where the park is, far away from our home in Western Pennsylvania. 

Travel Essay, “Joshua Tree”

I managed to the edge of the sidewalk, after stumbling out of the car and having to settle the pillows that had been piled on top of me.  At the edge of the fence and start of the lake, I saw only still waters.  I didn’t see overwhelming numbers of fish.  The four of us walked along the edge, peeking over the fence, expecting the open mouths of countless carp.  A family interrupted our walk along the edge, the group of them watching over the railing and chucking bread crumbs into the water.  Despite the one small area of carp eagerly awaiting an eight o’clock carb load, the rest of the water, typically filled with masses, wasn’t.  Just a single fish here and there following the sight of us, opening its narrow lips, beckoning for any stale scraps.  The usual scene of “ducks walking on the fish” involved carp jumping over top of each other for the slice of bread.  You couldn’t see the water between the brown slimy bodies, the spit up tootsie rolls of creatures that swam in the reservoir.  But today, at eight o’clock on a Sunday evening, as if they wanted to settle into a restful evening after a long weekend of eating before a long week of the same, none of them showed up to the Spillway.

Travel essay, “Where the Ducks walk on the fish”

 Here at the mill, the view of slow water drew me to the three long windows of the living room when I walked through the door.  The view of the water swept us in before we could discover the rest of the space.  A dollhouse and old school desk sat below the windows.  A wall of books and little oddities, a porcelain cat on the top shelf of a corner cupboard, a wooden National Biscuit Company box, made the space homey.  Sailboats floated across the coffee table.  It reminded me of our home in the way the strange collection of items made the space feel more comfortable and lived in.  Antique oil cans and pale vases defined the warmth of our home back in Irwin.  It was this imperfection that made it acceptable to sit down, mess up the pillows on the couch, and put my feet up on the coffee table.  This sort of disorder made it okay to feel just as cluttered and messy inside.  

Travel Essay, “waterfront windmill right on the bay”

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