This week, we started writing with the segregated transition unit, thus adding a second weekly writing circle to our offerings inside. It was especially heartwarming to enter that locked unit to collect the women shortly after 4 p.m. and to be greeted by a group of eager writers – half of them from the general population who had written with us before; and an equal number completely new to us.
Understandably, women new to our circles tend to feel a bit shy, initially opting not to share their words even though they unhesitatingly write along with the rest of us. Yet what always seems to happen is a near-immediate recognition of the depth of what we do. Respect for our practices and one another – neither of which is a general operating principle inside prison – emanates from the group within a remarkably short time. And is reflected in the comments we routinely share with one another following our 90 minutes together. As an example, in response to ‘what worked/what didn’t work during our time together,’ we received the following comments this week from the new women:
I’m new to this group and it was good to hear the women express themselves in different ways other than hurtful, hateful ways.
I loved the poetry and the centeredness of the room atmosphere.
I liked the way this group went, a lot of very powerful words which I related with on a personal level.
Thanks for coming every chance you can.
2 thoughts on “program expanding!”
In this week of Mother’s Day I wanted to thank you for all the mothering you do of someone else’s children. They all had mothers, many may be mothers, and you are mothering them all. I cannot think of a more beautiful tribute to the holiday. Happy Mothers Day to a truly shining example of a mom.
Dorothy – thank you so much for your comments. Indeed, fully 80% of the women inside ARE mothers. You can only imagine the kinds of emotion raised at holidays. This week will likely be hard for all of us, whether we’ve lost mothers or daughters, loved or left either or both, are close or shut out — whatever our place in the world of family, we all have strong feelings about mother. Thank you so much for taking the time to share your words.