Read-Around reflections

I couldn’t let our autumn Read-Around event go by without sharing a few reflections from the guests and writers/readers who participated on Sept. 20.

Imagine the courage it takes to read words (loudly and slowly) that detail your biggest failures and/or disappointments in life?  ..and to do so in a roomful of 50 strangers!

The ‘inside’ women writers presented their poetry and prose with great care and respect for themselves and each other.  On more than one occasion when tears began falling and voices choked, another inmate would calmly grab that woman’s anthology and continue reading her words in a strong, compassionate voice–how inspiring that was to witness.

At the close of the Read-Around, we asked the circle of 50 – what is stirring inside you as our words hang in the air?  Here’s what some of them told us:

These women’s words are greater, louder than slamming doors, than walls, than opaque glass. I am moved.

I am in an awwww moment. I feel a tenderness upon my heart. Life is opening up to me and there is these wonderful things going on, they’re arriving just in front of me and are warmly inviting me to a spiritual awaking.

I couldn’t really focus because I have court in 11 days and I don’t know what’s going to happen; but I found Faith in myself tonight. I know I can do and be better person and show people I have changed. I might get out on Oct 2–please pray for me. Thank you.

So much hope on top of so many disappointments. So much tenderness along with ample anger – at others and at oneself. Women sharing deeply personal parts of themselves – vulnerable, brave, scared and strong.

Hope, tears, faith, love, despair. SHAZAAM!! It’s time for the wall to come down, for the healing to begin. it is time to land on my feet. It is time. It is time.

Everyone is beautiful in their own way!

I am so lucky to be working here, to be a part of such growth and vulnerability. It is what matters.

. . . and you?

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