Christmas night, my two daughters and I went inside to surprise our writers with an unplanned holiday writing and art group. It should not have surprised us that the usual chaos reigned — the familiar indecision, conflict, and low morale. I admit, I had hoped the women might welcome the opportunity to do something unexpected on an otherwise emotionally challenging night.
Of course, I was wrong. Surprise is not what keeps these women going. Hope, yes. Consistency and predictability as well. Indeed, this is one reason the writing inside VT program has continued to thrive as we conclude our fifth year. Showing up weekly, regardless of attendance, turnover and weekly distractions has been one of our hallmarks.
Along, of course, with predictability in how we operate.
So we entered the halls with stillness and creativity as co-themes and experiences for our 90 minute session. The seven women who showed up seemed to truly understand and appreciate our offering. They wrote to a line from the opening Poem for Flight, by Becky Birtha; they created collage; and wrote a second time reflecting on their created image. Every woman shared artwork and both writings as well.
As always, their words held the wisdom and depth I experience each week. By now, I am no longer surprised by their words; just humbled and grateful to witness them. The following samples represent the variety of writings inspired that night:
They say to follow your dreams, and I think that is a valuable piece of wisdom. However, sometimes achieving our dreams isn’t the point of following them. It’s about the following part, the journey. The journey can be full of hardships, detours, getting lost and even beauty. Journeys are usually described as being “full of danger” or “a grand adventures.” Often times, the journey changes people, transforms them in some way they never knew was possible. And, there are times when you are following your dreams, somewhere along the line, your dream changes. Along the journey, you discover a whole new dream you’ve never dreamt was possible. Dreams are what keeps the journey alive and ultimately, have the power to transform even the most skeptical and fearful of dreamers.
* * *
PEACE SO BEAUTIFUL
My love for peace and joy
the beautiful sound of wildlife
in the background,
the love that children share
being showered by dolphins.
The beautiful sound of a bird
flying through the air.
I love the feeling it brings.
I’m being so peaceful and silent
so I can hear the sounds
of the river flowing.
Down the river of despair
my sadness disappears
due to being surrounded
by the peace so beautiful.
I would love to share
my heart flowing with love;
and now, no sadness
is in the air – because
of the peace so beautiful.
* * *
THE HEART OF A WOMAN
The heart of a woman,
a mother, a sister, a grandmother —
shoe holds power, she’s an artist.
A woman can be whomever she makes herself out to be.
A woman is like a rose, her skin soft as a petal;
but put her or her kin at risk and she will prick you with her thorn.
A woman is one that keeps life burning,
we are all the Eve to the Adam.
We are the ones who take risks, like eating the apple.
We are all artists in our own ways,
we all have a talent – singing, dancing, drawing –
Women are divine, beautiful creatures
who love to love and cry; we are not afraid to feel.
We are scarred, we are hungry
to be held and swooped off our feel
by intimate lovers. We are the heart
of all evil and of all good.