Last post, I wrote about the monthly writing group we have been offering mentors trained by Mercy Connections and their incarcerated mentees. From September through June for the past several years, we have used this group time to strengthen relationships between the mentors and their mentees; as well as to foster an active community of trust among all the women.
It has been our hope that both paired and group relationships would deepen and become more effective on the outside as a result of this early bonding. Likewise, we anticipated the possibility that enthusiasm for the groups inside might carry over to the outside, and provide additional support for mentoring success over time.
As things have worked out, writing inside VT will no longer be holding these groups for the mentors and their mentees. Instead, it is up to Mercy Connections to continue the popular groups at their discretion. With huge gratitude for the strong support of all who participated over the years – and with sadness at curtailing my circling activities going forward – I wish everyone new paths to connection and creativity. Who knows, perhaps our ways will meet again in the future. I certainly hope so.
Meanwhile, in tribute to the group, I leave you with this final ‘found poem’ from the June 1, 2016 writing group:
HAPPY ACCIDENTS – found poem
What am I going to do when I walk out
so weak and strong all at once?
Sometimes I feel so stuck.
Recovery may seem like a war
but doesn’t have to be a battle.
I take full ownership
for the disease of perception.
Addiction is a chaos I have not been able to escape.
My will is a bully
piling up shame upon fear;
the facade I wear is a badass,
all this adulting business rolled up in my chest.
Once I leave the title ‘inmate’ in my past
the person I whittle will be truly me,
every day different from the person I was.
Hope is a way of thinking, a choice;
what’s wrong with wanting what you want?
Shaped by different perspectives,
move, move, walk through it.
Reveal what you are ready to see.
Move into yourself, and out,
building upon what you were given at birth.
Make small cuts, easy and smooth;
let shreds of self flake to the floor.
Sometimes it’s OK to allow the breaks,
keeping the bond when you change.
Do not judge me.
I am the wood
I am the hand that finds the heart in the wood,
coaxes what lives inside to cry out.
There’s plenty of wood for everyone.