i’d rather you not know . . .

Eve covers herself and lowers her head in sham...

Eve covers herself and lowers her head in shame in Rodin’s sculpture “Eve after the Fall”. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last night we wrote with 14 women, each of whom had breathtakingly raw and honest things to say about who they were, have become. And, in keeping with the prompt, shared what they wish someone might see about them; as well as what they would prefer remain hidden. What follows is TD’s quickly-penned response to the full prompt: “what would you not want someone you respected but didn’t know well to perceive about you?”

There are things I’d rather you not know. It’s how it happened that’s shameful; and having these feelings crop up at just the thought of you finding out makes me want to run and hide. While you jump and shout about, stamping, your hand flailing, and I envision your voice getting louder as I start to shut down and your lips are no longer moving.

I feel selfish, too knowing you are my father and you were the one who watched me grow; and how would you of known, it was hidden so well.

Standing before you, I feel so awful and my own pain is just too much to try to even begin to feel; but watching your whole world crumble as the tears flow just makes this even more confusing.

I don’t want you to remember this, but we have really no choice. The things I didn’t want you to know came out. My only thoughts are: can you still love me the same; and are you still going to be here to support me? I’m scared to death to be alone a minute longer to all the hurt and shamefulness that’s been going on inside of me. There is a void within me that has shattered my perception of who I am and what it is I should be.

Sometimes I wonder if it was meant to happen, these things I keep within me. I’ve realized over time how to push the pain and fear deeper down, just for the sake of my own well-being. On the outside, I’m looking like the woman who’s reached her beauty; but inside is the killer. I’m all these mixed emotions, bottled up tightly, trying to figure out if I let out the true thing I feel within me, will you love me, accept me and fill me with your pride? Somewhere along the way, I got lost in others’ plans; but today, with your help, I can better begin to plan how to feel like a woman of self worth and confidence.

always wanting

Each week, I create a ‘found poem’ from lines written and shared by women in the writing circle. It is always a surprise to see how the lines will weave together, forming a meaning entirely new/different from that of the original writings. At the same time, women delight in seeing their lines transformed, supporting one another’s meanings and words in fresh and surprising ways. Each week is different in content; but this element of delight is a common experience week after week.

ALWAYS WANTING

I’ve battled with my own fear
to give you whatever you wish —
your heart or your mother’s dream for you,
need for open space unfilled.

The bucket of my open mouth
is all I’ve ever wanted —
only wanted love and acceptance
abundant.

How can anyone resist
your smile from ear to ear?
Stories and laughter abounded
until my demon pushed everyone away.

Through miles and miles of cold,
you lit small worlds into being.
I heard that voice years ago,
every minute of me and you.

Then things got really tricky,
unknown, unplanned;
I peel myself off the ground
hungry for myself, hungry for you.

 

 

saying goodbye

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(Photo credit: wakingphotolife:)

Last night, we had two extremely powerful writing circles inside CRCF. Opening with Maya Angelou’s poem, ‘STILL I RISE’ set the energy level for the night. To a woman, each in the circle rose to the occasion, producing powerful words and revelations. A second writing challenged each woman to condense her longer piece to a haiku-style three-line verse. JD entered into the spirit of the evening with characteristic determination – the more so, perhaps, on this eve of her departure from the facility. We wish her well as she prepares to re-enter life back home, without her ‘dear’ drug habit.

 THE LIGHT OF LIFE

‘Leaving behind nights of terror and fear,’
I say goodbye to you, my dear.
It will be a long hard road, I’m sure;
as long as I keep going, my mind should stay pure.
I’m sorry our relationship has come to an end
as well as all the bad energy you send.
Our relationship one-sided, you controlled it all
and every step I took, all I did is fall.

‘I rise into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear.’
With that empowering moment, I have no fear.
I won’t let your trickery drag me down anymore.
Now I’m the one that has tricks in store.
Just like the rest of life, darkness is broken with shining light
and I will always continue the everlasting fight.
If in life you get back up every time you fall
you know with certainty that you can have it all.
– JD

 

LETTING GO
I say goodbye, dear;

that empowering moment
light broken darkness.

– JD

what we want is never simple – 2

The writing from last week’s circle was so powerful, I need to post another response to the same prompt from the same Linda Pastan poem:

What we Want is Never Simple

 I just wanted a break . . .

I wanted to figure out a way to live my day to day life and not dread getting out of bed every single morning. I wanted to do what I wanted to when I wanted to do it. I wanted to not worry about paying rent, feeding myself, or putting gas in the car.

I wanted to get high, stay high, and never ever have to go without being high.

I wanted to have a book published. I wanted to make my father proud. I wanted to do something bigger with my life than the mundane, barely-get-by-paycheck, pay bills, eat, sleep-and-do-it-again existence I feared so much. But mainly, I just wanted a break from the intense pressure of all these wants . . .

Now I am enclosed within walls 24 hours/day; no bills to pay, no worries about my next meal, or putting gas in my car. No worries about barely getting by on my paycheck; there is no getting by on $2/day. So yeah, in some ways, I guess I got what I wanted . . .

– JL

seeking life out of the box

In what ways are you open to the world around you? or might you be that you are not? What things hurt you,  harden your heart, hold you back from your own best self? How can writing free you from boxes you close yourself up inside?

These questions in last night’s writing circle prompted lengthy, deep and revelatory writing. To a woman, the writing opened new insights about how they want to move forward in their lives, beyond the boxes of their own making as well as the box of imprisonment. The lines which create the poem below are taken from the different writings, scribed while listening to each woman read her own words. The result is this ‘found poem’ weaving together individual experience into a gathered whole.

My Box is a Fantasy Place

I find that I have retreated there willingly
this paradise of a box inside my brain
where I fly, walk on the ceiling.
Why am I so scared of other people’s judgments?
I have opened up and been burned before.
Do I dare lift the top and peer out?
Should I venture out, how far can I go?

I find the familiarity of my limits comforting,
the only place I know how to be me.
I never let people or friends in too far —
I act like I don’t care. Continue reading