who we have become

surrender - susie scarborough copy

mandala by Susie Scarborough

I believe the lasting relation comes from deep changes in ourselves which influence our collective life. – Anais Nin

Life is change. Growth is optional. – Karen Kaiser Clarke

At our final group during Women’s History Month, we synthesized material explored in the first four. The model for our approach was May Sarton’s ‘Now I Become Myself’ along with the epigraphs listed above. We ended the group with collage-making. And our weekly ‘soul cards’ in which we share reflections about the evening’s group. One in particular stood out – from a participant who will be leaving this week. She wrote:

I have truly enjoyed this class. Please continue your great work. I feel that I have been able to look inside myself, not just inside but deep within. I have written things that I am proud of and shared one that I wrote for my mother called “Security” She told me it made her cry. Mom’s never change. Thank you again, DN

What powerful closure to a month honoring the women who have gone before, on whose shoulders we stand, to whom we owe such a debt of gratitude! The strong, the invisible, the challenging – all impact us and influence who we in fact become.

Read on for a sampling of writings from the 17 inmates in the circle.


What have I become?
a number

What have I become?
an animal
chow, come and get it.

What have I become?

I once was a girl
but I was scared to go to bed.
I once was a teen
but I got scared about the epidural.
I once was a mom
but I got scared they’d feel my pain.
I once was a carpenter
but I got scared of success.
I once was a booster
but I got scared of getting caught.
I once was a dealer
but I got suspicious of everything.
I once was an active addict
but I got scared of death.

I once wasn’t scared of anything
but I got to grow up. Continue reading