Monthly Archives: September 2012

photo prompt: what’s growing today?

graffiti of a flower (with a bright face!) growing up the cracks between two buildings

Good morning! An image/photo prompt for today: What stories are pushing at the edges of you today, what words are growing up out of the cracks inside? Spend a moment with this thought, with the image, then let yourself drop down into the page — Take ten minutes this morning, and follow the tendrils of your words wherever they seem to want you to go!

Thank you for all the quiet and riotous growth within you. Thank you for your words!

trusting our bodies to trust

graffiti of a silhouette of a child walking a doggood morning this morning — awake and at the computer a bit late today since I went to sleep late, and something has shifted inside this body that will no longer allow me to force myself up and out of bed after only five or so hours of sleep. This is a privilege, I know. Today I snuggled in the covers, cuddled all the pillows to me, and in between alarm snoozes I watched the bedroom window begin to pearl with slow grey light. Is there slow waking in you this morning, maybe something that’s been gently bringing itself up from a long slumber way inside you?

This morning I am thinking about trust and longing. Last night, at Chris DeLorenzo’s writing workshop, which I’ve been attending sporadically, we had a prompt about oxytocin, the so-called “trust hormone.” Earlier that day, during the puppy’s afternoon ball-play time, I had some time with a young boy who really wanted to throw the ball for Sophie, who got me wondering about how we learn to trust. Continue reading

Story. Voice. Witness.

graffiti of a woman in a hood looking out into the world, about to speak (photo by antwerpenR on Flickr)Good morning! It’s quiet out this morning, though my neighbors are already up and going, which has the puppy awake and alert. The chillier morning air has me all bundled up in sweats, with the hood of my sweatshirt gathered up over my head and cinched tight,  and friend-blessed socks covering my toes. In spite of waning sick and some morning panic, it’s a good morning so far. Are there complicated songs welcoming you into this day? What do they sound like?

I have been thinking for the last week or so, as I move towards actually devoting myself to the work I believe in, about re-articulating what exactly that work is. What are these workshops for? What’s the point of this writing practice?

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an impossible intimacy

graffiti of blue bandaids, one crossed over the other to make an x, on a brick wallgood morning good morning. I am in the aftermath of mom time. I am in my small room and trying to make sense of this life I am just now choosing for myself. In the dream last night someone was mugged, a woman had been hurt and we were doing a fundraiser for her maybe. I woke up and told the story of the dream to myself so that I would remember but all I have now is the word mugged, some sense of aftermath, people taking care of her, a sense of threat, we weren’t safe, it could happen again.

After I drop my mother off at the airport, I go to a coffee shop in a shopping mall, I order tea and sit outside in the breezy afternoon sun, I think I’m going to pour myself into writing but I can barely breathe. Next to me, a small family, a man and a woman and a very tall girl child. She looks like a great dane puppy, all muscles and flop, surely an athlete; she drapes herself over her mother, wraps her arms around her mother’s smaller shoulders. I wonder, what is it like to be the one trying for mother’s affection, to want your body in such proximity to the body that formed you, the body that drew you up, the body that let you go. What is it like to have that feel ok, to have such closeness be a welcome thing, to not have to shutter myself off inside, away from the vulnerability that opens in me just by being in her presence? Continue reading

dancing with panic

sticker graffiti of two monsters with wide open mouths full of very sharp teethGood morning this morning. I am starting this morning’s write late, after too many snoozes, my body tired with the fighting off this cold that’s taken hold in spite of tea and soup and vitamins. Sometimes our bodies have to go a little deeper into the conversation with the viruses, don’t they, before the virus will take leave of us.

The dandelion-nettle-fennel-cardamom-mint-holy basil tea will feed something, though, will settle the belly and feed the liver and talk to some of the inside agitation and invite it to settle for just a little bit. Continue reading

the power and challenge of affinity

This morning the dark is full and lush around me, and I lean into the words for support and surprise. Almost time for a tea run– Berkeley Bowl, here I come. The sleep still sits heavy in my eyes, and I could easily fall back into the dreamtime architecture of airplanes and travel and solidarity. My dreams have shifted recently: instead of just hanging out at the airports, suddenly I’m on the planes, in the car, on the way to a someplace. The dream itself is about the journey, though, the people, the relationships. It’s all supposed to be about the journey, isn’t it? How to let it be true even if it is cliche?

Last week, I found a comment in response to a post about my upcoming Fall writing workshops, specifically in response to Write Whole: Survivors Write. The commenter was curious as to what “woman survivors” meant and why the workshop was restricted to that group of folks. (Write Whole is open to all people who identify as women and identify as survivors of sexual trauma.)

Here’s what’s true: I believe in, have borne witness to and have experienced the power and use of affinity spaces. I have also facilitated mixed survivor groups, with folks of different genders and survivor experiences, and witnessed profound community and artistry emerge.

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together we will dismantle the systems that broke our hearts

Companer@, I know that you are hurting but you are still alive you will survive and together we will dismantle the systems that broke our heartsThis stunning bit of graffiti was right near the lake where I live — what systems are you dismantling this morning, inside or out? Where is your heart broken today? Whose hands are you reaching for?

Here’s some gratitude today for your broken heart, your reaching hands, your good and reaching and resilient words.

metaphor as medicine

good morning good morning — I’m morning pagesing here again today, as I’m up a bit later than I’d planned. The snoozed alarm kept harping at me, and I’d think, Doesn’t it know I’ve already asked it to let me sleep more? I think this alarm doesn’t know how snooze is supposed to work. I am, maybe, a bit tired. I’ve got some lemon zinger tea added to this morning’s green, to do small battle with the sick that wants to lodge itself in me.

What all is waking itself in you today?

I am just realizing, this morning, that the dark has arrived again — here it is, quarter after six, and still outside my windows the light is dim, the early commuters rushing toward the highway still need their headlights, the birds are even quiet yet. And I am thinking about how we story, how we metaphor, what’s dark around us. Continue reading

What can a survivors writing workshop do?

Several years ago, after I got to an interview with Britt Bravo (of Have Fun Do Good!) for an Arts and Healing Network podcast, I posted a series of longer responses to some of her thoughtful questions.  As we have some new folks discovering Writing Ourselves Whole and the writing workshops I offer, it seems helpful to share more about my philosophy of writing as transformative practice, and how writing in community can be life-altering particularly for those of us who have experienced silencing around our bodies and around trauma.

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the pieces we can’t forget

9/11 graffiti -- the words, in all bold caps, Never ForgetHere is a morning blog for Tuesday, September 11 — this will be the big question today: Do you remember where you were when you first learned that airplanes were flying into the twin towers, the world trade center in New York City? I was on a rural route in Maine, driving in to Portland, headed to the Borders where I did an enormous amount of my writing during the years I lived there. At the time my then-partner A. was pregnant and I was a new grad student, had only just begun my MA program — I had come back from my first residency immersed in a crush, in love with what I was beginning, terrified about us having a baby, so scared that I would lose myself and any possibility of actually doing the work I was meant to do in the world… Continue reading