Monthly Archives: January 2013

can we trust release?

Good morning. How do you reach for a morning when all you want to do is snuggle up into the weekend? I have books and movies I want to tell you about, a hillside to describe (one covered with cows and wild turkeys and salt air). I want to tell you about tiny new lambs hopping like rabbits through green California pastures.

Today I am back at work after a long weekend up at Tomales Bay. Something happens to my body when I go there, when I am in that landscape, a place that feels like home — there are cows and sheep (though no miles-long corn or wheat fields) and wild green pastures — and then there’s the sea and the bay. I want to tell you everything and it’s hard to settle in on one place to begin. Someone wrote about that at Dive Deep yesterday — how everything wants to get written at the same time, so many voices and characters calling for our writer’s attention. Continue reading

what do we deserve?

This morning I am all soft song and heartbeat. How do we reckon with all the love we are offered? How do we hold our bodies open into that warm and sticky possibility that not only did we always deserve love, but that we are surrounded every minute by more love than it’s possible for us to hold — we have to let it flow over and through us instead. We have to trust that the flow will continue. There’s nothing to grab onto anyway.

I know, all the poets have already said this. But today I am astonished again. Today I can’t believe that I am still worth loving — when I have forced those who love me to prove their love over and over again. Of course, that’s not what happened. I didn’t force anything. They choose to remain steadfast. Still: more than I believe I deserve.Who teaches us these things? Continue reading

Fierce Hunger: A benefit to celebrate Writing Ourselves Whole’s 10th Anniversary!

HowAliveFierce Hunger: A benefit to celebrate Writing Ourselves Whole’s 10th Anniversary!

March 2, 2013, 6-10pm.
At the Center for Sex and Culture
1349 Mission St. (between 9th and 10th)
San Francisco, CA
$20 suggested donation (pay what you can!)

Join us in celebrating ten years of fierce and hungry writing at the intersection of trauma and desire.

Our schedule for Saturday:
6 – 7:15  — Mingle and silent auction
7:15 – 9  — Reading & raffle
9 – end   — Dance Dance Dance!

And that includes:

  • Dancing with DJs Zanne and Junkyard!
  • Silent auction–bid on dance lessons, original artwork and photography, gift certificates to your favorite local body-centric service providers, a femme’s self-love kit, fabulous queer film, book collections and much, much more!
  • Readings with emcee Jen Cross, Carol Queen, Blyth Barnow, Jacks McNamara, Renee Garcia, Manish Vaidya, Barbara Henry and John Zic!
  • Raffle–items include a chance to win $50 off a workshop of your choice
  • Tasty treats and drinks
  • Fierce Hunger chapbook, presenting ten years of Writing Ourselves Whole’s participants’ brilliant, gorgeous words.
  • And more fabulousness!

Watch the website or our Facebook page or the Fierce Hunger tumblr with updates about our chapbook and raffle/silent auction offerings.

All proceeds benefit the
Writing Ourselves Whole scholarship fund.

Thank you to those who have already donated: Carol Queen and the Center for Sex and Culture, Shar Rednour, IMsL, Pat Schneider, Ami Lovelace, Emma Yisraela Cohen, Val Killmore Castro, Dorian Katz, Jill Posener, Beth Baron, Renee Garcia, Cary Tennis, Marty Williams, Peggy Simmons, Amy Butcher… to all of you, and those who have donated anonymously: so many thanks for your generous support!

If you are not able to attend but still want to make a tax-deductible donation to our scholarship fund, you can do so here (making sure to choose “writing ourselves whole” from the drop-down menu of projects to support). Thank you!

Please pass the word and join us on March 2!


songs from the deep inside of our bodies

A short write on this chilly Monday morning — the puppy’s getting ready to be out in this frost. Myself, I’ve finally broken out the hat and gloves. I hold out as long as possible, every year, building up my tolerance, not wanting to give in to the actuality of winter. Sink into the dark, sure, but wear clothes enough to really protect my body from the elements? What do you take me for — a wuss? (That right there is a survivorprompt for another day)

How are you caring for yourself this morning? How does the candlelight find you?

What’s up for today? The Winter’13 workshop sessions are all officially underway; the last one, Write Whole, begins tonight, and I am looking forward to inviting this final workshop into my Oakland space. My body is in a state of what I am calling healed — though my piriformis and I continue to have daily conversations involving stretching, spasm-release and fluttering. It feels like she’s winking rapidly at me from within my backside, which I would like to take as something as light as flirtation rather than the profound release that she’s allowing us to settle into.

I am aware, on this morning, that I have had, over the last couple of months,  the experience of re-learning how to walk. Sometimes in this healing we (or at least I) have to break all the way down in order to come into consciousness around what we know, how far we’ve come, and to get more deeply into the next layers that need some laying on of hands (whether psychic or physical). Continue reading

can we heal what family means?

Katie Ward Knutson, Metro II

Good morning on this quiet and sunny Tuesday morning. How is your heart speaking to you in this moment? Are there words or stories that your fingers are ready to unfurl onto the page? Did your dreams bring offerings that you’d like to be able to remember? I’m slowly, reluctantly, moving through my stretches, and feeling the resistance build in my shoulders. I don’t want to have to stretch before I write, and yet that’s the body I inhabit right now. What happens when we let ourselves be exactly as we are? What energy gets released when we stop trying to pretend like we’re already someone or somewhere else?

Today I am full of questions and mourning and loss. Today I am wondering about family, how we learn to exclude ourselves from it, and how we unlearn the lessons about family that came to us when we were children: that family is not safe, is a site of abandonment and/or control, and is better shunned at all costs. Today I don’t know how to participate in family, and am feeling that place of separation and longing. Continue reading

Follow your words — Winter ’13 Workshop Offerings!

heart vidaDo you have stories or poems, lines or images that want to find their way onto the page? Join one of our writing groups or workshops, and connect with an engaged and fiercely gorgeous writing community while you release those words onto the page!

Read on to learn more about Dive Deep (our advanced, manuscript-driven workshop), Write Whole (our trauma suvivors writing group), Meridian Writers (our daytime writing workshop for women) and Writing the Flood (our monthly writing group open to all). Continue reading

deserving acceptance

And then there was a bit of winter break, which here in northern California looks like a chilly spring break, what with all the green everywhere. We had some rain and some wind, we look out the window into bright blue this morning, we find how to best fit our bodies, glorious with the aches of morning, into our chairs so that we can pick up the pen and write into a new year.

Happy 2013 to you! Do you have an annual reflection and/or intention writing practice? What were the words that best described or shaped 2012 for you? What words do you want to hear more from in 2013? What if we could start this new year by honoring exactly where we are, and moving from there?

This morning I am an ache and a tightness, I am delighted to be able to sit in my chair at my computer. I read poems, avoiding the demands of email for a bit longer. Today is the first day of my new work life, after a two-month surprise detour into the land of pain and recuperation, and as I make plans and set intentions, both macro and micro, I think about how to ease my anxiety and panic with sheer acceptance, breathing deep into exactly what is. Continue reading