filled with Thank You

stencil graffiti: image of a woman's face, with the words "creer c'est resister"
(to create is to resist!)

Today is going to be a good day.

Last night, a few people sat with me in the writing ourselves whole workshop space, and talked with me about how they can help me do the stuff involved in running this organization. I don’t know how much more I can say about that except how amazing and somewhat overwhelming it feels to have help — from many different sides.

Of course, having help means being accountable — means it’s not just me anymore. (It wasn’t ever just me, but I ignored that for a long time, feeling a lot more comfortable with a slightly martyred and extremely overwhelmed mindset.)

So this morning I am filled with Thank You.

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Tomorrow is Writing the Flood — we’ve got a great group coming together (are you joining us?) to spend this pre-Xmas Saturday writing, flowing, growing big onto the page. Bring that thing you’ve been promising yourself to work on — or bring an open & empty notebook, wait for the prompt, and go go go.

To create is to resist — that’s what Miss.Tic says.

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A prompt for today: December can be a time of nostalgia for me, and when I get all nostalgic, it’s a good idea for me to write (otherwise I wallow, which is rarely pretty on me).

Today I’ll invite you to think of a favorite song you had when you were younger — at any time before now. Start by telling us about the song, if you want, or how old you were when it was your favorite, or where you lived, or who your friends were then, or anything else that arises as you start to write — give yourself 15 minutes (more if you want) and follow your writing wherever it seems to want you to go.

We used this as an introductory exercise at the beginning of the most recent Write Whole workshop — a great way to meet one another’s writing voices. Here’s my response to our short write:

So the first song — there are two songs that spring up and both have different, no, the same bedroom associated with them and yet they feel different, rearranged, the songs popular in different years and so there we were, me and me, at different ages in the same room — first unicorns then a fade to lack later–

I had the 45 for “What About Me?” (the whiniest song ever but still my chest opens when I think about the lyric: “And now I’m standing on the corner/all the world’s gone home –” I could keep going, still have it all in some corner of my head), could almost start crying, 10 years old and mom’s working and dating and we’re alone in this brownstone apartment and I’ve got the record on my small plastic player and I wonder why don’t mom and dad ask what we want, what about us in this divorce settlement of back and forth from one town to another–

Then Marvin Gaye’s Sexual Healing, a song that made me so profoundly uncomfortable and I didn’t understand how they could play it on the radio legally and still I turn the channel when it comes one because it reminds me of that time — 11 years old at at a new school, learning finally that being a girl meant sexual harassment, meant having something sexual you had to heal from. (The tall lanky boy in brown boots and jeans who slunk up behind me in the cafeteria line and whispered what those things were, that was just part of the lesson.)

Thanks for your rememberings, for what you offer that others want to help you bring into the world, for your words. Always.