she could feel, finally, the sun on her face

graffiti of suns and a woman holding up her hand, with the text: art is in the air ... inspires

(Having some wordpress weirdness this morning — I’m sorry if that affects your reading experience!)

Exciting day today — it’s the first meeting of the second round of the MedEd Writers (where I get to write with UCSF Medical Education staff) and also the first meeting of this fall’s Declaring Our Erotic: Reclaiming Our Sexuality workshop! I’m so looking forward to them both –

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Went to the cafe to do some notebook-writing this morning; it’s hard, sometimes, coming back into my routine after a week like I had a couple weeks ago, getting to spend time only focused on TLA work, with others who only do TLA work. I got a little lonely and frustrated! Always good for me to get away from the computer and get down onto to the page at those times… helps me to find out what I’m feeling and what I want to do about it.

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So, here’s a prompt from the last MedEd Writers workshop. We each made a list of things that get lost (ex: keys, car, hope, phone…), and then wrote about one of the items on the list. Many of the writers wrote fictional pieces, using characters we’d developed in an earlier workshop exercise.

Here’s my response to this prompt (a continuation of a piece I’d begun about a woman who’s caring for her Alzheimer’s-afflicted mother):

She lost her voice and her despair on the same day, which was sort of unfortunate: after those seven months of sheer grey sodden depression, she was suddenly so — so joyful, so ok. All she wanted was to shout, sing, call every friend whose phone messages she’d been ignoring, tell each of them how she could feel, finally, the sun on her face, how she could meet her mother’s continual demands compassion, even love.

She wanted to tell them about the dream she’d had the night before, about the baby pigeons calling from beneath the bed, how thenoise they’d been had been so scrawny and helpless, and about how the mother, with its brilliant grey-blue iridiscent feathers, had flown in through her open window and perched first on the peeling paint of her sill, and regarded her for a slow moment. She’d felt, in the dream, something pushed into her — something generous — and then the bird had hopped down and gone beneath the shade of her flannel bedcovers and quieted the babies.

But with her voice gone, she couldn’t tell a soul about this, couldn’t explain how she thought the bird was her own rugged, plainly-powerful mama, gifting and feeding her, communicating with her anew. Her own voice rasped shallow, like a rusted hasp, when she opened her mouth that morning to speak to her mama, and so she kept her mouth closed and beamed at every stain, every tear in her mama’s clothes, every piece of her new day.

Thanks for your energy today, for your powerful words, for your writing, for your you-ness.