Tag Archives: healing

We are flawed and magic


I haven’t been doing that well, lately. I’ve been triggered with loss and sorrow and rage. September does this to me a lot, and at the beginning of this September, I was in New Hampshire and Vermont, the very places where I began the break from my stepfather and his extreme control and abuse, back in 1993.

Somehow, this year, while I was driving back and forth on i-89 from Lebanon, past Hanover, to Plainfield, while the sun rose through the thick early-fall fog sweltering over the crevices in the Green Mountains to make it up for the day’s Power of Words offerings, and then back down south (through the nearly indelible dark) to my friend’s apartment for good if abbrevited conversation and sleep, I managed to drive myself right back into the past – right back into that 21 year old convinced both of the world she’d been trained into and convinced that there was nothing left to her future but utter soul-destruction if she didn’t manage to get away from the man who’d decided to turn her family into his harem; when the man she loved had given her an ultimatum (him or me, her boyfriend said, because that was what it looked like), she chose her boyfriend and was (don’t ask me how – it’s still a kind of miracle to me) able to pick up the telephone and speak into her utter terror: you can’t do this to me anymore.

It began a process of extraction. I realized, during those few days earlier this month back in that countryside, back on those roads (filled still with the echoes of all my sobbing, traced still with the fear that he would send someone to destroy me, thick still with the impossible desire that had begun to bubble in me for a new way of living, for women, for change), that I’m still extracting myself from those old horrors.

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” At nearly 40, you are finally learning about friendship”

(One of our prompts at the Art for Recovery writing group last week was this: “you wake one morning and you are expecting…” (from “The Crows,” Evelyn Fitzpatrick)

You wake one morning and you are expecting to believe again, to fall into the foreshadowing that the dreams brought into you, or you into. You remember the doves, the way they carried you, and the pelican’s dipping heads, feeding under your feet, and how you walked over the water til you got to the other side of the lake, and to nearly dry land, where you sat back and cried because you were exhausted, desiring, and hadn’t noticed your ability to talk on water while you were doing it, you just needed to get somewhere, and now that you’re there, you know with out trying that the capacity has left your feet.

You poke one toe at the water and it sinks beneath the surface. Minnows startle away like dreams, like longings, like small children—you remember, after waking, the streaks of water down your cheeks and, too, how the surface of the lake undulated with a presence beneath your soles, like no surface you’d ever before encountered    but it felt so normal all the wile you were crossing the lake       what had you needed to get to? Why couldn’t you pay attention?

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What would I tell them?

(This was the prompt…)

“What would you tell young friends who are afraid?” what I want to say is that the night sweats happen and then they are gone, the same nightmare appears for years and then its terrifying physics and grammar begin to transform around the dreaming you: suddenly you can pseak, you can move, you can run, you can say, now, No when before the word could only push from your lips into a screaming wait that woke you and your lover at midnight.

You see from those dreamtime changes that you are healing, your seams are coming together and it’s a slow, it’s an interminable process it will seem like it’s never ending and it ought to. Feel every minute of it, let the loss and terror burn through and be done with you. Someday it will be done with you, because you stayed with It, because you were not thrown by the fire and rage that you yourself contain.

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Upcoming workshops with Jen & Writing Ourselves Whole — August 2009!

Read on for more information about the upcoming Declaring Our Erotic and Write Whole workshops with Jen & Writing Ourselves Whole!
heart power!

Declaring Our Erotic-Reclaiming Our Sexuality
Eight Tuesday evenings, beginning 8/11/09
Open to queer women survivors of sexual trauma!

Have you been thinking about exploring some new edges in your writing? Are there longings you’d like to find language for?

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National Assoc of Memoir Writers FREE teleconference tomorrow!

Visit the NAMW conference site to sign up for tomorrow’s telesummit and to get more information. It looks to be packed with amazing information and connections!


2009 Second NAMW Virtual Conference

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Podcast Answers, Day 10 – What’s giving you hope?

Back in November, I committed to posting longer, more well-thought-out answers to the questions that Britt Bravo posed to me during our Arts and Healing Network podcast conversation. Here’s my answer for day 10!

10. What gives you hope right now?

A kuffiya 'ribbon' in solidarity with Palestine, Iraq and Lebanon; image from http://www.reziststicker.com/stickers.htm This has been a hard question for me to answer. I’ve been slipping between feeling very hopeful and deeply hopeless and heartsick – there are beautiful moments and possibilities and still horrors inflicted in every moment and how can we talk about hope except that without even the mention, the word, I think we lose everything.

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Podcast Answers – Day 8: Thoughts for others who want to do this work

Back in November, I committed to posting longer, more well-thought-out answers to the questions that Britt Bravo posed to me during our Arts and Healing Network podcast conversation. I took a bit of a break at the end of Dec, but I’m back on track. Here’s my answer for day 8!

8. What advice do you have for a writer who wants to use writing for their own healing, or to facilitate healing in others?

Putting the pen to paper This is such a big question – I actually feel I need to break it down into two: Thoughts for folks who want to use writing around their own healing/transformation, and thoughts for those who wish to use writing to facilitate healing with others.

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Unexpected offline-ness

I apologize for the unannounced break in my posting schedule! So, I’d planned to keep on keepin’ on with my bi-weekly posts all through the last couple weeks. It turns out, though, that I needed to take some time away from the computer. Most weekdays, I spend at least 8 hours on the computer, and something that I’ve offered myself during this end-of-Gregorian-year vacation has been some time not linked up: baking and painting, instead; movie-watching and stargazing instead; reading and beach-walking instead. It’s been deeply, deeply good; necessary, even — bringing up fully into my consciousness how much of a break I really need.

Besides thinking about a 2009 schedule, what’s been heavily weighing on my mind are these horrors:
– Israel is massacring Palestinian civilians with the apparent approval of the US and the UN, using such similar justificatory language to Bush’s — the world is watching; can we stop this brutality?
– a woman was brutally gang-raped in Richmond a few weeks ago — there have been four arrests made: a 31 year-old man, a 21 year-old man, a 16 year-old boy and a 15 year-old boy. A 21 year-old, a 16 year-old and a 15 year-old. I want to write more about what I see as so many terrible barbed-wire layers around this case, and yet, how can I seriously start to take apart for individual consideration the very recent threads of this survivor’s experience? Just because some suspects have been caught by the criminal justice system doesn’t mean that justice has been or will be served — real communal change, I mean an actual ending of rape as a tool of social control and violence and terrorization, continues with our conversations, our vigils, our communities holding the perpetrators accountable, our ongoing work. We cannot trust the State to do it for us.

I *am* going to finish the Arts and Healing Network podcast question responses! These are the questions we still have to think about:

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Podcast Answers – Day 4: Has writing been healing for me?

Last Monday I committed to posting longer, more well-thought-out answers to the questions that Britt Bravo posed to me during our Arts and Healing Network podcast conversation a couple weeks ago. Welcome to day four!

4. Has [art/writing] been healing for you personally? If so, how?

Deep writing at a cafe - from coffeegeek.com

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This Sat: Self-healing meditation retreat

Rev. Trinity Ordona is leading a self-healing meditation retreat this weekend, which sounds amazing!

Have you tried meditation, but you cannot sit still without . . . memories or problems taking over your mind? Having trouble “letting go” of the past?

Pain, Disappointment, Anger, Anxiety

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