I have exciting news to share today: I wrote a letter to the editor of The New Yorker magazine (about this idea of some survivors’ resilience being treated as more extraordinary than that of other survivors) — and they have published the letter!
You can read the letter here (mine is the third letter down); you can also read part of the article (“Gone Girl”) that I responded to — this article inspired our extra:ordinary community story project, which you should also read!
Here’s how the letter reads: Continue reading
Sometimes when we write into the absolutely ordinary we find some surprises.
One of the prompts I gave at the last Writing the Flood prompt was to make a list of very common household items, and then I read the poem “Towels.” We let an item from our list choose us (my list included: toothbrush, towels, old shoes, coffee cup, pillow, tea kettle, bird feeder…) and then we wrote for about 10 minutes. This is what came for me:
This is a new day. My body is sleepy, thick with desire for the covers. The candle blossoms new color into the dark room, and I am here with these early words. Fit me into the couch cushions, cover me with my mother-knitted afghan, hand me my tea cup and my novel. What do these words want from me today? What do your words want from you?
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I have two survivors workshops going right now, one in person (Write Whole) and one online. Last night was the third meeting of the spring Write Whole session, and got to be amazed at how deep the writing went, and how fast. We wrote hard about memory and grief, and in-between writes, we talked and connected and laughed. We wrote anguish and struggle last night, and after the workshop was over, I felt energized, lighter, and so grateful. It was a big one last night.
Sometimes people say, when I share with them about the work that I do, “Oh, that must be so hard.” I don’t know how to convey to them how much it’s not hard. How grateful I am every time I’m in the presence of a story that was never supposed to be told, how I appreciate the effort and risk involved in sharing brand new words, how honored I am to get to be in circle, over and over, with writers who are willing to language what we are trained never to be able to say. That’s not hard, I want to tell people; that’s a gift! Continue reading