I had such a great experience writing in response to the Arts and Healing network interview questions over the last several months — and I was also, finally, motivated to regularly update this blog.
So, at 6:30am while I was working on my morning pages, I jotted down some more questions I’d like to answer (or begin to answer!) about my work, the Writing Ourselves Whole workshops, the uses of art, and more…
It ends up tricking me into posting more regularly — we’ve got to do what we determine will work to get us around our blocks and internalized naysayers, don’t we?
The podcast that Britt Bravo and I recorded back in Nov is up on the Arts and Healing Network! Just before I got on the road to head down to LA for Thanksgiving, Britt and I talked transformative writing, writing as a healing practice, expressive arts, erotic writing for survivors of sexual trauma, Pat Schneider‘s Amherst Writers and Artists workshop method, and more!
Of course, as always, I’d love to hear your thoughts and reactions? What did I leave out? What’s true for you about these topics?
Jen Cross of Writing Ourselves Whole on the Arts and Healing Podcast http://artheals.libsyn.com/
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 9!
9. What inspires you the most about your workshops?
I’m consistently inspired by these two facts: The ongoing reminder that every person has artistic brilliance inside that is seeking an outlet, and that community can web together to support one another – that we can collaborate around healing and individual/social transformation without needing MSWs or other clinical degrees. These have something to do with one another.
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?
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.
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:
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?
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 three!
3. Do you believe art can heal? Why?
(Whew — this is a big one!)
So, last Wednesday, bright and early before Fresh! & I headed down to LA for the Thanksgivingness, I had the pleasure of meeting Britt Bravo to record a podcast for the Arts and Healing Network‘s bimonthly podcast. How exciting! It was my first podcast, and only the second or third time I’ve talked to the “press” (-ish!) about what it is that Writing Ourselves Whole is all about. Great practice and a fantastic opportunity!
Britt had a list of questions that she thought we might get to, which were really useful for me! I want to get more comfortable talking (more succinctly!) about the workshops, about transformative writing, about Pat Schneider’s AWA method — so that I can help to spread the word not just about my workshops but about the uses of writing period!
The podcast comes out next month, and I’ll be sure to post a link/update here. In the meantime, though, I’d like to go about answering Britt’s questions in more detail here. Beginning Wednesday, I’ll be posting an answer to each of the following questions, two per week, for the next six weeks: