Monday, February 1, 2016
Writing class, journaling and Maddie.
The next writing class starts up again in two days and as always, it's a mystery who will come; how many writers can there be in a church community ? I know of one definite from the last class.I describe her as the heart of our group because her honest, searing writing gave us all permission to risk.She is young compared to most of us but she brings wisdom, enthusiasm and a big heart.She was called to that room.
The setting will be the same, a large room with floor to ceiling windows, lots of light and a round table where I will set up some small objects.While holding an ordinary object or a copy of a piece of art we can glance out at the calming scene of swaying Georgia pines.The room is perfect for what we do.It feels like church even when we are just writing about sons, gardens or the past.
The past is a vast wild field of plants and flowers disguised as memories strewn about in disarray.They have great power over us, these memories Writing has helped me to reassess this possible minefield.
Just yesterday, I was writing a story triggered by my Mother and Son Willow figure that will be one of the objects offered as inspiration for a story.My writing had to do with a drunk who sat next to me on a flight home from the Baltic.I related how offended and angry I was to have to sit by this drunk when I had had to put up with them in my family for my all growing years.Then, I had vowed that my life would be different and it is.Suddenly, I felt a rush of gratitude for this life of healthy, sober, faith filled living that I have taken for granted always.It is a great gift and without my pen, I would never realized it.
New members may look at the objects and wonder why they came to this class and what in the world they will write.They won't know that a plain wooden bowl brought memories of a deeply loved Grandma and stirred thoughts of a time of brokenness when written about last time.Or that a turkey feather released tears of missing from a bereaved cat lover.Last time, there were many tears at the first class and a dear friend said:"Is it going to be like this for 8 weeks?" And I thought, only if we have courage.
I don't know who or what encouraged me to start writing and keeping a journal.I would like to give credit.Next to me is last year's journal open to a page with a few dried weeds and a long black strand of hair.It is from an Easter day when I was privileged to see what the world looks like to the eyes of a two year old.This child is my Maddie girl who was sitting in the shade with her beautiful hair in a bun on her head.This world was greenly new to her black eyes, fresh as Eden.The breeze touched her cheek and she laughed.She watched with wonder as the leaves on the tall oak blew gently around on their stems.With delight, she pick little weeds and held, twirled, and sniffed, letting herself be enchanted.She took me with her on this unforgettable trip.After she left, I went out and scooped up the little handful of weeds and there winding in and out was one strand of her hair.Where would you keep such a treasure?It is taped on a page in my journal, marked, so anytime I need a memory of Maddie or Spring, it is there.