Last weekend during a women’s “Wintry Mix” art retreat, we studied the element fire. We drew four slips of paper from a paper bag as it was passed around. Mine read:
bonfire campfire passion comfort
I wrote this poem using my four words, while observing a burning votive candle for awhile. Give that process a try! Here’s to writing more in 2020!
She wore her passion
bright as a bonfire,
her eyes dancing wildly
like flickering flame.
Oh no you don’t,
No longer will I smile passively
like the Southern Belle you honed,
holding back my thoughts
in deference to your own.
Come, she offered.
Join me here by the campfire I’ve built for all.
For, all are welcome at my campfire,
melting all over the land,
forgiving all transgressions,
especially my own.
Come sit with me in the comfort of stillness, silence,
just the crackling of heart openings.
Our flames quiver,
until our campfire
settles easily into a cozy, steady, mesmerizing source
of comfort, warmth,
What fun to totally let your mind roll first thing in the morning to a random prompt!
Prompt: 10 min. “Joining the Conversation”
Joining the conversation is always a bit tricky. You leave to go to the bathroom, weaving your way among the tables, eyes searching for the ladies’ room sign, having chosen a spot in the conversation where you knew a little of what was being said. You’d heard that part before. Didn’t want to miss anything but, damn, you had to pee!
Time to pull out a toothpick? Get the salad out of your teeth? Apply some lipstick. Find a mint. Fluff the hair.
Returning to your seat, smiling as you go, you perk up your ears to see where the conversation is now, not wanting to interrupt, but longing to jump back in, as you replace your purse on the chair back, pick up your white linen napkin, scootch your chair back under the table and take a sip of water.
Randomly, the subject has changed from that of Cynthia’s husband’s mom’s foot that wasn’t healing well to an update on one of Lee Anne’s kids who’d gotten married last year in a grand affair in California you’d also unfortunately missed.
“Wait, sorry. What did I miss? Are Meredith and Jim pregnant? Moving back to North Carolina?! Did he get that new job??”
Rachel takes her fork and scrapes it across the empty plate, gathering remnants of the decadent flourless chocolate torte they’d all shared after their monthly meal, while Jaime fills me in on Lee Anne’s news. Abbreviated synopses allowed among these friendships, decades in the making.
Prompt: 5 minutes “Stand Alone”
Stand alone. On your own two feet. See what you can do without any others to stop you, to help you, to harm you, to interfere, to suggest other ways. What does your heart say? What is your heart saying to you?
Stand alone. You already do stand alone. But alone with a living God burning brightly inside your very heart chakra, comforting you, guiding you, suggesting ideas that will catapult you to the Highest Version of Yourself that you can imagine. We just don’t often take the time to listen to that part of ourselves. Yes, I believe the Holy Spirit is a part of each of us, so intertwined with every fiber of our being that we can never not be holy. If we listen.
Stand alone. I used to stand alone and mope inside about being alone. Why doesn’t anyone really understand me? I need them to understand me! I cried tears and sobbed guttural wails as I wrestled with the challenges of growing up, maturing, moving from an insecure teenager to an insecure adult, an insecure wife, mother, neighbor, church member, volunteer, over-achiever. Until it all came crashing down on me in the form of what would morph from one day of a swollen throat, fever, body aches worse than the flu, fatigue that slammed me flat to the surface of my water bed and wouldn’t let me go, into the woman I am now. Twenty-five years I’ve lived inside my body alone, alone in houses full of people who cannot understand this bizarre chronic illness. But now I stand alone – secure in Who I Am.
I love this piece written by my Holden Beach Writer’s Group friend, Joan Leotta!
Joan Gabrielle—A Handy Name by Joan Leotta (All About My Name Poetry Series).
Great piece here about separating the writing from the subject matter. The reason I love writing memoir, actually, is the process of rising above the events, situations, even feelings, and employing the craft of writing to try to effectively “universalize” the message and touch the lives of others in a positive way. I keep my personal journals personal – my therapy! Thanks for this, Allison K. Williams!
Writing Workshop Is Not Group Therapy.