#NewThisDay Writing From My Photo Stream
This morning I led my weekly Wednesday morning women writers group. The warm-up I offered for a free write was about how the process of writing and reading poetry and prose is "medicine." My intuition was telling me everyone in her own way would have had an emotionally challenging week. There's the turbulence of the election. There are impending holidays and their potential stressors. There is the light of day, diminished. There is the weather of New England - November sky, the gray and gloom, the absence of new growth in the natural world.
We read three poems I brought aloud to each other: first, my poem, All These Cures; then Marie Howe's Annunciation; and finally, Jane Relaford Brown's Finding Her Here. Then we wrote spontaneously about medicine as a metaphor of what we need for what's ailing our spirits, or the medicine we give to revive the spirits of others.
I reflected and wrote about how, in my roles as a writer, workshop leader, healer, mother, and friend, ideally, when someone has an emotional or psychic ailment that seems as mysterious to me as it is to her, what I aim to offer as remedy is. . .
Place - to make a space without distractions, a haven of peaceful sounds, soft voices, light steps, the simple music of bells or tinkling of chimes, a sanctuary that's clean, uncluttered, spacious, under a warm roof or anywhere under a cathedral of pines
Time - to demonstrate that you deserve time and attention - here it is now - you're a priority. Here is your time for self-care and the self-discovery it offers, here is my availability
Presence - I am a witness, a companion, my focus is on you and I'm not here to judge
Respect - I am here to understand, not impose expectations - I ask who you are and what work you have to do in the world to be whole?
Here is a recording I found on the website On Being of Marie Howe reading her poem, Annunciation. Perhaps you would like to close your eyes and listen, as we did, and reflect on your need, or your practice of giving medicine to others.
All photos and text copyright Kelly DuMar 2016 unless otherwise attributed