Writing For The Moment

Writing For The Moment

Today I did something I have wanted to do for such a long time but have been afraid to do. It is yet another blessing to come out of cancer. I have longed to join a writer’s group. I have researched local groups in the area time and time again. I have looked up their meeting schedules, locations and times. I have set an appointment in my calendar only to have the day or evening come and find that I am not able, not willing to go. I have looked up writing classes or workshops at local community colleges and community centers. I have circled the workshops in the brochures over and over again. Only to find that they conveniently conflicted with other obligations in my life. Or if I am honest, only to allow myself and excuse to not go. The real reason, fear. Fear of my writing not being good enough. Fear of writing but when reading it aloud hearing negative feedback and falling apart. Fear of learning that I am truly not a writer. Well, cancer does something to you. Especially when you beat it. Twice. It makes many things altogether clear in a way that they never were before. As I looked upon the one year anniversary of my first diagnosis yesterday I reflected on all that 2016 held for me in regards to cancer, treatment and surgeries. As I wrapped the thoughts up it was clear to me the one blessing that I cherished most about last year. Cancer gave me the gift of time. Time with friends and family that I had not allowed myself to relish in more often before. Time with the love of my life. Time with my children. Time by myself. Time with God. Time to read and write and just be. And more time as a survivor. I have more time! My time is not up! And so today I headed to a writer’s workshop for cancer patients and survivors. It is called Writing For The Moment. I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was surprised to find it was all women. And mostly older women. I am not sure what I thought it would consist of but realized I didn’t even consider the fact that I might be the youngest one there. Duh. They welcomed me in with open smiles and pleasant greetings. We introduced ourselves but they didn’t pry into my story or share theirs. I imagine that will come with time. They meet every Thursday from 1-3 PM. They got started pretty quickly. The woman running the workshop had brought two poems. She read the first poem out loud and then we were to write. No instruction given. I initially thought I was expected to write a poem. So I hesitantly wrote a poem of sorts. I have never been much of a poem writer. I was timid in my writing and feared what they would think if I were to read it. As the time ran out for writing and it was time to start sharing the leader asked for a volunteer. The women to my right, Lee, volunteered to go first. She read her writing and it was then that I realized it wasn’t about writing poetry at all. The poem read had sparked something in her in regards to her own life and she wrote it down. In her own way. Just a journaling of personal thoughts about her home and how she was thinking she should sell it and become debt free but in her search realized just how much her home meant to her. One by one they shared. I was the last as they traveled around the table. The leader told me I was not obligated to share but I said that it was what I had come for and so I would do it. It was then that my voice cracked and my eyes welled up with tears. Could I do it? Could I read what I had written outloud to people? Whether I could or not, I was going to. The first thing I wrote was more of my past and it led me to write a second page about my present. I wondered what the ladies would think. Here is what I wrote:

 

When Home Is Anything But

When home is anything but
peaceful
most moments surrounded by endless, stiffling
silence

When home is anything but
happy, a moment of joy here and there
quickly ended with heart, wrenching
assault

When home is anything but
safe
walking around on eggshells and broken glass
afraid

When home is anything but
what you imagined it would be
day in and day out
only wanting to be free.

 

And the second page:

No Where I’d Rather Be

That place, that space
where love, joy and laughter
fill the room until there is no place for air

Where friendship begins
the very moment you step in
and lingers long after you are gone
-waiting for your return

Where you are welcome
one and all, young and old, pretty – or not
simply because you are you

Where time stands still
seemingly so, although the world continues to go
it matters not when you are here

The place where I am free
to be me, to love you, to be loved by you
happy, peaceful, wonderful – Home.

 

 

 

…my heart was racing a million beats per  minutes when I finished. Instead of feeling afraid I felt exhilarated. I felt accomplished. I felt safe. Several thanked  me for sharing and said they enjoyed it. One lady leaned over and said, You are safe now right? I said yes, I left him in 2001. I am living the second part now.

Then the second prompt was read. It was also a poem about Fisherman’s Warf. I got hung up on the Canadian Geese line. I will share that writing in a new post….. ‘Canadian Geese’.

 

31 Days of Writing

31 Day Challenge

A friend of mine posted that she has accepted a 31 Day Challenge. It’s a writing challenge actually. Apparently it’s not new. In fact this is the 8th year this particular site has had this challenge. The challenge starts on October 1st and runs through October 31st. When you accept the challenge you agree to write every day for 31 days on a specific topic you have chosen. Not a different topic every day, but instead something in regards to the same topic every day. I guess in some ways that makes it easy and in some ways it makes it difficult. On the one hand you might think you would run out of things to say about the same topic day after day over the course of 31 days. On the other hand sticking to the same topic means you do not waste time each day determining the basis of your writing. It can also help you go more in depth rather than just touching the surface of a particular topic. I was intrigued by this challenge for many reasons. The most obvious being that I love to write and am always saying that I need to get back to writing. I complain (let’s be honest here, it is complaining) that I do not have or make time each day to write and I wish I could/would. I have promised myself repeatedly that I would make it a priority only to fail time and time again. It always seems there is something else that requires my attention that I deem more important. Another reason I am intrigued is that it gives me a reason to write every day. I mean, who doesn’t love a challenge? If I am challenged to do it then I have to do it! I’m not doing it for me, I’m doing it to fulfill the challenge! The fact that the challenge website gave category and topic suggestions made it all the more easy for me. I perused the ideas and past year bloggers and immediately felt inspired. In a matter of what felt like seconds I knew my topic would be, Discovering Me in 31 Days. The topic is focused enough being about myself and yet broad enough because, who am I anyway? Maybe each day I will ask myself a question and write out the response. Or maybe I will share experiences from the past that have molded and shaped who I am today. Or maybe I will contemplate what hasn’t been, what could be if only and what I would do or be if only there were no limits. The options are endless and only limited by me, my imagination, the time, effort and thought I am willing to put into it. I contemplated joining the challenge through the website as my friend is doing. In order to do so you needed to sign up, create a linky thing that is a button people (other writers) can click on that directs them directly to your 31 days of blogs, and then link up on October 1 and begin writing. Each day that you write you copy and paste the latest days writing to the linky thing so people can read just those posts on your blog. I headed down the road to create the linky thing and determined that part wasn’t for me. Instead I will just write on here for 31  days in the same spirit of sticking to one topic and doing it daily. The hope is not only to discover me but to also begin a habit of daily writing that will lead to a book or two that I have always wanted to write. So, let the journey begin a day or two early as I embark upon Discovering Me in the next 31 (or 35 days).