As I continue to lead writing circles, I am inspired by the hearts and generous listening of others. Every time I write with others I am changed and lifted by the experience. Here in this space I am calling, Poems from the Circle, I will be sharing poems written by participants of my writing circles. We are stronger when we lean on and learn from each other. This poem is from Kelley Morris. I appreciate her willingness to share it here.
Standing on the bank
All seems quiet
Difficult to perceive
I must be still
Will the river
Tell its stories
Of past travels
Around winding turns
Along cool stretches
Over rough rapids
Crashing past sharp rocks
The path ahead
A free fall
Plunging to the
Clear pool below
But never stopping
And now, it carries
My reflection while
Telling its story-
We have a lot in common
This silent river
In my writing circles we focus on listening. We listen to the poems being read out loud and we listen to each other. I never thought this specific, close listening would work online. I have been happily surprised. My writing circles have been gatherings of authentic reflection, heartfelt sharing and generated connection between people who have never met before. I am so grateful to have the opportunity to write with new people across the U.S. Each of us who joins the circle is embracing the slowing down that poetry offers. We are taking time to hear one another. And when we are heard, we are seen. I think this is more important than ever.
I would love to write with you, to hear your words as they come forth in the safe space of the writing circle. Click on the links below to register.
“Please don’t recoil from the bright light beaming through the window. I know it hurts your eyes. It hurts mine, too. But the curtain is wide open. What the crisis has given us is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see ourselves and our country in the plainest of views. At no other time, everin our lives, have we gotten the opportunity to see what would happen if the world simply stopped. ” – Julio Vincent Gambuto
Thank you to Let it Ripple Studio for your imaginative inspiration. My poem is dedicated to your work in connecting us across the globe. May your inspirational leadership continue to thrive and connect us across the planet.
Ten years ago Let It Ripple Studio made a global, collaborative, 4 minute film – A Declaration of Interdependence. Maybe the “connected” sign language symbol shown in the video could be the new greeting to remind us all, while we are “social distancing,” that we are connected and interdependent.
Now they are asking, “Would you like to participate in our next collaborative short film?” The video will be based on an wonderful poem, Lockdown By Fr. Richard Hendrick, OFM, March 2020. Click here to join in.
Photo credit to an amazing photographer – Randy White.
We are unique and also the same. As I have reached out to write with others during this pandemic I continue to experience this. We are all coping. We all have emotions. We all need ways to empty out our overflowing thoughts. In my writing circles, I have noticed the fulfilling conversations, relief of writing it down and connections that bloom from shared writing spaces. I invite you to explore this for yourself. This isn’t about trying to create the perfect poem. You don’t need to be a poet or even call yourself a writer. This is about connecting as human beings. By writing and reflecting together, we can learn from this unusual time, and face it with loving curiosity.
Click on the links below for more information and registration.
Past participants have shared this about my writing circles.
“Thank you for your wonderful session yesterday. I came away feeling inspired and uplifted.You created such a welcoming space that I felt immediately at home.” – Karen
“I loved it all. Meeting new people and seeing the similarities between us. This also opened me up to a broader feeling of gratitude.” – Mary
“I have been writing with a group that Ali leads. I am not a creative writer and was wondering what I could bring to/get out of the group. I am surprised by where this takes my brain and my heart. Ali’s guidance and writing prompts are insightful. Writing with Ali has become one of gems of my otherwise isolated life.” – Nancy
“I loved your focus on being intentional, hearing the voices of other women and your positive energy. You are a light and an inspiration.” – Diane
We are stronger when we lean on and learn from one another.
And so we grow,
In winds bent back
Against the storms
And lightning strikes.
And well-lit grace
Of Swift footsteps
That forever change
In those brief sorrows
Of untrained reach
And growth in silent tears;
That dry in hope
And sunlight given.
“A practice of gratitude is not about dismissing sadness, anger, fear, or confusion. Rather, it offers us the opportunity to see that we often experience multiple feelings at once; to welcome joy into the same places where we hold grief; to turn our attention to what is quietly growing and breathing day by day, which, to our possible surprise, includes ourselves.” – Kristin Lin, Editor, The On Being Project
No Explanation Needed
You don’t have to explain
how you know where to go or when
stillness brings discomfort.
You don’t have to explain
why sorrow comes and goes
tears visiting your eyes again.
You don’t have to explain
when it happened for the first time
why you feel a mountain sits upon you.
You don’t even have to explain
why it matters so much.
I never need more than just you
Just sit down
next to me, the weight
of your shoulder touching mine