Writing in a Community

I started a lunchtime writing group. The last time we met we wrote poems on fragments of Anne Sexton’s poetry. (Brilliant assignment, Tiffany!)

I cried a little as I wrote my piece. When it came my turn to read the poem out loud, I alerted the group, “I may cry when I read this. Don’t worry about me. Don’t hand me tissues. I am okay. I’m just having feelings.”

I read my piece out loud and two-thirds of the way in, I began sobbing. Literally sobbing, sniveling, gasping-for-breath crying. I don’t know about you, but I don’t like to sob — especially in the middle of the workday and in front of coworkers. That is the time I like to joke around about Toddlers & Tiaras or take a walk in Riverside Park.

But there were things bubbling up in me. A sadness around the shifts and losses in my marriage, due to my husband’s Parkinson’s Disease.

Here’s the story: I cope really well. I work out. I write. I share my feelings. I lean on my friends. I feel alone. I love my kids. I love my job. I love my communities. But, at times, I feel and I am alone. And I am sad.

There was something healing about writing about and reading this piece to a writing group — a community of real people in real time and in a real place. We wrote together and then we listened to one another read.

Our meeting is simple. We rotate leaders. The leader picks a topic and then we write for 20 minutes. Then we go around and read what we’ve written. We have written about other things too — our childhoods and our rituals.

There is an alchemy to being a part of a community of real writers. The other day I wrote on my other blog What is Community? https://mbcoudal.wordpress.com/2011/05/07/what-is-community/

It is hard work, passion and diversity. This lunch time writing group has and is all that. We meet again tomorrow at 12:30. Join us.

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